July 14 - Coca-Cola is set to launch an Olympic advertising campaign in 150 countries ahead of the opening of the Games in Beijing next month, claiming that they have received a much more positive reaction than they expected.
Coke's television campaign, themed 'Live Olympic on the Coke Side of Life', highlights the Games' host country, while a packaging promotion brings aspects of Chinese culture to 150 countries.
Coke's association with the Games, including sponsoring the controversial global torch relay, has been criticised by human rights groups.
But Kevin Tressler, Coca-Cola's worldwide sports and entertainment marketing manager, claimed that the controversy has not affected their plans.
He said: "As we get closer to the Games, the consumer excitement is much more positive than we would have thought."
The company's adverts will include the "Bird's Nest Stadium", created by Wieden & Kennedy in Amsterdam, which will feature animated birds flying around the world - actual footage from different countries was shot - snagging straws from unsuspecting people, often from their Coke bottles.
The birds build what is ultimately revealed as a look-alike version of the Beijing National Stadium, which has been dubbed the Bird's Nest.
Packaging promotion on Coke products will also bring aspects of Chinese culture to 150 countries.
Chinese characters will be used to phonetically pronounce Coca-Cola translate to "delicious happiness" in Mandarin, and that will be explained on each package in the local language.
Tressler said: "Packaging is the best way to interact with consumers.
"They might not watch TV or get on the net, but they're going to see Mandarin packaging, and that's a commitment."