Last year, Coca-Cola’s Polar Bowl became one of the most talked about campaigns of the Super Bowl. Now, it’s hoping to duplicate that success and do something its executives call “gamify the game” with the launch of a 60-second spot that depicts three teams trying to get to a giant bottle of Coke — and asks viewers to help them via social media.
On Facebook today, the beverage giant unveiled a teaser video for a spot it calls “Mirage,” a 60-second ad showing that depicts three factions –badlanders, cowboys and showgirls — racing through the desert in pursuit of a bottle of Coke. The ad, created by Wieden & Kennedy, closes with a cliffhanger, as the groups realize the bottle was simply a sign. Another sign points them “50 miles ahead.” In a twist reminiscent of the “Choose Your Own Adventure” series, consumers will sabotage competitors and choose who wins the Coke, ultimately choosing the 30-second spot that will air post game.
“Despite the big success of Polar Bowl, we were not looking to repeat the bears, necessarily,” explained Pio Schunker, senior VP-integrated marketing at Coca-Cola North America. He noted the bears would probably not be able to do much more than they did in 2012, and also did little to set up other campaigns and marketing points Coca-Cola might have for the year ahead. “We were looking to see what learnings we could take and reapply. The importance of second-screen behavior, social and digital were big themes on that front.”
“Mirage” kicks off a game of sorts that will run through Super Bowl. Prior to the ad’s TV debut, consumers will be able to share the spot and vote for the group they want to win the Coke. Sharing content unlocks more content, including 50,000 coupons for a free 20 oz. Coke. Consumers can pick their favorite team, then slow down the competitors with “sabotages” — videos that show the cowboys delayed at a stoplight or the showgirls stopping to pose for a portrait, for example. A Domino’s pizza delivery guy appears in three of the 15 sabotages, as part of a partnership with the chain. It’s the first time Coke has integrated another marketer into creative content around the Super Bowl.
“It’s Domino’s single-biggest day of the year and people pre-order for the game,” Mr. Schunker explained. “We’re really looking at how do we affect retail and volume differently for ourselves. How do we send people to the store differently, and how do we engage them differently?”
“Mirage” will air during the first quarter of the game, and consumers can vote on who should win the Coke throughout the game. A 30-second spot showing the winner snagging the Coke will air immediately following the conclusion of the game. Last year Coke also made a last-minute call on which spot would air, though in that case the spots were exactly the same with the exception of the color of the bears’ scarves, which indicated the team leading at the time.
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