Coca-Cola Drafts ‘The Simpsons’ for Super Bowl

Coca-Cola today launched a social media campaign on Facebook that teases its upcoming Super Bowl commercials while raising funds for the Boys & Girls Clubs of America.

Through Coke’s Facebook fan page, members can send friends virtual gifts of Coke — a bottle image that appears on their profile pages and newsfeeds. In return, senders get 20-second previews of the new commercials the beverage giant plans to air during the Super Bowl. Coke donates $1 to the Boys & Girls Clubs for each gift sent. At noon on game day, Feb. 7, gift-givers will receive both full ads before they are revealed to the general public on the CBS broadcast that night.

“By using our Super Bowl ads to invite people to join us in supporting Boys & Girls Clubs, we’re going beyond simply airing great commercials on a terrific live television event,” said Katie Bayne, CMO of Coca-Cola North America. “We’re reminding people that whenever they enjoy a Coca-Cola, they play a role in helping us make a difference in the lives of others. By opening a Coke they create a happiness multiplier.”

The two new commercials are part of the year-old global “Open happiness” campaign from independent Wieden + Kennedy, Portland, Ore.

In one commercial starring characters from The Simpsons, Mr. Burns has lost his millions and only looks at the bright side of life after convenience store clerk Apu gives him a Coke. In the other spot, a sleepwalker leaves his tent to trek through the African savannah, bypassing a cheetah, a herd of elephants and other dangerous wildlife, to get to a Coke inside a cabin fridge.

The spots are in the “feel-good” tradition of classic Coke commercials like 1971’s “Hilltop” (with “I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing”), 1993’s Polar Bears introduction (“Northern Lights”) and 1980’s “Mean Joe Greene,” said Pio Schunker, client svp of creative excellence. “Coke at its best is a small moment of physical uplift that makes you feel good,” said Schunker. “Coke brings joy.