campaignlive.co.uk, Tuesday, 20 February 2001 12:00AM
AOL Time Warner's Warner Bros studio has named Coca-Cola as its promotional partner for the forthcoming Harry Potter film in a deal said to be worth $150m.
Coke will pay for a global marketing thrust - said to be one of its biggest ever - which will include a literacy campaign as well as the advertising for the film, which will open in November.
Analysts say the partnership comes as a surprise, as such deals have traditionally involved fast-food chains giving away products. They think it is evidence of Warner Bros' need to market the film sensitively in accordance with JK Rowling, the author of the Harry Potter books.
Coke's division president for Great Britain and Ireland Tom Long said: "The key to our plan is about relationships, local communities, connecting with people one-to-one and looking at the things we traditionally do in a whole new way."
He refused to be drawn further on the plans.
The deal comes at a time when both companies are under pressure to perform. Coca-Cola sales are down, whilst Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone is Warner Bros' best vehicle for creating a blockbuster for some months.
This article was first published on campaignlive.co.uk