After The Edge, Coke Shops Jockey for Position

Roster Shops Pitch New Ideas for Flagship Coke Classic
NEW YORK–Several Coca-Cola shops were in Atlanta last week pitching new ideas as the soft drink maker looks for the next wave of Coke Classic ads, sources said. The move follows the recent dissolution of The Edge Creative, which produced the bulk of the current “Enjoy” campaign.
Teams from Leo Burnett, McCann-Erickson, D’Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles and Cliff Freeman and Partners were invited to present new work to advance or replace “Enjoy.”
Chief marketing officer Stephen Jones is said to be dissatisfied with the “Enjoy” campaign and has asked shops to present ideas for new work to break in July. At least one shop pitched a new tagline, sources said.
Other roster shops include Doner, Publicis, Bartle Bogle Hegarty and Wieden + Kennedy, Portland, Ore., which is working on Olympics 2000 ads for Coke Classic, sources confirmed. It is unclear whether those shops are involved in the current process.
This year, Coke has announced plans to cut 5,200 jobs and watched its stock price drop to the mid-40s. So roster shops have been on alert for possible changes in the estimated $115 million U.S. account.
Some think Coke may consolidate its roster. Others said duties may simply shift among the shops. “I’m not sure they know what they’re looking for yet,” said one source.
The “Enjoy” campaign uses visual images to convey the refreshing experience of drinking Coke. One spot shows a parrot imitating the sound of a bottle cap popping. Another shows a rock concert audience whose bopping heads dissolve into the carbonated bubbles of the soft drink. Officials at each agency declined comment. Client officials did not return calls. –with Aaron Baar