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Coke And Warners Join Forcers On Harry Potter

The Coca-Cola Company And Warner Bros. Pictures To Share The Magical Experience Of Reading With “Harry Potter And The Philosopher’s Stone”

BURBANK, CA, February 20, 2001 – The Coca-Cola Company and Warner Bros. Pictures are joining forces to celebrate and promote the magic and power of reading through a multi-year agreement that kicks off with the release of the Studio’s highly anticipated film, “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.”

The two companies announced today that Coca-Cola has been named the sole global marketing partner for both the motion picture, which debuts in New Zealand on November 29, and the subsequent video release. Through this relationship, The Coca-Cola Company will combine its worldwide resources and geographic reach to bring the specialness of Harry Potter and Coca-Cola to people and communities around the world.

These efforts -- to be announced in the coming months -- will center on helping people discover the magical world of their imaginations through reading while reinforcing the core values and attributes shared by Harry Potter and Coca-Cola. As part of the agreement,
Coca-Cola will develop broad-based reading initiatives in communities where it does business over the next several years. Designed to tap into the passion that people have for Harry Potter, marketing programs will encompass the flagship brand Coca-Cola and the “Kids Portfolio” of The Minute Maid Company, including Hi-C and Minute Maid variety juice and juice drinks.

“This important partnership with Warner Bros. Pictures and the release of “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone” marks one of the largest global entertainment initiatives ever undertaken by The Coca-Cola Company,” said Steve Jones, Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, The Coca-Cola Company. “Both Harry Potter and Coca-Cola reach deep into the heart of local communities around the world to add a little bit of magic to people’s everyday lives. Bringing the two together creates a unique opportunity for us to develop programs that will not only touch people emotionally, but allow us to directly impact their lives in a tangible, meaningful way.”

“It was tremendously important that we create a partnership that would have the ability to globally support the power and magic of Harry Potter,” said Brad Ball, President, Domestic Marketing, Warner Bros. Pictures. “The Coca-Cola Company recognized the wealth of possibilities inherent in this property for engaging the world’s adults and children.”

Sue Kroll, President, International Marketing, Warner Bros. Pictures, said, “This strategic relationship represents the first time a marketing alliance of this magnitude, with such global impact and significance, will be employed by Warner Bros. Pictures. We couldn’t be more thrilled to bring together a world leader like Coca-Cola and a worldwide phenomenon like Harry Potter.”

Directed by Chris Columbus (“Home Alone,” “Mrs. Doubtfire”), the film stars Daniel Radcliffe (BBC’s “David Copperfield”) as Harry Potter, the central character in a series of books for children and adults alike that has swept the world. Written by British author J.K. Rowling, the books follow the adventures of Harry, an orphaned boy who is invited to become a student at the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

“Coca-Cola celebrates and embraces the ideals promoted through the stories of Harry Potter -- friendship, love, self reliance, the importance of family, the magic of shared experiences, and the value of diversity,” said Jan Hall, Senior Vice President Consumer Marketing, Coca-Cola North America. “Through brands like Minute Maid and Coca-Cola, we are creating special initiatives that will invite people to experience the magic of Harry Potter in their lives.”

“Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone” also stars newcomers Rupert Grint and Emma Watson as Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger. Also starring in the film are Robbie Coltrane as Hagrid, Maggie Smith as Prof. McGonagall, Richard Harris as Albus Dumbledore, Richard Griffiths as Uncle Vernon, Fiona Shaw as Aunt Petunia, Ian Hart as Professor Quirrell and Alan Rickman as Professor Snape. Production is currently underway in England.

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