The effort, slated to break by early June, is expected to be called "The Cherry Coke Sonic Shuttle" with sampling vans ready to roll, carrying plenty of Cherry Coke and Sega's Sonic the Hedgehog and other videogames.
The promotion coincides with expansion of Cherry Coke packaging introduced last fall with advertising using the theme: "Get Cherrified." That theme may also appear in the summer promotion.
"The Cherry Coke market has become more and more important; as we expand and do national promotions, it's a signal that it's become more important," a Coca-Cola spokesman said.
Coca-Cola spent a relatively minuscule $382,800 last year in measured media on its Cherry Coke brand, according to LNA/ Arbitron.
Sampling vans in major markets will cover youth-oriented events and may involve bottler tie-ins with radio stations. Some vans will haul trailers with arcade-size Sega games for consumers to play. Bottlers may be involved in setting up local events, such as game competitions between consumers and radio station disc jockeys.
Packaging is a significant element to Cherry Coke's marketing. The latest design, cherries on a black-and-blue check background, has spurred sampling, according to one bottler. "When it was in its usual uniform a few years ago, it was doing okay. But dressed up in multicolor packaging, it's done better. They're good at keeping it dressed up," he said.
Sega is pursuing promotional partnerships with other marketers; a joint promotion with Howard Johnson Franchise Systems is running through summer. Strottman International handles promotions for Sega.
Copyright Adweek L.P. (1993)