ATLANTA: The Coca-Cola Co. has unveiled a new energy soda, Vault. The company is supporting an advertising push for the drink and its zero-calorie sibling, Vault Zero, with PR stunts and tasting tours.
Coke's in-house staff is working with PR firm Fast Horse and with sampling agency CPC, both based in Minneapolis.
The first such event, called MotoBowling, took place at the Daytona International Speedway the Friday before the Daytona 500. It involved two Inter-national CXT hybrid trucks, two oversized bowling lanes, and ten 9-foot high Vault-branded bowling pins. Coke has been using the trucks at sampling events across the US. NASCAR drivers Michael Waltrip and Greg Biffle drove the trucks into the pins.
"It put us in front of the drink's target audience, blue- and white-collar guys with a guy's guy mentality," said Scott Williamson, director of public affairs and communications at Coca-Cola North America.
He said Coke's motor sports relationships saved the company "hundreds of thousands of dollars on infrastructure that would be used for a limited time."
Coke pre-promoted the event and had media crews and satellite trucks at the site.
Williamson said Coke was able to schedule live or live-to-tape shots for ESPN's Cold Pizza and ESPN News. Clips even made SportsCenter as part of its teaser and "Fact or Fiction" segment.
Future PR events include expanding the current sampling tour to colleges, major sporting/extreme sports events, and entertainment and concert venues.
Williamson said Coke is currently looking at other publicity-focused events, "but nothing to speak of yet." He said a new series of events would likely kick off in the next six months.