I’ve talked about the commercial we showed during the football championships showing Charlie Brown finally becoming a winner (getting a Coke, instead of the actual football), and I’ve told you the story of Coke’s involvement in A Charlie Brown Christmas.

Well, the buzz about the commercial showing the “lovable loser” and the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade continues. In fact, last week an interview ran with Pio Schunker, head of creative excellence in Coke North America, and Hal Curtis, creative director with ad agency Wieden + Kennedy. They talked about the commercial, called “It’s Mine,” and mentioned some twists involved in its making.

First, though the final ad shows two balloons -- Underdog along with Stewie from the TV show “The Family Guy” – fighting over a Coke bottle balloon during the parade, an earlier idea was actually to have Underdog and Bart Simpson battle for the Coke. Turns out, there is a rule that Bart cannot appear with other characters in ads like this. I was really disappointed to hear that, because I love “The Simpsons” and watch it every Sunday! And Bart would have been the perfect “bad guy” to fight over the bottle.

Pio and Hal also talked about the massive approval process involved in making the ad – including Macy’s and the companies involved with each cartoon character. I’m glad I got to miss that part! Then there was the filming, which provided its own challenges. They said the ad’s production and post-production took nearly four months – for a 60-second ad!

Charlie_brown_coke_commercialThey had bad weather in New York and had to move the entire commercial shoot to a sound studio in California. (I’ve gotten hold of some footage of this shoot. Look closely and you can make out palm trees in the background – not typical in New York in the winter!) So they filmed in New York, at the studio and then also had to virtually animate the balloons to complete the ad.

And the last twist I’ll tell you about is that initially, Charlie Brown wasn’t even part of the commercial! Originally, the balloons actually deflated while chasing the Coke and no one got the bottle. That ending sounds so disappointing! Hal’s son actually suggested that a third character balloon “win” the bottle in the end. So Charlie Brown came in, and I think we’re all glad for that.