Coca-Cola launches campaign to talk up its ‘uniqueness’ ahead of the sugar tax

A new marketing campaign for Coca-Cola Classic aims to celebrates the drink’s heritage as it looks to shake off falling sales and price rises caused by the imminent introduction of the sugar tax.

Coca-Cola is launching a marketing campaign for Coca-Cola Classic that aims to reinforce its “uniqueness and specialness” just as the sugar tax comes into effect, forcing up the price of Coca-Cola’s flagship product.

The ‘We Do’ campaign goes live tomorrow (6 April), the same day the tax comes into force, and will run for four weeks across outdoor and social media. It will focus on the heritage of the brand and how the recipe hasn’t changed since its invention 132 years ago (ignoring the short-lived introduction of ‘new Coke’ in 1985).

Coca-Cola Classic has not been reformulated ahead of the levy, despite the fact this will lead to price rises because it contains more than 8g of sugar per 100ml. From tomorrow, a 1.75 litre bottle of Classic will shrink to 1.5 litres, while still costing £1.99; the price of a 500ml bottle is increasing, from £1.09 to £1.25.

Aedamar Howlett, marketing director at Coca-Cola Great Britain, says: “Recently, we have been asked why we are not changing the recipe of Coca-Cola Classic and quite simply, that’s because it’s an iconic and delicious drink which people from across the world enjoy.”

The campaign, which features Elvis Presley, includes the strapline “They don’t make ‘em like they used to. We do”, and was made with UK creative ad agency Recipe and graphic designer Noma Bar.

Howlett adds: “The We Do campaign is a celebration of our heritage and of the truly remarkable drink which has survived over a century and isn’t going anywhere soon.”

The move comes as Coca-Cola looks to fight a combination of falling sales and price rises caused by the imminent introduction of the sugar tax in the UK. Under the levy, a 330ml can of Coca-Cola will increase in price by 8p.