Ad Hoc Hollywood Group to Unveil New Coke Classic Ad Campaign

Hoping to aid sagging revenues and heeding a recent "iconographic creative" request Coke recently made to its ad agencies, long time Madison Avenue legend Harry Webber, creator of such memorable television campaigns as A Mind is a Terrible Thing to Waste, I'm Stuck on BAND-AIDBRAND, and Dr. Pepper, America's Most Misunderstood Soft Drink, is leading a group of Coca-Cola stockholders in the Hollywood creative community to develop a Coke Classic ad campaign that Webber hopes will put Coke back on the growth path it enjoyed under the late Roberto Goizueta.

Webber has dubbed his ad hoc "Big Idea Company" effort, called Doublethink, an entity un-tethered by traditional ad agency baggage and desire for hefty fees saying, "We don't give a fuck about how much money they (Coke) spend. We only care about how much money they make."

Two weeks ago newly appointed Cola-Cola CEO Nevill Isdell laid the blame for the company's less than stellar performance in the marketplace squarely on the shoulders of lackluster marketing.

Instantly, Chuck Fruit, the new chief marketing officer for Coke scrambled the troops with a so-called "Iconographic Creative Brief" to the entire roster of company agencies around the world.

Writing on his website, Madison AveNew, Webber takes us through recent Coke marketing history including his experience working on the account over the years. He pulls no punches when commenting on the recent efforts of those involved in Coke's marketing, "After John Bergin left, McCann stumbled and Coke struck up a deal with Mike Ovitz and CAA. Mike brought in Len Fink and Shelly Hack to create the infamous CAA "Black Box" team. Coke paid out a lot of money in development fees for very little creative firepower and wound up back at McCann. Then the feeding frenzy began with creative assignments going to Lowe, Fallon, Burrell, Goodby and anybody else they could think of. At the same time the CMO dance began with Peter Sealy and a cast of thousands whipped through the revolving door. The latest cat on this hot tin roof is Chuck Fruit.

Wait a minute. Do all of these names I've been spouting ring a bell? Fink,Hack,Lowe,and Daft. If you were convicted of a felony would you put your fate in the hands of a law firm named Fink,Hack,Lowe,and Daft? However. If cranberry, blackberry and passion flower flavored drinks were blasting away at your customer base, would you bring in a guy named Chuck Fruit to save the day? Damned straight, Jack."

Hoping to get Coke out of its doldrums, Webber issued his open call to the Hollywood creative community. According to Webber the response was overwhelming and the ultimate strategy and campaign the ad hoc creative team was far in advance of the type of branding solution traditional agencies might devise. They created a "Brand Character" for Coca-Cola Classic based upon the recent findings of a study conducted by the Harvard Business Review on the impact of recent political realities on the efficacy of global brands, that is absolutely breakthrough in the category, according to Webber. In what will be either a revolutionary step for Coke and its advertising or a shameful embarrassment for Webber's Doublethink, the ad hoc ad campaign for Coke Classic will be unveiled tomorrow on Webber's Madison AveNew Column.

by Steve Hall    Sep-28-04   Click to Comment   
  

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