Coke Zero gets a cameo in 'Solace'

James Bond is known for liking his martinis. But now 007 also likes Coke.

The Coca-Cola Co. has inked a deal with Sony Pictures to roll out a worldwide promotion tied to “Quantum of Solace,” the 22nd installment of the Bond series set to unspool Nov. 14 in the U.S. and in the U.K. on Oct. 31.

It’s the first time that Coke has promoted a Bond film, and the Bond deal marks the first major movie tie-in for the soft drink giant since the first “Harry Potter” pic in 2001.

“Quantum of Solace” will be backed by several promotional partners — Ford Motor Co., Heineken, Bollinger, Smirnoff, Omega, Virgin Atlantic, Sony Ericsson and Sony Electronics — that have pushed the British spy’s outings in the past and will pony up nearly $100 million in marketing support to push the pic around the world.

Coca-Cola will spend tens of millions of dollars on its own around the pic to hype its Coke Zero product, launching the biggest campaign for the brand since its introduction three years ago.

While the beverage will appear in scenes in the film, Daniel Craig, who returns in his second outing as Bond, will not be seen downing a can or bottle of Coke Zero in “Quantum of Solace.” However, the actor’s silhouette as the character will be used in ads set to bow later this month.

Coke plans to promote the film and beverage in 40 countries with traditional print, in-store, online and mobile ads, as well as 30- and 60-second animated spots to air on TV and in theaters.

Product will even be redesigned in 20 countries with Coke Zero rebranded as “Zero Zero 7.”

An exclusive partnership with Activision will also offer consumers an opportunity to download a free demo of the upcoming vidgame from the Coke Zero website, in an effort to offer original content.

When Coke Zero launched in 2005, it was the soft drink giant’s biggest product launch in 25 years, since the introduction of Diet Coke. In 2006, the company spent $75 million to promote Coke Zero.

With its black packaging, Coke Zero appeals more to younger males who want a zero-calorie (and sugar-free in some markets) drink but steer away from Diet Coke, which has a more female consumer base.

Bond appealed to Coke because the tagline for Coke Zero is “the impossible made possible.”

“That’s what Bond does every day,” said Chip York, Coke’s director of worldwide sports and entertainment marketing. “It’s very rare that an opportunity comes along like this that has mass appeal and global iconic status.”

Coke Zero was considered too young of a brand to tie in with the last Bond pic, “Casino Royale,” in 2006.

“We still had to build awareness around the brand,” York said.

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