Coca-Cola unveils major redesign as it shifts from brand-specific ads

Coca-Cola: marketing all variants under master brand
Coca-Cola: marketing all variants under master brand

Coca-Cola is embarking on a major shake-up of its marketing strategy that will see it bring all Coke variants under one master Coca-Cola brand as part of the "next chapter" of its evolution.

It is wrapping all four distinct brands – classic Coke, Diet Coke, Coke Zero and Coke Life, under one master brand marketing banner: Coca-Cola, in a bid to drive unity across the portfolio.

The move will lend Coca-Cola’s brand equity to the other three variants and will double marketing spend for Coke’s low and no sugar products. From May, brand campaigns for Coke Zero will be scrapped with a view for Diet Coke brand campaigns to also be phased out, allowing for a more unified master brand.

All advertising campaigns from May in Northern Europe will feature all four products, with the lower and no sugar Coca-Cola variants presented in the final frames of all Coca-Cola television advertising. At the same time the strapline "open happiness" will be replaced with "choose happiness."

Although all four will feature in future campaigns, Coke will be able to "hero" whichever variant is relevant to the campaign, as demonstrated in the below outdoor campaign. 


It is also rolling out new, refreshed branding across all four Coke variants to create a more visual "common identity" across the brands, UK marketing chief Bobby Brittain told Marketing, likening the move to a "rejuvenation" of the brand in the "next chapter" of its evolution.

Due to hit shelves from next week, the new branding on Coke Zero, Diet Coke and Coke Life has been designed to emphasise the distinct characteristics of each Coca-Cola product, making choice clearer for consumers.

Though each variant will continue to have a distinct colour – red, black, silver and green respectively, the branding on pack will be uniform with the "Cola-Cola" trademark made larger and more visible.

Text will also be added to the front of Coke Zero, Coke Life and Diet Coke to enable consumers to better understand the range of products and the distinctive attributes of each.


For example, on the front of Coke Zero cans, which UK marketing chief Bobby Brittain admitted had been a source of confusion for consumers (with 50% of consumers not realising it is a no sugar Coke), the descriptor "zero sugar – great Coke taste" will be repositioned in the foreground.

The new packaging will also see the introduction of colour coded front-of-pack labelling showing fat, saturated fat, salt, sugar and calories.  The move to tighten association of the Coca-Cola master brand across the portfolio has been designed, Brittain added, to help the business achieve 50% UK sales from low and no sugar variants by 2020.

"Coca-Cola is one of the best-loved and most iconic brands in the world. With our new ‘one brand’ approach, we are uniting four distinct brands under the umbrella of Coca-Cola," said Jon Woods, GB & Ireland general manager.

"We believe our no and lower sugar variants will benefit from this closer association with Coca-Cola and that featuring all variants in our advertising will make clear to more consumers the full choice we offer them.

"By focusing on building one brand and extending the appeal of the original Coca-Cola across our lower and no sugar variants we believe we can drive sustainable growth for our business in Great Britain in the years ahead".


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