Client: Coca-Cola (Atlanta)
PR Team: Ogilvy (New York)
Campaign: Coca-Cola's donation to Library of Congress
Time Frame: October - November 2000
Budget: dollars 350,000
With only one month to plan, prepare and perform, Ogilvy PR probably
slugged down more than a few late-night Cokes in its quest to publicize
Coca-Cola's gift to the Library of Congress - a collection of more than
20,000 TV commercials dating back to the 1950's.
Not only is Coke's gift the largest donation of corporate advertising in
the library's 200-year history, but the timing of it dovetailed nicely
with the 50th anniversary of the company's television advertising
Ogilvy's objectives were to show Coca-Cola as an enduring part of
people's lives - a brand associated with fun times and entertainment -
and to position the donated ads as cultural snapshots of the times in
which they were created.
Seeking publicity for the brand beyond the US, the agency targeted
national and international print and broadcast media, online media and
advertising trade publications.
The campaign culminated in a November 29 event held at the Library of
Congress, during which Coke CEO Doug Daft officially presented the gift
to librarian James Billington. Ogilvy created retrospective reels and
kiosks for the event, and local choirs performed a medley of some of
Coke's most popular jingles.
Before, during and after the event, spokespeople were made available for
one-on-one media interviews. They included former football player Joe
Greene of Coke's 'Mean Joe Greene' commercial, Coca-Cola executives and
Library of Congress staff.
To help local television markets cover the event, the agency created a
b-roll package containing commercial highlights, footage of Coke's
warehouse facility, film being edited, the official gift-giving and the
chorus' performance of the Coke jingles.
Ogilvy also used nontraditional media and communications tools - such as
live Webcasts featuring streaming video of the Library of Congress event
- to show Coca-Cola as a contemporary brand. The agency created an
online pressroom on Coke's existing Web site to keep media
In addition to the Webcasts, the special site featured press releases,
video clips, contacts and a commercial timeline.
Phil Mooney, Coke company archivist, and Pat Loughney, head of the
motion picture, broadcasting and recorded sound division of the Library
of Congress, conducted a satellite media tour for local and national
morning shows. This generated a story the day after the event.
The campaign generated more than 100 million media impressions,
including coverage by CBS News, Access Hollywood, BBC, CNN, USA Today,
The Wall Street Journal, AP, Reuters and Dow Jones News Service.
A highlight was when the Today show's Katie Couric proclaimed that the
Mean Joe Greene commercial still makes her 'smile after all these
Another boost occured when Stuart Elliott of The New York Times wrote:
'The donation is indicative of the increasing attention being paid to
the heritage of advertising and marketing, as those businesses become
more a part of American, and global, corporate and popular culture.'
Ogilvy saw this as affirmation that it had achieved its goal of showing
the commercials as cultural snap-shots. Linton Weeks of The Washington
Post supplied further proof, calling the Mean Joe Green commercial a
'moment in American history.'
Ogilvy will continue to work with Minute Maid, a Coca-Cola brand. And
Barbara Cohen, SVP at Ogilvy, says the firm hopes to be involved in
other special projects for the beverage giant in the future.]