CHASE DOES TURKISH COLA ADS AIMED AT COKE AND PEPSI
Air as Anti-American Feeling in Turkey Runs High
LONDON (AdAge.com) -- U.S. actor
Chevy Chase is starring in a TV advertising campaign for a new
Turkish cola that competes with Coca-Cola and Pepsi-Cola at a time
of heightened anti-American feeling in Turkey.
Hollywood actors often appear in
foreign commercials, but the spot featuring Mr. Chase has the
unusual twist of promoting a local cola brand, Cola Turka, over
its American rivals at a politically charged moment.
Attempts to reach Mr. Chase or his
agent for comment were unsuccessful on Friday.
"You are drinking America, you are not drinking a soda,"
said Serdar Erener, referring to the U.S. cola giants Coke and
Pepsi. Mr. Erener is the CEO and creative director of WPP Group's
Young & Rubicam, Istanbul, the advertising agency that created
Mr. Erener said the brand's launch
strategy had "nothing to do" with the Iraq war. However,
he also said a recent clash between U.S. and Turkish soldiers
across the border in Iraq had helped the advertising campaign
"touch a nerve" in Turkey.
On July 5, the Chevy Chase spots
for Cola Turka broke simultaneously on all of Turkey's TV
channels. The day before, U.S. troops in Iraq arrested 11 Turkish
soldiers and held them for 60 hours, angering Turks and sparking
anti-American marches in Turkey's capital, Ankara.
Major Turkish company
Cola Turka is marketed by Ulker, a major Turkish confectionary and
cookie company with nationwide distribution and exports to 78
countries. Last year, the 59-year-old company acquired a local
soft-drinks maker and assigned Y&R a lemon-lime soft drink
brand called Camlica and, later, the Cola Turka project.
The two spots, filmed in New York,
aren't anti-America but turn the idea of cola as an American
symbol on its head as New Yorkers who are shown drinking Cola
Turka suddenly become Turkish.
Mr. Chase is well-known in Turkey
for his bumbling family man character Clark W. Griswold from the
National Lampoon Vacation movies. The agency cast him to
portray a father perplexed by the weird cultural changes happening
In the one spot, Mr. Chase walks through Times Square as a car
full of Turks, wrapped in their national flag to celebrate a
soccer victory, drive by. He enters a diner to grab a cup of
coffee and a cowboy sitting next to him begins using Turkish words
after drinking from a red-and-white can of Cola Turka.
In the next spot, Mr. Chase is seen
parking his Griswold-style station wagon at his suburban home,
where his wife is preparing a Turkish meal for her parents and the
children. At the dinner table everyone sings "Take me out to
the ball game" until they take a sip of Cola Turka and break
into a Turkish-language 1930s Boy Scout song that is part of
Turkey's national identity. At the end of the spot, Mr. Chase
sprouts a bushy mustache.
Ulker has not released initial
sales figures for Cola Turka and did not return calls. Y&R's
Mr. Erener claimed sales have been vigorous.
Goal: 25% of soft drink market
Unlike the new Islamic colas Mecca Cola, Qibla Cola and Zam Zam
Cola that have sprung up around Europe and the Middle East to
counter Western brands, Ulker aims to be more than a niche brand
in Turkey's 7.5 billion liter soft drink market. Ulker has said in
statements that its goal is a 25% share of Turkey's youthful,
fast-growing soft-drink market, currently dominated by Coke with a
57% share, followed by Pepsi with 27%.
According to local sources, Coke
has cut prices by more than 10% since Cola Turka's launch.
Coca-Cola did not return calls for comment