It was only a year ago that Coca-Cola customers were left confused and frustrated after finding all variants of the popular carbonated drink, from Diet Coke to Coca-Cola Life, Zero and the classic ‘full-fat’, had changed their lids to the one singular colour. That bold, iconic red. If you thought identifying the wide-ranging types of drink was made difficult by simply changing the cap on the bottle, prepare yourself for an even bigger shock.
As part of the “next chapter” of the Coca-Cola evolution, they have developed a new marketing strategy that brings all Coke variants under one master Coca-Cola brand. Expected to roll out globally within the next year, the famous red packaging will now grace every can or bottle of the drink.
It’s a major change from the distinctive differences that customers are currently used to. Since it’s launch in 1982, Diet Coke has been branded as a reversal of the traditional Coca-Cola packaging. Instead of red with white ribbon and lettering, it is silver (initially white) with red ribbon and lettering. Similarly, Coke Zero is dominated by black and accented with red, whilst Coca-Cola Life has ditched the red altogether and used an earthy green with white ribbon and lettering.
Brand campaigns for each separate variant are expected to be phased out whilst the company plans to double its marketing spend for the low and no sugar products. This means we can expect all four drinks to feature in future campaigns with rumours of the strapline being changed from ‘open happiness’, to ‘choose happiness’ as well.
With a view to create a “common identity” amongst its products, the company explained the decision by saying; “The new strategy of ‘single brand’ communication will also unify the various products: if before a different kind of advertising and merchandising [differentiated] the three sub-brands, now [we] see the Coca-Cola brand supporting all variants.”
It’s a gamble that might make sense to Coca-Cola but whether it has the desired impact, only time will tell!