Historically, Coca-Cola's advertising pedigree is rich. It effectively introduced Santa Claus to the world.But the soft drinks conglomerate has erred of late - polar bears anyone? - and this could well have been a cause for Coca-Cola Classic's dip in US sales over the last two years.
So, taking Pepsi's lead, Coke decided to go down the celebrity route in the US and hired Berlin Cameron/Red Cell to produce some new work, while retaining McCann-Erickson WorldGroup as it's official agency.But unlike Pepsi, the emphasis is not star-power, but what's 'real'. That means screening ads featuring celebrities in 'real-life' situations together with ads featuring real people in 'real-life' situations.
Hence we witness a sweet domestic scene involving Courtney Cox Arquette and her husband David, directed by David Fincher while Penelope Cruz, directed by US TV director Chris Robinson, shows that even celebs have bad habits. Meanwhile Ali, who rarely agrees to appear in advertising, is seen shadow boxing with inner-city children in Miami.
Coca-Cola executives believe the new slogan is more in tune with the mood of post-September 11 America than "Life tastes good", the line the soft drinks giant has used for the past few years. They wanted the ads to convey 'real' values - like being true to yourself, connecting with others and portraying a natural optimism.
Presumably Berlin Cameron hasn't any fears that placing celebs in lightly comic yet glossy ads won't detract from the campaign's 'real' theme. Maybe only time will tell. One thing that is sure though, is that Penelope Cruz's burp in 'Penelope' is miles away from realism: it's nothing like the real burp necking a bottle of Coke would induce.
While she fails to put proper belching on the advertising map, Marmite 'Guard', by contrast, clearly marks the spot with some same-sex kissing.
In fact, the UK ad - the latest in the long line of the 'love/hate' strand for Marmite - has the honour of being the first to feature a same-sex kiss. A lifeguard eating a Marmite sandwich on a dour British beach leaps up from his post to give a drowning swimmer the kiss of life - who then starts kissing him back. Does he do so because he loves the taste of the yeast extract condiment in his mouth, or because he's attracted to him? The implication is both. And despite it's surrealistic, broadly comic tone, the commercial's gay aspect has been enough to trigger column inches in sections of the British tabloid press and screen space on gay web sites.
The filming of Levi's Asia ad generated a frenzy of media coverage in South Africa. BBH recruited South African-born Keith Rose, signed to Velocity Films, to direct the commercial for Levi's Type 1 jeans which was shot in the Western Cape.
Although 'Chase' was created for the Asian market, starring Japanese kickboxing champion Mitsu, the national press picked up on the fact that yet another international production opted for South Africa as a location.
In a flurry of media coverage on the making of the ad, reports boasted that over 300 international ads were shot in South Africa last season generating huge amounts of revenue for its flagging economy. There was much jubilation about how cheap it is to film in the region - more of this in future issues of Campaign Screen.
And now on to Nudity, which is bound to cause a fuss across the pond where audiences may not be quite as familiar with what's become a British institution - the sports streaker.
In a wave of press coverage across the US, it was reported that audiences found it hard to believe the ad was staged. So hats off to director Mr Frank Budgen once again.
The hilarious spot for Nike's Shox NZ trainers, which premiered during the NFL Superbowl on Fox and CBS looked so authentic, that many US viewers called the Nike headquarters in distress.In a brilliant bit of strategy for Nike, sprinting across the pitch in precious little but trainers and a football scarf, the streaker illustrates the idea that the shoes have "more go". Meanwhile, the accompanying commentary only serves to make the scene more authentic.