Consumer Payment Card News

Coca-Cola Cards

Coca-Cola USA announced Monday it will distribute more than 55 million ‘Coca-Cola Cards’ beginning this week. The special Coke promotion provides customers with a red-wallet size card that contains up to 50 special offers from retailers, restaurants and recreational venues, most of which can be used again and again. The company says the program is the most localized national initiative it has ever offered, with more than 280 local versions of the program. Totally more than 9,500 partners will participate featuring more than 20,000 local offers.

Coca-Cola also announced yesterday that MasterCard will join the program for the second year by offering chances to win a loaded ‘Coca-Cola MasterCard ATM Cash Card’ on 1.1 billion specially marked packages of Coca-Cola. The cash card chances will also appear under bottle caps and on the sides of cups at fountain outlets. MasterCard said yesterday it will begin its participation in May and will award more than 18 million ‘Coca-Cola MasterCards’ with values of $20, $40 and $100.

Coca-Cola projected nearly half or 25 million of the Coca-Cola cards will be distributed by hand via ‘Teen Card Crews’ organized by bottlers nationwide.

Show me the Card — The Coca-Cola CardTM, that is. Beginning this week, millions of Americans will be showing their Coca-Cola Cards to retailers, restaurants and recreational venues in exchange for Coca-Cola classic refreshment and valuable discounts on a host of favorite activities and products, totaling more than $12 billion in savings.

With more than 55 million Coca-Cola Cards being distributed nationwide, the program is the most localized national initiative ever offered by Coca-Cola USA.

In May, Coca-Cola and MasterCard add excitement to the promotion by offering consumers the chance to win special Coca-Cola MasterCard ATM Cash Cards.

“All summer long, and indeed all year long, people seek out ways to enjoy and refresh themselves,” says Frank P. Bifulco, vice president, marketing, Coca-Cola USA. “Only Coca-Cola classic delivers complete refreshment to consumers everywhere; the Coca-Cola Card delivers valuable deals and discounts on everything consumers in general, and teens in particular, enjoy eating out with friends to going bowling or seeing a movie.”

Unprecedented Level of Localization

To help consumers keep track of local offers, each red wallet-size card contains up to 50 special offers, most of which can be used again and again. Each card comes inside a cardboard envelope with an accordion-folded listing of available deals and discounts.

There are more than 280 localized versions of the cardboard envelope and accordion-folded listing, corresponding to the number of markets participating in the program.

Cardholders could receive discounts on everything from Coca-Cola classic, pizzas and popcorn to amusement park entry fees and tickets to sporting events.

Some of the more unique local offers include a free three-year health club membership, a free karate uniform and a month’s worth of lessons, and discounts off virtual reality parties, all with a proof of purchase of Coca-Cola classic.

MasterCard Alliance

In its second year, the program will be expanded as MasterCard and Coca-Cola will work to offer consumers a chance to win one of more than 18 million special Coca-Cola MasterCard ATM Cash Cards with values of $20, $40 and $100. Beginning in May, consumers will have chances to fund “loaded” Coca-Cola MasterCard ATM Cash Cards on 1.1 billion specially marked packages of Coca-Cola classic, caffeine free Coca-Cola classic, diet Coke and caffeine free diet Coke. Consumers also can win cash cards by looking under the caps of 20 oz., 1-,20-and 3-liter bottles of Coke and diet Coke, and on the sides of fountain cups at more than 60,000 participating fountain outlets nationwide. Instant win messages will direct consumers as to how to redeem their prizes.

“MasterCard is pleased to work with Coca-Cola to bring instant cash and summer fun to consumers through the MasterCard/Coca-Cola ATM Cash Card program for the second year,” said Nicholas A. Utton, senior vice president, U.S. Marketing, MasterCard International. “The fact that this cash is delivered in a new and innovative way certainly adds excitement to this unique summertime program.”

Coca-Cola MasterCard ATM Cash Cards can be taken to any MasterCard Cirrus ATM machine and redeemed for the face value of the card. The cash cards can then be used as Coca-Cola Cards to activate local offers.

Hand-to-Hand Distribution of The Coca-Cola Card

Bottlers nationwide have formed Teen Card Crews to hand out Coca-Cola Cards to their peers. “When it comes to finding out what’s going on in the world, teenagers tend to rely almost exclusively on word-of-mouth,” says Bifulco. “We want to use the network that exists between them to let as many kids as possible benefit from the deals and discounts that the cards uniquely offer.”

Taking advantage of existing gathering places and specially created distribution events, local bottlers and their Card Crews will be handing out as many as 25 million Coca-Cola Cards nationwide. The balance of cards will be distributed through a direct mail campaign (3 million), via education channels (6 million), at fountain outlets (18 million) and during Spring Break events across the country (4 million).

Local Radio Partners

In some markets, a local radio station partner will help keep consumers informed about all of the ways their Coca-Cola Cards can be used and create additional on-air contests and awards for cardholders throughout the spring and summer.

Card Packaging & Promotion Details

Also printed on the accordion-folded sleeve is The Coca-Cola Company web address ( and toll-free telephone number (1-800-388-3887) where consumers can go for information on local offers.

“The Coca-Cola Card” promotion starts March 15, 1998. Some offers will end on August 31; others are available through the fall.

The Coca-Cola MasterCard ATM Cash Card portion of the program culminates on August 31 with all cash cards expiring January 31, 1999.

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