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Coke pops in on "Friends'

Published Jan. 11, 1996|Updated Sep. 15, 2005

For years, advertisers have been cashing in on big-name celebrities promoting their products.

But Coca-Cola Co. has upped the ante. Why use one celeb when you can use an entire cast?

That's the thinking behind Coca-Cola's promotional gig with the popular television show Friends. And it makes even more sense when it's not just any celebrity, or any cast, but one that your target market already enjoys.

A majority of Diet Coke drinkers also watch Friends, said Frank P. Bifulco Jr., vice president of marketing for Coca-Cola USA.

"Linking Diet Coke with the audience and personality of this extraordinary popular series will continue to build on Diet Coke's leadership in the low-calorie soft drink market," said Bifulco.

The promotion is called "Who's Gonna Drink the Diet Coke?" It works like this. Consumers collect caps and game pieces from specially marked packages of Diet Coke, available throughout January, and tune in to Friends at 8 p.m. Thursdays.

During the shows tonight and Jan. 18 and 25, a Diet Coke commercial will feature the six Friends characters being questioned by police, who want to know which one drank the Diet Coke.

Consumers who find the name of that week's Diet Coke drinker under lids or game pieces can win T-shirts, baseball caps and free Diet Coke.

On a Jan. 28 special hourlong broadcast of Friends, after the Super Bowl on NBC, the winning prize will be an all-expense paid trip to Los Angeles for a filming of a Friends episode. A total of 100 trips will be awarded.

The promotion is supported by television and radio commercials as well as print advertising in Entertainment Weekly, People, TV Guide and Rolling Stone.

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