2 Formulas Bring End to ‘Coke Is It’ Campaign

From a Times Staff Writer

Just when it seemed that the advertising war between Coca-Cola and Pepsi was abating, television may get another advertising windfall as Coke drops its 3-year-old “Coke Is It” advertising theme and presents a new slogan.

The new campaign, designed to promote both New Coke and Coca-Cola Classic, is intended to run for several months until the soft-drink company has time to regroup and work out a strategy to fit its long-term marketing plans, according to Advertising Age.

The magazine said that longtime Coke spokesman Bill Cosby will have little or no role in the commercials because the comedian was used so heavily and convincingly to introduce New Coke.


Coca-Cola officials in Atlanta could not be reached for comment. Officials of Coca-Cola Bottling Co. in Los Angeles declined to comment.

Since Coca-Cola astounded experts and consumers alike this spring--first by reformulating its 99-year-old flagship cola, then by resurrecting the original taste two months later as Coca-Cola Classic--Coke has been spending heavily to promote its flagship cola.

Coca-Cola’s television advertising budget for the New Coke increased 129% from last year’s budget for the old Coke--$34.6 million for the first half of 1985, compared to $15.1 million in the first six months of 1984, according to the Television Bureau of Advertising, a New York-based trade group.

By contrast, Pepsi, the No. 2 domestic soft-drink maker, increased spending for its flagship brand only 17% to $22.4 million during the same period.