January 26, 2001

Sprite is bringing the voices of teens and young adults to the forefront through a freestyle rap advertising campaign, "Voices of the Street." The new campaign debuted on Fox Network's Sunday evening and NBC's NBA programming. The campaign builds on Sprite's "Obey Your Thirst" tagline with a fresh perspective straight from the mouths of today's youth.

The first execution of "Voices" features six, :30 spots with real teens and young adults relating stories and experiences from their lives in a freestyle rap format -- a method of self expression and entertainment that is at the forefront of today's music scene. Each spot ends with Sprite's street-savvy tagline, "Obey Your Thirst." The look and feel of the campaign is "straight-up" -- it's real, unpolished and spontaneous. Even the editing is "gritty," with close-up shots of the young people and contrasting urban backgrounds from New York City, Miami and Los Angeles.

The "Voices" campaign builds on Sprite's "Obey Your Thirst" tagline through an exploration of the many dimensions of thirst -- both physical and emotional. At the end of each freestyle is a Sprite attribute -- "crisp," "not too sweet," "see through it," "absolutely clear," "refreshing" and "tart" creating a link between Sprite and each young person's real-life experience.

"'Voices' acknowledges that teens have something important to say and we want to hear it," said Pina Sciarra, director, Youth Lifestage at Coca-Cola North America. "In this campaign, we asked teens to tell us about themselves and their experiences, and then we paired these personal stories with the physical, thirst-quenching attributes of Sprite."

The "Voices" behind the campaign rap about their experiences using drama and suspense. At first, the listener is unsure of how each story will turn out. In the end, the story relates to a Sprite attribute. For example, in "Not too Sweet," Joseph raps about his evening plans that fell apart because he lost his "dough." In "Crisp," Brandon raps about how he is different and why it is necessary for him to be true to himself. In "Absolutely Clear," Scott raps about how he achieved clarity of purpose in his life. In "Tart," Joey raps about the consequences he suffered from acting like a "fool" in school to get attention. In "Refreshing," Dante raps about how he at first felt threatened by a stranger who turned out to be an old friend from junior high school. In "See Through It," Crystal raps about how she sees right through the superficiality of a "player" that is trying to win her affections.

The "Voices" campaign was created by Lowe Lintas & Partners New York. Dean Hacohen, executive vice president and creative director, and C.J. Waldman, executive vice president, creative group head, led the Lowe Lintas creative team. Lowe Lintas producers selected the talent from New York City, Los Angeles and Miami.

"To evolve the connection with teens, our starting point was to conduct some unconventional research," said Richard Lee, executive vice president and planning director, Lowe Lintas & Partners New York. "Rather than use standard focus groups, we hit the streets with a filmographer and conducted one-to-one interviews. This real life process told us that teens are smart, aware and not to be treated superficially by brands. Further, when we saw that these teens really have something to say, we strategically saw the opportunity to align Sprite's brand message of 'Obey Your Thirst' with teens' desire to be heard."

The Voices campaign ads will run on network and cable programming targeting teens and young adults. An accompanying radio and print campaign will break this spring. An interactive component of the campaign will be accessible from the Sprite.com homepage. Consumers will be able to view the commercials, the lyrics and read about the talent behind the "Voices."

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