Coke Plans International Expansion For Glaceau

Energy-drink marketer Glaceau plans to bolster its ad efforts -- but the initiative is apparently unrelated to its acquisition by Coca-Cola last month. However, Coke does have plans for the brand's international expansion.

Coke's President-COO Muhtar Kent said Tuesday that Glaceau was looking at "ramping up advertising" before Coke's $4.1 billion purchase and that has "not changed in any way or form," despite Coke's long-standing expertise in the area.

One example: A campaign with national reach starring actress Jennifer Aniston for SmartWater.

Glaceau, known also for its VitaminWater, has focused on "mainly very localized marketing up to now," Kent said. Glaceau has a roster of sports superstars who serve as endorsers. It's used billboards in the New York market, as well as some viral marketing tactics, but Kent suggested wider-reaching efforts like the Aniston push are on tap.

Coke is keeping Glaceau's management team in place and, while it will work with that team collaboratively, it indicated it would give it considerable autonomy. Evidence of Coke's faith is its shifting marketing management of Powerade to Glaceau (which also goes by Energy Brands) weeks after the acquisition.



Kent made his comments on a conference call to announce Coke's second-quarter results. Also on the call, CEO Neville Isdell said international expansion for Glaceau is coming.

So are efforts to spread the brand further in North America. Isdell said "significant returns on our Glaceau investment" should be expected.

Isdell indicated the Glaceau acquisition is proof of Coke's commitment to continue growing domestically, where it has struggled even as international results have been strong, and propel the company at-large.

In the second quarter, net revenues dropped 9%, to $1.9 billion, in North America. The period included launching a new more-traditional design on Classic Coke's cans. Pepsi recently has unveiled a more futuristic look.

Executives continued to express support for its "Coke Side of Life" campaign that Isdell has called "a global hit." It was the subject of multiple Super Bowl spots and just won awards at the recent Cannes ad festival.

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