Student Hits Perfect Harmony

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High school student Rachel DiGangi applied her knowledge of advertising to win a once-in–a-lifetime experience.

Students in Laurie McGill’s High School Advertising class studied the history of Coca-Cola, specifically focusing on the evolution of its advertising and marketing campaigns. As part of their studies, students were challenged to research old print ads and compare and contrast the design, format and content with current ads.

During their lessons, students viewed one of Coke’s most iconic ads, the “Hilltop Ad,” which depicts young people on a mountaintop in Italy singing together and incorporating the Coke slogan “It’s the Real Thing.” To update this classic commercial, Coke created the Perfect Harmony competition, which asked people to vote on new lyrics for the song. Rachel analyzed the words in each of the options and selected the message she thought best described the Coke brand. Her submission automatically qualified her for the contest and she was selected as the grand prize winner.

Coke, a sponsor of American Idol, provided Rachel and a guest with free airfare to Los Angeles, California, for a four-day, three-night stay at the L.A. Live Hotel and two tickets for both the finale and results show of American Idol. During her red carpet visit, Rachel was interviewed by Fox affiliates and had the opportunity to meet Idol contestants.