Blockbuster, Coca-Cola announce global marketing alliance

 Video-rental chain Blockbuster and Coca-Cola have announced a multi-million dollar, five-year global marketing and product alliance.

The global alliance builds on a distribution agreement the two companies have had since 1995, an official release states. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Blockbuster will continue distributing Coca-Cola products in up to 8,000 Blockbuster stores worldwide. Under the expanded agreement, Coca-Cola will purchase media assets and incentives from the home entertainment provider. The agreement also includes provisions for promotions in America.

From spring 2002, Coca-Cola will purchase space in the video company's marketing resources, including the in-store television network and direct mail, point-of-sale coupon system.

The first national campaign, the "Steal the Scene" promotion, launches this week, the release states. It features an instant-win game on more than 90 million specially- marked packages of Diet Coke. Additionally, the promotion will extend to customers purchasing Coca-Cola at concession stands at more than 1,400 US movie theaters.

The grand prize is a star-treatment trip to Los Angeles with a walk-on movie role. Other prizes include Club Med vacations, DVD players and a year of free DVD rentals at Blockbuster, digital cameras and free diet Coke product the release states.

A new Diet Coke television ad entitled "Casting Call" has been developed to support the promotion. The ad is a continuation of the successful Diet Coke "Poetry" campaign that debuted in February. There is both a 30-second television spot and a special 60-second version for in-cinema use.

The promotion will also be supported by print and electronic media, including the Blockbuster Entertainment Network and direct mailers, as well as special packaging and point-of-sale materials.

Blockbuster is a publicly traded subsidiary of Viacom. It claims to currently have long-term partnerships with brands including Coca-Cola Company, AOL Time Warner, Daimler Chrysler, H&R Block, MCI and Panasonic.

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