Coca-Cola ads invite folks to “Connect with the World Over a Coke”


With less than one month until the Opening Ceremony for the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, Coca-Cola is unveiling new advertising that celebrates how the Olympic Games and Coca-Cola bring people together like nothing else.

The three new ads — the first of which will begin airing this week — are part of the global ‘Coke Side of Life’ campaign, which reflects life’s uplifting, positive moments. The commercials are supplemented by two Coca-Cola Olympic-themed vignettes that began running exclusively on NBC in June.

The first new Coca-Cola ad features Olympians Yao Ming and LeBron James engaging in a friendly, animated “face-off” – backed by two troupes of choreographed icons representing their respective cultures. The spot celebrates the athletes’ competitive spirit and cultural diversity, while showcasing Coca-Cola as a unifying force and universal icon that belongs to everyone. As the ad concludes, both players display bottles of Coca-Cola – Yao’s featuring the Coca-Cola logo in Mandarin and James’ bottle with English script. As the players exchange their “national bottles” of Coca-Cola, their animated images transform into the real Yao and James, who toast each other and ‘Unity on the Coke Side of Life.’

Another ad, which celebrates the 80-year partnership between Coca-Cola and the Olympic Games, features emotional, historical footage of Olympic and Special Olympic athletes receiving their medals backed by the voiceover, “If you’ve had a Coke in the last 80 years, you’ve had a hand in making every Olympic dream come true.” Legendary athletes in the ad entitled “Ceremony” include U.S. track & field Olympian Carl Lewis, Romanian gymnast Nadia Comaneci, French alpine skier Jean-Claude Killy and U.S. sprinter Wyomia Tyus.

The final spot, “Bird’s Nest,” features animated birds in the colors of the Olympic Rings as they fly across the world collecting drinking straws from various bottles and glasses of Coke. The five colorful birds construct a miniature replica of the iconic Beijing Olympic Stadium from the straws and then watch the Opening Ceremony from their new home. This spot will debut during the Opening Ceremony for the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games.

Two special NBC vignettes — which began airing in June — promote Coca-Cola’s collectible Olympic-themed cans bearing the iconic Coca-Cola logo in different languages, including Ethiopian, Russian, Thai, Mandarin and English. In the spots, members of the Coca-Cola “Six Pack” of Olympic athletes who are featured on Coca-Cola Olympic packaging discuss the uplifting experience of the Olympic Games. The “Six Pack” includes Natalie Coughlin (swimming), Shawn Johnson (gymnastics), LeBron James (basketball), Steven Lopez (taekwondo), Andy Potts (triathlon) and Sanya Richards (track & field).

Created by Wieden & Kennedy of Amsterdam, the ad entitled “Yao and LeBron – Unity” will debut this week. “Ceremony,” developed by Leo Burnett of Chicago, will air later in July and “Bird’s Nest,” also created by Wieden & Kennedy, will launch during the Opening Ceremony for the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games on August 8.