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Coca-Cola Presents...

Comedian Bill Cosby will help us...
Talk To Teens In Their Own Language

The Coca-Cola Company and bottlers of Coca-Cola will be talking to America's teenagers in their own language during 1968. Five-minute daily radio programs by star comedian Bill Cosby will be a major part of this year's effort to communicate with that major segment of the market.

Throughout the year, The Bill Cosby Radio Program will appear on the leading teen-oriented top forty stations in major markets across the country.

There will be 250 shows by the popular TV personality, and each will be broadcast on Monday through Friday nights between 7 and 9 p.m., local time.

Each five-minute program will consist of one major comedy feature in which Mr. Cosby is occasionally assisted by Frank Buxton, producer of the series.

Among the regular features will be "Animal Interviews," in which Mr. Cosby is interviewed as though he were anything from an ant to an elephant; "(Captain) Oh Wow," in which he answers imaginary letters; and "Spooky Stories," a spoof on terror tales.

Ira C. Herbert, vice president and brand manager for Coca-Cola, The Coca-Cola Company, said that the series represents a heavy financial investment.

"The top forty stations have built large and loyal audiences, playing the youngsters' favorites according to a format that rarely varied," he said. "Now, these stations face a challenge: how to accomodate the new forms and personalities that their audiences have come to want.

The Bill Cosby Radio Program provides an answer to that challenge, without departing radically from the format that created nationwide success for top forty radio. Our five minute program is about equal in running time to one musical record, plus introductions and a commercial. By using this time for teen-slanted comedy each night, the station gains an exciting feature that enhances its identification with youhful tastes."

Bill Cosby, one of the most popular television performers for youngsters in the 12 to 17 age bracket, is star of the "I Spy" series. He has sold more than a million copies of each of his six record albums.

"His 'cool' humor has built a great empathy with young people," said Mr. Herbert. "He is a natural for teen-oriented radio."

The Coca-Cola Company has long believed in the need for special techniques to communicate with those under twenty, Mr. Herbert pointed out.

"Conventional commercials won't work. We broke the mold, introducing commercials that are really not commercials, but an extension of the top forty sound, using the teens' own favorites, such as Ray Charles, Sandy Posey, The Supremes, The Tremelos, and others. These have been very effective in increasing our brand awareness and share of market among youth. The time has come to break another mold by introducing the Bill Cosby series."
--Reprinted from a 1968 article in The Coca-Cola Bottler.

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