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Top Movie Producer Creates 'Dracula' Parody Spot for Coke

February 19, 1992|From Times Staff Writers

Not satisfied to have Hollywood's top agent helping its cause, Coca-Cola is also getting advice from one of the film industry's top producers.

Ray Stark, whose films include "Funny Girl" and "The Way We Were," has conceived a commercial for Coke that is a parody of the upcoming Columbia Pictures release, "Bram Stoker's Dracula"--a film he is not personally affiliated with.

The latest involvement of Stark--which officials at Coke said is a one-time collaboration--would seem to indicate that Coke is once again circumventing its longtime advertising agency, McCann-Erickson. Seininger Advertising, the Hollywood firm that specializes in creating film trailers, is producing the spot.

Late last year, after several polls showed that consumers preferred Pepsi's commercials to Coke's, Coke hired the Creative Artists Agency--headed by superagent Michael Ovitz--as a marketing consultant.

At issue is whether Hollywood is usurping a creative role traditionally played by big advertising agencies. And if Madison Avenue can't create good ads, who can? Reports in the Wall Street Journal and Adweek indicate that Stark has helped create concepts for at least five other Coke TV spots.

But on Tuesday, both Stark and Coke executives denied that Stark is involved in more than the one spot. In a statement, Stark said he is working on five film projects and has "no desire, time nor need" to work on other Coke spots.

While Coke spokeswoman Linda Peek said that Coke will "take creative ideas from a variety of creative sources," she insisted that Coke is very happy with both McCann-Erickson and Creative Artists.

Beverly Hills-based CAA, whose role with Coke remains only vaguely defined, had no comment on the Stark deal.

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