This is the beginning of the story of Diet Coke that Coca-Cola has just posted in a corporate blog:
“In the summer of 1980, a Coca-Cola planning manager named Jack Carew was tapped to lead a project that had been percolating within the company for two decades but never came to fruition – to introduce a “diet” version of Coca-Cola.
“Until that point, extending the Coca-Cola Trademark to another brand had been a no-no. But times had changed. Soft drink consumers were gravitating to low- or no-calorie brands, and the company’s business in the U.S. was struggling following years of inflation and rising costs, resulting in inefficiencies.
“’We needed a big idea to come out of one of the toughest decades we’d ever seen,’ Carew explains…”
Why? Because Diet Coke is in one of roughest few years it has ever seen. And it has just been given its biggest makeover to try and overcome its problems and an aggressive marketing push by Anomaly.
The changes include a logo redesigned in collaboration with London agency, Kenyon Weston, four new flavours and slim 360ml cans. Anomaly’s new tagline, because I can, replaces Get a Taste, which made its debuted as part of Droga5’s 2014 campaign. The aim is to counter a rejection of artificially-flavoured soft drinks and grow the brand’s foothold in the millennial market, extending its popularity beyond the female baby boomers that it targeted when it launched.
Although Diet Coke is still the third-largest carbonated soft drink in the US, its volume sales dropped 4.3% last year [Beverage-Digest].
Advertising is to begin towards the end of January featuring male and female celebrities and influencers, such as Karan Soni, an Indian-American actor known for playing a supporting role in Deadpool, but keeping the focus squarely on the product.
The four new flavours – twisted mango, feisty cherry, zesty blood orange, and ginger lime – were chosen to appeal to younger people.
“Diet Coke is one of the most iconic brands loved by millions of fans in North America,” stated Rafael Acevedo, Coca-Cola North America’s group director for Diet Coke.
“Throughout this relaunch journey, we wanted to be bold, think differently and be innovative in our approach. And most importantly, we wanted to stay true to the essence of Diet Coke while recasting the brand for a new generation.
“We know Diet Coke has all kinds of fans – from people who have loved its great taste since it launched in 1982 to millennial men and women who are always looking to try new things. We’re modernizing what has made Diet Coke so special for a new generation. The same unapologetic confidence still comes through and the same great Diet Coke taste people love is here to stay, but we’re making the brand more relatable and more authentic.”’