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Coke Tapped for ‘Harry Potter’

February 20, 2001

NEW YORK (AP) _ You wanna be cool, muggles? Drink Coke.

Warner Bros. has picked the Coca-Cola Co. as its sole promotional partner for the upcoming movie ``Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone,″ the soft drink giant announced Tuesday.

The deal will put $150 million of Coke marketing muscle behind the film as part of a global campaign tied to the movie’s Nov. 16 U.S. release.

The ad campaign will include the placement of Harry Potter-related images on Coca-Cola, Minute Maid and Hi-C packaging. It won’t, however, extend to product placement in the movie or images of Harry drinking Coke.

The campaign also will abandon common promotional gimmicks for movies geared to children, such as sweepstakes and giveaways through fast-food chains. Instead, literacy will be stressed.

The film, based on the first of author J.K. Rowling’s best-selling children’s novels, stars 11-year-old Daniel Radcliffe as the child wizard and Richard Harris as his mentor, Professor Dumbledore.

We respect the unique way J.K. Rowling has unlocked the imagination of millions of children,″ said Tom Long, Coca-Cola division president for Great Britain and Ireland. ``Harry Potter reaches deep into the heart of children and adults alike and we intend to develop initiatives which will build on the inspiration she has created.″

In the story, Harry discovers he is among a select group of wizards when he is invited to a world kept secret from non-magical people, known derisively as muggles.




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