Diet Coke to extend fashionista strategy

Diet Coke is to extend its strategy that sees all of its marketing activity linked to fashion beyond its original three-year timeframe, after claiming that the campaign has boosted sales and increased consumers’ “love” of the brand.

Diet Coke John Paul Gaultier

Value sales of the brand have increased 4.9% year on year, according to Nielsen Scantrack data, and Diet Coke claims that it is seeing double digit growth of fans on its official Facebook page since the strategy was announced in February 2011.

Laura Sheard, Diet Coke Great Britain market manager, says the brand has made “a great case” for associating itself with fashion in the UK.

“We are transferring our fashion-focused marketing activity to sales and people are really connecting with us and are interested in what we have to say. This isn’t just a tactical piece of activity, we are in this for the long game and my  expectation is that this strategy will last well beyond the [initial three-year framework],” she says.

Diet Coke’s fashion strategy is focused on bringing new consumers to the brand and targeting lapsed purchasers who may not have tried the drink in a long time.

Sheard says increased competition in the carbonates take-home sector means Diet Coke can’t “rest on its laurels” because it is an established brand with high awareness levels.

“We can’t just say ‘we’re Diet Coke, we’re massive, so we don’t need to invest in marketing because everyone knows who we are. We need to work just as hard if not harder than everyone else in the category to ensure we are the brand consumers love and continue to buy, she adds.

This year Diet Coke is planning to take its fashion approach “to the mainstream” and has appointed designer John Paul Gaultier as its creative director to front its campaigns for 2012.

As well as designing limited edition bottles for retail in Harvey Nichols, like previous fashion designer and Diet Coke collaborations, Gaultier will also feature in a “provocative” online video series and subsequent above the line campaigns so the partnership will reach a wider audience.

Diet Coke’s fashion slant will also be integrated into Coca-Cola’s wider London 2012 Olympics portfolio activity. The brand is set to revolve its digital content around what fans and Olympians are wearing at the Games.

Diet cola take-home sector

Source: Nielsen (52 weeks to February 2012)

Brand Value sales growth (YoY) Market Share Market Share Change (YoY)
Diet Coke 4.9% 30.3% -0.6%
Coke Zero 8.0% 4.1% 0.0%
Diet Pepsi 3.1% 4.6% -0.2%
Pepsi Max 16.3% 10.1% 0.8%

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