Cliff Freeman to Break New Coke Classic Campaign

In Olympic-Timed Spots, Absence of Coke Sours Happy Situations
NEW YORK–Cliff Freeman and Partners’ new TV spots for Coca-Cola Classic represent a twist on the current strategy for the company’s flagship brand.
Scheduled to break in time for the Olympic games on NBC, one spot shows an African-American family at a party, honoring an elderly relative confined to a wheelchair. Her face shows profound disappointment during the gathering, and it’s discovered that she is unhappy because there is no Coke.
Another spot shows a soldier returning from the service to his exuberant family. When his facial expression turns sour, everyone wonders why, and again the punchline is that the occasion is spoiled because there is no Coke. “Next time, Coke,” is one phrase featured in the new spots, sources said, but the current “Enjoy” tagline remains.
Typical of Cliff Freeman’s work, the spots are said to be humorous, and the strategy is to convey the idea that no experience is the same without Coca-Cola. The earlier strategy of the “Enjoy” campaign emphasized the sensory feeling of drinking Coke. Agency and Coke officials de-clined comment.
The New York shop has handled Coke’s Fanta brand overseas since 1996 and won some creative duties for brand Coke’s estimated $115 million U.S. account in the spring. New work from Cliff Freeman was to have broken during July, but shortly after winning the assignment, the Atlanta client asked the shop to rework some ideas it had originally presented [Adweek, May 15].
At the time, Coke also solicited ideas from roster shops McCann-Erickson, D’Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles and Leo Burnett.
–with Theresa Howar