Coke brings new coffee beverage to the 'chic' masses

ATLANTA, GA: Executives from Coca-Cola Co. and Italian coffee company IllyCaffè SpA sipped samples of their new ready-to-drink coffee beverage alongside consumers last week, as part of the consumer lifestyle push for the product.

ATLANTA, GA: Executives from Coca-Cola Co. and Italian coffee company IllyCaffè SpA sipped samples of their new ready-to-drink coffee beverage alongside consumers last week, as part of the consumer lifestyle push for the product.

The Illy Issimo drink was on hand while Coke chairman and CEO Muhtar Kent and Andrea Illy, chairman and CEO of Italian coffee company, mingled with readers waiting on line for a signing of the book How the Other Half Hamptons at the Rizzoli bookstore in New York City.

Kent and Illy's appearance is an extension of the companies' “Moments in Line” strategy to reach young, urban influencers, while they literally wait in line at high-end venues, such as like clubs, chic bakeries, heliports, and restaurants.

Strategic Group is supporting these grassroots efforts, in the launch markets of New York and Los Angeles. The product is also available in San Francisco and 15 countries worldwide.

“We sample the product, talk to them, get their feedback, and that all gets factored in [to the marketing strategy],” said Ray Crockett, director of communications for Coca-Cola North America.

Digital strategy is interwoven with this unique “online” strategy. The brand Web site features consumer fashions at these venues, such as Hamptons-bound consumers waiting for the Jitney at Grand Central Station.

Also, the agency is tasked with reaching out to “opinion leaders,” such celebrities, journalists, and students at in-market schools like UCLA and Columbia University.

Celebrity outreach has included a minimal-branded rooftop party co-hosted by actress Katie Holmes during the Tribeca Film Festival in New York, where martinis were served infused with Illy Issimo.

Overall outreach is driven “by getting [the product] to the right people in terms of driving WOM and the approach of the brand,” said Petro Kacur, senior manager of marketing communications at Coke.

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