I’d almost forgotten about Coke Zero. When I worked at Vizeum, what seems like a lifetime ago, some colleagues of mine worked on the launch strategy. It was really exciting: Diet Coke, but for men. It would taste just like red Coke (you were never allowed to call it fat Coke), just without the sugar. it sounded too good to be true.
It was. I’ll never forget the look on their faces when they first drank it.
The truth is always in the product.
Now, over 10 years later, Coke Zero is changing. The can is moving from black to red, and the taste is allegedly closer to the real thing:
We all know that it won’t be.
Coca Cola is clearly one of the world’s most successful companies, but I’m staggered that they’re flogging this almost dead horse, especially after the miserable failure of Coca Cola Life. Put poor Coke Zero out of its misery! I can only assume that the original Zero strategy was based around insight that real men didn’t want to be seen drinking diet coke, but were also worried about their weight, hence a masculine diet coke. But today, does anyone really care? Have you ever thought someone was less of a man because he drank Diet Coke?
Maybe things are different in the US, but in that case let’s leave poor Coke Zero to Donald Trump and co. Give me Fat Coke, give me Diet Coke. But don’t give me Diet Coke in a different can and pretend it’s something new!