Sprite has launched a new campaign dubbed ‘Uncontainable Game’ in a very Nikeish style, encouraging young consumers to share their dedication to sport. The new marketing effort, which was launched last night during NBA All-Star weekend in the USA, stars legendary basketball players Kobe Bryant and LeBron James along with Andrea Bargnani of Italy, Al Horford of the Dominican Republic, Omri Casspi of Israel and Serge Ibaka of the Republic of Congo, and is considered the largest global campaign Sprite has ever executed since this effort is to be launched across 27 countries. Ad Age reports that “Sprite plans to carry the program into at least 2014.”
This is not a mere advertising push—the basketball stars are calling undiscovered talents to submit their best moves on the court, which will be then judged by experts. The shortlisted entrants will form two teams (Bryant will be the coach of ‘Team Intense’ and James will train ‘Team Sudden’) with 12 amateur ballers in each, which will be competing in the ‘Uncontainable Game’ at NBA All-Star 2013. «When we look at basketball as a global sport, it’s the second biggest, after soccer. Basketball, as a form of self-expression, is a way to get teens around the world to express their passion and moves,» said Sara Schmid, group director-global marketing integration at The Coca-Cola Company.
The new marketing campaign, developed by Bartle Bogle Hegarty New York, will be rolling across the globe—it will be adapted to the local markets and include new elements to resonate with Sprite fans in each of the countries (for instance, in China the campaign will also feature native musical artists). «The best global campaigns we’re able to launch from the center. That happens when we have a property or set point in time that we can activate against. The NBA All-Star Game and the kickoff this weekend give us the platform and property with basketball to create some unified tools and one story,» commented Michael Mathews, Coca-Cola’s VP-noncola sparkling beverages.
This effort replaces the successful marketing campaign ‘The Spark,’ which helped the brand boost in the first months after the new initiative’s launch. The sparkling lemon-lime drink’s sales volume fell 3% in 2008 and 4% in 2009, but it recovered in 2010 (the volume rose 2%) and added 5% in the first nine months of 2011, and continues to grow globally (it’s a much-loved brand in India and the China mainland’s No. 1 soft drink). As part of ‘The Spark’ initiative, the brand also demonstrated its dedication to basketball by repairing US outdoor courts, nominated by public. “We have seen a new trajectory for Sprite in the past couple of years. And we think we can expect more out of the brand. Our brand-health scores are up,” said Schmid.