Dear Oscar, Got Glitter? Yours, Diet Coke

Hitching its wagon to Hollywood stars, Coca-Cola will launch three of four new Diet Coke commercials during the Academy Awards on Sunday that show how people feel about the product and carry a new slogan, "Yours, Diet Coke."

The new ads depict scenarios that reinforce how Diet Coke is there for people who love the brand, the company said in a news release yesterday. Set to the Irving Berlin tune "What'll I Do," "Empty" shows the range of emotions people feel when they realize they are out of Diet Coke.

In "Backlot," a temperamental actress won't leave her trailer to play the big scene without her favorite soft drink. And in "Frames," a woman searching for a Diet Coke takes a unique journey as she wanders through a series of photographs of special moments from her life that are arranged on her mantel.

Katie Bayne, senior vice president, Coca-Cola Brands, Coca-Cola North America, says via the release: "Diet Coke has always been a brand that epitomizes adult style. The Academy Awards are the height of stylish sophistication, so the Oscars telecast is the perfect place to debut the new campaign."

But not everyone is blinded by the paparazzi. Gerry Khermouch, executive editor of Beverage Marketer's Insights, says of the effort: "Since every consumer well knows the product 'benefit,' Coke is clearly trying just to romance the brand a little, giving it a greater edge of sophistication at a time that some consumers may be moving away from the humdrum brands in their lives."

The new ads are part of an integrated marketing campaign for Diet Coke. The company is offering movie fans the chance to "Walk the Red Carpet" next year through a My Coke Rewards sweepstakes. Winners will receive seating in the Red Carpet bleacher seats outside the Kodak Theater and enjoy an exclusive Red Carpet tour sometime prior to the Oscars telecast in 2008.

The marketing campaign also features digital and print presence as well as regional retail activation. Ads are running in publications such as People, Entertainment Weekly, Vanity Fair, and Gourmet. The March issue of Premiere features a tear-out Oscars "ballot" and viewing guide to follow the broadcast. According to Nielsen Monitor-Plus, Coca-Cola spent $88 million on Diet Coke advertising from January to November 2006.

A new ad for My Coke Rewards will run during "Road to the Oscars," which airs immediately prior to the Academy Awards on ABC. The spot shows a husband surprising his wife for their anniversary with ... a Coke bottle cap? The wife is a bit skeptical until she realizes the cap could win her plane tickets to Hawaii. Entitled "Howard Finklestein," the ad is one of several in a new campaign for My Coke Rewards that use a fun tone to remind people that with My Coke Rewards "every cap is something."

Both the "Yours, Diet Coke" campaign and the My Coke Rewards advertising were created by agency Wieden+Kennedy of Portland, Ore.