Coca-Cola's month- old "Life Tastes Good" campaign is garnering kudos from the company's influential bottlers.
A select group of bottlers nationwide, contacted last week by Adweek, said that while the new work isn't as lively as they would like, it's a step in the right direction.
"I expected a lot more [initially]," one Midwestern distributor said. "But the more I see them, the more effective I think they are."
Four Coke Classic spots, by McCann-Erickson and its Amster Yard subsidiary, both in New York, are airing now in the U.S. after breaking April 22. One shows teenagers catching the commuter train after a rock concert; another shows a little girl watching a relative prepare for her wedding. A third features rock star Jakob Dylan of The Wallflowers relaxing backstage, and a fourth shows a group of teens surfing.
"Coca-Cola advertising is now on the right track," said a Southern bottler, who thinks "Wedding" is the best spot so far. "They're getting back to family, food and wholesomeness.
"There's not a home run like 'Mean Joe Greene,' " he added, referring to the Atlanta-based company's famous 1980s spot with the ex-football player. "But the present direction is going to eventually produce a home run."
One Western bottler estimated that his volume is up 3 percent from the same time last year, which he attributes to the new campaign. "We're starting to see some pretty good increases in the number of cases moving out of the plant," he said. "I like [the spots].
"They're not as overbearing as some of our advertising in the past," he continued, alluding to last year's "Enjoy" campaign from Cliff Freeman and Partners in New York, which focused on the absence of Coke. That campaign was short-lived.
All the bottlers interviewed applauded the product's prominence in the new ads and expressed satisfaction that people were shown drinking Coke.
Most bottlers hailed the wedding, train and surfer spots, but thought the Jakob Dylan ad fell flat because it seemed to lack a story line.