Carbonated Soft Drinks / Beverage News

Coke Zero counts down to football game day

The Coca-Cola Co. brand enters year two of partnership with ESPN’s “College Gameday”

August 26, 2014

This football season, Atlanta-based The Coca-Cola Co.’s Coke Zero brand is celebrating the countdown to each week’s game day with a new, fully integrated campaign. The campaign celebrates the countdown culture of stocking up for tailgate party foods, singing fight songs at pep rallies, and making signs to cheer on a favorite team while integrating traditional media, social media engagement and ESPN’s “College GameDay” TV show for a second year.

The campaign also includes a tour of college campuses for “College GameDay” visits. During these visits, Coke Zero will host Section Zero, which treats 50 fans to premium seating and an up-close look at the action. Section Zero also will be integrated into the weekly telecast, reaching fans who tune in to the show nationwide. Students can earn access to Section Zero by participating in the on-campus Cornhole Challenge, which is sponsored by The Home Depot, Coke Zero and Coca-Cola.

“Coke Zero provides season-long uplift for fans as they spend each week preparing for and counting down to zero,” said Andrew McMillin, vice president of Coca-Cola brands in North America, in a statement. “While there’s no question game day is the mountaintop, this campaign is really intended to celebrate the journey. Through a strong, integrated program highlighted by our ‘College GameDay’ visibility, Coke Zero is encouraging fans to enjoy every moment of the season.”

The many ways fans and their favorite teams count down to zero each week is the inspiration for Coke Zero’s new “Zero Means It’s Game Day” ad campaign, directed by Matt Aselton. Five 15-second spots, each focusing on a specific weekday, illustrate how intensity builds as game day draws closer. A 30-second version, which features the full countdown, will make its national debut during the first week of the season. The campaign will appear both online and on NBC, CBS and across ESPN networks during college football games.

“Wherever fans are engaged with a sport or activity they love, we want to be there to support their passions through our brands,” said Sharon Byers, senior vice president of sports, entertainment and community marketing at Coca-Cola North America, in a statement. “College football, with its gregarious fan base, provides ample opportunity for Coke Zero to match excitement to rich experiences in the lead up to — and on — game day.”

All season, Coke Zero will engage fans through social media with shareable content and real-time dialogue around the hashtag #CountdownToZero. During the run up to the first “College GameDay” telecast, Coke Zero’s Twitter, Facebook and Instagram feeds will feature a mascot representing sports broadcaster and football analyst Lee Corso using visuals and videos to tell the story of his cross-country countdown to zero. A website will aggregate all Coke Zero countdown content and social conversations where people can watch the TV spots and online-only, behind-the-scenes videos with ESPN talent as well as win a VIP experience at College GameDay or win other instant prizes.

At retail, football graphics will appear across all Coke Zero and Coca-Cola packaging.

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