Simon Mowbray
Coca-Cola is embarking on what it claims is "one of the most exciting promotions" it has ever run, by signing up to a multi-million pack deal with the latest Harry Potter movie.
The first batch of more than 20 million special packs of two-litre bottles will start rolling out to stores before the latest film charting the boy wizard's adventures, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, hits screens next month.
It will mean the soft drinks giant will be vying for attention on shelf with confectionery stalwart Masterfoods, which holds the long-term licence to the Harry Potter films. It already produces a range of sweets based on fictional treats from author JK Rowling's books.
However, Coca-Cola said its promotion would be the only one to show real images from the film. The promotion will offer shoppers the chance to win a range of prizes and will be supported by a two-week run of national TV ads starting next Friday, as well as instore displays.
Consumers find out if they have won by looking through Quidditch goalposts on labels once bottles have been drunk. Messages such as Catch the Golden Snitch' and Score with a Quaffle' indicate prizes ranging from film tickets to new Xbox gaming consoles complete with Harry Potter games.
Norman Brodie, marketing director for Coca-Cola Enterprises, said: "This is one of the most exciting promotions we have every run.
"We have invested heavily in the marketing behind this promotion with a great ad campaign and impactful point of sale material, and we are certain that it will be a huge success."
A senior drinks buyer at one of the multiples told The Grocer: "I would expect this promotion to do very well.
"I think Harry Potter will fare better as a big merchandising tool this time round."