Coca-Cola and Pepsi battle it out with rival coffee drink launches

LONDON - Coca-Cola and Pepsi are going head to head with the launch of coffee-flavoured fizzy drinks next year, with the latter's Cino brand expected to be an early frontrunner in the UK with a million-sample giveaway backed by TV advertising.

While Pepsi is set to hand out the samples at rail stations and shopping centres in the UK from January. Coca-Cola is holding off a UK launch, instead preferring to trial its Coca Cola Blak brand in France in the same month.

A statement from Coca-Cola, however, does say that launches in other countries are set for later in 2006, but only mentions the US specifically.

Marc Mathieu, vice-president of global core brands at Coca-Cola, said: "This brand is ideal for any part of the day when people are looking for renewed energy or simply to take a break."

He added that launches will be supported by television, print, outdoor advertising, as well as point-of-sale activity.

It is understood that Pepsi's Cino will be available in 500ml and two-litre bottles, as well as six-by-330ml multipacks. The sample giveaway will involve a Pepsi Max Cino cafe bar, which will be set up at train stations and shopping centres.

This latest brand extension for Coca-Cola comes as it seeks to increase flagging sales with a new global advertising push in 2006.

This will have feature the slogan "Welcome to the Coke side of life" and has been developed by Wieden & Kennedy to replace the current "real" campaign. It is understood that it will have a 70s feel.

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