Diet Coke ‘You’re on Coke’ ad lifts purchase intent

Suggestions Diet Coke’s latest campaign implicitly references the use of class A drugs could have increased the number of people willing to buy the drink in the days since it launched, according to research.

At first glance the latest Diet Coke ad appears to be condoning drug abuse (see above).

Outdoor ads running in the US since the start of the week use the “You’re On” slogan alongside the Diet Coke logo. At first glance, the ads seem to spell out the phrase ‘You’re On Coke”.

The tagline has sparked online buzz with some fans poking fun at the apparent drug reference and others slamming it.

The controversy appears to have benefited the brand with the number of people willing to purchase Diet Coke on the upturn. Purchase intent for the drink has increased to 15.3 per cent since the campaign first sparked media interest two days ago, according to communications agency Way to Blue.

Furthermore, an average of 14.5 per cent of people talking about the brand want to buy it based on online chatter over the past two weeks.

Coca-Cola has defended the slogan adding it does not support the use of any “illegal substances”.

In a statement it said: “[The advert] celebrates ambitious young achievers from all walks of life and reminds them that Diet Coke is there to support them in the moments when they are at their best.

Every single day, young people around the world experience “You’re On” moments big and small. It could be a job interview or a national TV interview, a first date or a final exam, a presentation to your boss or a performance in front of thousands. The Diet Coke logo is the centerpiece of the ad campaign. Diet Coke in no way endorses or supports the use of any illegal substance.”

The strapline launched earlier this week on ads tailored to the personalities of different cities in the US for Diet Coke’s ‘You’re On” push. It is part of Coke’s wider “You’re On” campaign that also includes a TV spot starring singer Taylor Swift (see above).

The results from the study use a base measure of the average volume of daily comments linked to general chatter about Diet Coke, and those around purchasing or wanting to purchase the brand over a standalone two week period in February.

Latest from Marketing Week


Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now


Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.


From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.


Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here