On Fire: Coca-Cola Lights Up the U.S. Olympic Torch Relay

It was the ultimate summer road trip. 15,000 miles. 43 states. 84 days. A 73 person crew. And I was one of them.

In an experiential marketing first, Coca-Cola sponsored the U.S. route of the Olympic Torch Relay. The journey stretched across America from Los Angeles to the Atlanta, host of the summer games and headquarters of Coca-Cola.

Along the route, Coca-Cola Ambassadors lit up the crowds with a parade of branded, custom-built flatbed trailers. This “rolling street party” featured music, DJ’s, dancing and product sampling that energized the crowds for the arrival of the Olympic Torch Runner.

In addition to the route activation, there was an Olympic cauldron lighting ceremony performed twice a day, at lunch and at the evening’s end. This event was displayed live on a mobile Jumbotron for local audiences to see.

I scripted and directed the touring Coca-Cola Jumbotron show that preceded the cauldron lighting ceremony. I also provided live video feeds from the Jumbotron to NBC-TV affiliates and shot promotional footage along the route. (See music video below). Bonus: I got to run the Olympic Torch.

The Coca-Cola U.S. Olympic Torch Relay tour was headed by Mark “Dill” Driscoll, founder of Momentum (McCann-Erickson, IPG) and later, Ignition (Havas). McCann EVP: Tony Pace. Account Executive: Jason Robins.

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