Coke relaunches energy drink with hip-hop flair

ATLANTA: Coca-Cola relaunched its Full Throttle Fury energy drink September 30 with a new campaign and spokesman, hip-hop artist Big Boi. The effort focuses on in-person events with Big Boi, one half of hip-hop duo OutKast, and music in general, to reach its target audience of African-American males.

ATLANTA: Coca-Cola relaunched its Full Throttle Fury energy drink September 30 with a new campaign and spokesman, hip-hop artist Big Boi. The effort focuses on in-person events with Big Boi, one half of hip-hop duo OutKast, and music in general, to reach its target audience of African-American males.

“Working with Big Boi is an exciting celebrity music partnership, which plays to a key passion of our consumer target of African-American males,” said Lori George Billingsley, director of community and multicultural communications for Coca-Cola North America. “The orange flavor is one that resonates... specifically [with] African-American males.”

The Full Throttle line launched in 2004, and the orange-flavored Fury debuted in 2006. The re-launch, which includes orange packaging instead of its original red, is about “clearly communicating the brand's packaging, flavor, and properties,” Billingsley said.

“Our tagline around Full Throttle is ‘Go Full Throttle or Go Home,'” she added. “Big Boi has been a key player in the whole evolution of hip-hop, and he truly embodies the Full Throttle mindset.” The partnership extends through August 2009.

The campaign will include meet-and-greet events with Big Boi around the release of his upcoming album, “Sir Luscious Leftfoot: Son of Chico Dusty,” as well as his upcoming tour. Additionally, the energy drink will be featured at album release and listening parties in Atlanta, New York, and Los Angeles.

Media relations efforts will target African-American, entertainment, and online outlets, complemented by local media outreach around the events with Big Boi. He will also promote Full Throttle Fury during interviews about his album and tour. The campaign includes point-of-sale items featuring Big Boi, and a tie-in with the BET Hip Hop Awards, taking place in Atlanta on October 23.

Coca-Cola is currently handling all PR work in-house, but might consider hiring an external firm to help with its future activities, Billingsley said.

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