'Zero' is Big Win for AKQA

  |  March 24, 2005   |  Comments

Coca-Cola has chosen an interactive agency for the high-stakes launch of its new zero-calorie soda.

Interactive agency AKQA has won online advertising and Web development duties for Coca-Cola Zero, the new male-focused zero-calorie beverage Coca-Cola will launch in June.

Coca-Cola's choice came after a simultaneous online/offline review, which consisted of two rounds of competition. On the offline side, Crispin Porter + Bogusky won print and television duties. The company didn't reveal which other agencies were in contention, but those involved said Coca-Cola cast a wide net as it looked at various possibilities. Spending for the account wasn't disclosed, but an AKQA exec characterized it as "sizeable".

Coca-Cola Zero is the company's high-stakes entry into what's thought to be a burgeoning category -- the diet soda for young men. While beverages like Diet Coke skew older and more female, industry-watchers believe younger people, and men especially, would prefer a zero-calorie soda of their own. Competitor Pepsi's entry into the space is Pepsi One, a reformulated version of which will hit stores around the same time as Coca-Cola Zero. Because of the particular demographic group involved, it appears a significant part of the marketing war between these two products will take place online.

"Our work has had a strong appeal for a younger male audience," said Tom Bedecarré, CEO of AKQA, citing the agency's work for Microsoft's Xbox, Halo 2 and Nike. "I think there was a sense that AKQA was an agency that really understood how to create an immersive brand experience online."

The Coca-Cola Zero account is the first big win for AKQA's New York office, which the agency has recently staffed with high-profile creative talents Lars Bastholm and Rei Inamoto. The agency expects to add around 10 new employees in the office to service the account.

"We just opened our new office on Spring Street in SoHo, and Lars and Rei are real magnets in terms of talent, so we're pretty confident we're not going to have any problem filling our positions," said Bedecarré.

Coca-Cola is aiming for an innovative approach to reach a young audience, so every conceivable medium -- video, rich media, SMS -- is on the table, Bedecarré said. AKQA has held preliminary meetings with CP+B, but they haven't yet come up with specific plans.

"They really want to push the envelope on creative, so we have very high expectations of the work that's going to come out of this. They see it as a really big opportunity for the brand," he said.

Already Coca-Cola has worked with auction agency Kompolt and eBay to set up a charity auction for a preview "sample pack" of Coca-Cola Zero. Bidding begins March 29 and will continue through early April.

ClickZ Live Toronto Twitter Canada MD Kirstine Stewart to Keynote Toronto
ClickZ Live Toronto (May 14-16) is a new event addressing the rapidly changing landscape that digital marketers face. The agenda focuses on customer engagement and attaining maximum ROI through online marketing efforts across paid, owned & earned media. Register now and save!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Pamela Parker

Pamela Parker is a former managing editor of ClickZ News, Features, and Experts. She's been covering interactive advertising and marketing since the boom days of 1999, chronicling the dot-com crash and the subsequent rise of the medium. Before working at ClickZ, Parker was associate editor at @NY, a pioneering Web site and e-mail newsletter covering New York new media start-ups. Parker received a master's degree in journalism, with a concentration in new media, from Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism.

COMMENTSCommenting policy

comments powered by Disqus

ClickZ Today is our #1 newsletter.
Get a daily dose of digital marketing.

COMMENTS

UPCOMING EVENTS

Featured White Papers

ion Interactive Marketing Apps for Landing Pages White Paper

Marketing Apps for Landing Pages White Paper
Marketing apps can elevate a formulaic landing page into a highly interactive user experience. Learn how to turn your static content into exciting marketing apps.

eMarketer: Redefining Mobile-Only Users: Millions Selectively Avoid the Desktop

Redefining 'Mobile-Only' Users: Millions Selectively Avoid the Desktop
A new breed of selective mobile-only consumers has emerged. What are the demos of these users and how and where can marketers reach them?

Jobs

    • Contact Center Professional
      Contact Center Professional (TCC: The Contact Center) - Hunt ValleyLooking to join a workforce that prides themselves on being routine and keeping...
    • Recruitment and Team Building Ambassador
      Recruitment and Team Building Ambassador (Agora Inc.) - BaltimoreAgora, www.agora-inc.com, continues to expand! In order to meet the needs of our...
    • Design and Publishing Specialist
      Design and Publishing Specialist (Bonner and Partners) - BaltimoreIf you’re a hungry self-starter, creative, organized and have an extreme...