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The taste of science: Sonny Bill signs up as Coca-Cola mascot, spruiks new energy drink

Youtube VideoJust before the RWC began, Sonny Bill Williams’ management kicked up a bit of a stink when the NZRU decreed that he wasn’t allowed to sign a sponsorship deal with a drinks company considered to be a rival to official All Blacks sponsor Coca-Cola. It turned out he should have been thankful for the denial, because the interested suitor, South Pacific Beverages, used actor Ben Barrington to front one of the biggest turkeys of the year for its Pure Energy brand and Coca-Cola then decided to sign up the man mountain themselves (for an undisclosed sum, of course) as an official ambassador to help launch its new fizzy 300ml Powerade Fuel+, which aims to snatch a share of the energy drink market.

“Sonny Bill has had a fantastic year, we’re thrilled to have him as an ambassador. Sonny Bill embodies the ultimate athlete… endurance, power and strength; New Zealanders admire him for his athletic ability. He’s a perfect fit for the brand, and we’re delighted to have him on board,” says Delina Shields, marketing manager stills, Coca-Cola Oceania Ltd. “Our research has found that active energy drinkers are looking for the new breed of energy drink … Now consumers can choose an energy drink that has been scientifically developed especially for sports in their favourite flavours from the sports drink brand they trust … We believe we have found a gap in the market and are confident it will create a solution within the energy drinks category.”

No word on whether the new Powerade—”where science meets energy”, the deep booming voiceover claims in the ad—also hits the sweet beverage spot and reduces hangover pain.

The 15-second TVC went to air on December 16 and will run for the next 12 months. The campaign will also include a nationwide Adshel campaign.

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