A television ad the soft drink giant plans to run during Sunday’s football game features three groups of outlandish characters racing for some Coke. The ad can be watched below.
One of the groups is an outfit of cowboys on horseback, and although not mentioned in the spot itself, Coca-Cola’s fictional online biography for the cow pokes says they hail from Cody, Wyo.
“They’re certainly not the traditional kind of working, authentic cowboys we have here in the (Big Horn) Basin,” chuckled Cody Country Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Scott Balyo. “But it’s what probably a lot of the TV audience or the Hollywood audience would have as their cowboy concept, and certainly for a tongue-in-cheek ad, I can see why they did that.”
Balyo hopes Cody will be able to get some national attention from the campaign.
“Anytime you can get the Cody name out there — and this one’s kind of a humorous setting — I don’t think it’s a bad thing,” he said. “I think it’s good name recognition and if it gets some people to follow-up ... if they go and do a Google search for Cody, Wyo., and they look into coming here on vacation, that’s a good thing.”
Some 111 million people are expected to tune in to Sunday’s game between the San Francisco 49ers and Baltimore Ravens. More will watch the ads online.
Balyo does wonder how much exposure Cody will get from the ad, given that the portions of the actual TV spot revealed so far don’t show anything resembling the West. (It’s set in a giant, sandy desert.)
Coca-Cola is asking viewers to choose the ad’s ending at www.CokeChase.com by voting for the group they want to win the race for the Coke. The cowboys face a bus-full of Reno, Nev., showgirls and a band of misfits called “Badlanders” that look like characters from the “Mad Max” movie series.
The cowboys have been the favorite in early voting, but social media users haven’t appeared particularly interested in or aware of the cowboys’ Cody origins. In fact, one official Coca-Cola Twitter account referred to the cow punchers as “good southern gentlemen.”
A request for more information from Coca-Cola about how Cody was picked as the fictional cowboys’ home wasn’t returned by press time Wednesday. Balyo guessed someone at Coca-Cola’s ad agency “had some concept that Cody, Wyo., and this area is a cowboy area.”