Coca-Cola launches £5m campaign as it redesigns packaging to unify original and zero sugar variants

The redesign is the latest move by Coca-Cola to get more people drinking its low and no sugar variants as it looks to adapt to changing consumer tastes and the introduction of the sugar tax.

Coca-Cola Great Britain is launching a £5m campaign to promote a packaging redesign that will see its red colour appear across its original and zero sugar variants.

The redesign will see Coca-Cola Zero Sugar adopt the same red design original Coke — but with a black banner wrapped around the top to distinguish the two. The changes will affect Coca-Cola original taste, zero sugar, sugar cherry, zero sugar peach and zero sugar vanilla.

READ MORE: Diet Coke sales overtake classic Coke as the soft drinks giant navigates the sugar tax

The move to unify the packaging across the two brands is part of the company’s plan to encourage consumers to try its no sugar variant. Coca-Cola is aiming for 50% of its sales to come from lower or no sugar variants as it reacts to changing consumer trends and looks to offset the impact of the sugar tax (which has increased the price of original Coke).

Alec Mellor, Coca-Cola marketing manager says: “For more than 130 years, the colour red has been associated with the great taste and experience of enjoying a Coca-Cola and we want to make it even clearer that you can have that taste and experience with or without sugar. Sales of Coca-Cola zero sugar have almost doubled in the last two years and we believe this latest change will help us grow it even further and encourage more people to give it a try.”

The new look will be rolled out from September alongside a £5m marketing push. The campaign includes a 10-second and 30-second TV ad, created by McCann Europe, plus out of home advertising and a seven million sampling push for Coca-Cola zero sugar.

The advert ‘One Way or Another’ sees the central character say he doesn’t care which Coca-Cola variant he has as long as it’s Coke. It then shows a series of mirrored scenarios to highlight there is no difference in experiences ending with the tagline “An original taste, one way or another”.

The packaging redesign is part of a wider strategy to bring all the Coke variants under one brand for the first time as it looks to drive growth. That launched in the UK in 2015 before being rolled out globally.

READ MORE: Coca-Cola’s CMO explains why its ‘One Brand’ marketing strategy is going global

In 2016, Coca-Cola relaunched Coke Zero as Coca-Cola zero sugar with a new recipe and a new look that replaced the all black packaging with a new design featuring the red Coke disc more prominently on pack. In January this year, the company also relaunched its ‘First Tastes’ campaign for Coca-Cola zero in a push ahead of the sugar tax and also brought together Coca-Cola, Fanta and Sprite in a marketing campaign for the first time back in June.



There are 3 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. Tom Almond 21 Aug 2018

    I’m a bit speechless at this decision. I was in the Odeon a few weeks ago and went to grab a Coke Zero Cherry out of the fridge, and it being 90% red completely threw me off. I associate the Coca-cola red with full sugar, and the little tiny black and red strips (for zero and cherry) at the top of the bottle did nothing to inspire my confidence that I was buying the right product. I spent far too long trying to work out what was going on.

    Whilst having completely individual identities for each bottle may not be completely necessary, I feel like this is a really poor solution and I’m almost certain they won’t last.

  2. Dom Graham 22 Aug 2018

    Usually I’m more nuanced in my thoughts, but this is just crap. I guarantee that people who want regular coke will accidentally pick up zero and vice versa. Maybe that’s their plan? Sell more coke by getting people to have to buy another bottle when they realise they’ve picked up the wrong bottle after taking their first mouthful?

  3. Jennifer Smith 24 Aug 2018

    this campaign is quite thoughtless, has anyone given any thought whatsoever to the impact of the artificial sweeteners on people’s physiology. Number one, artificially, chemically sweetened drinks do not quench your thirst. I know this from personal experience. Number two, there is no satiation effect so there is no limit set by your own body, which is the case with real, natural sugar, (not sure about High fructose corn syrup), Have you seen many thin people drinking Diet Coke or other diet drinks? I also agree with both the comments above in regard to the misleading packaging design. I hate the taste of any beverage with artificial sweetener and I refuse to knowingly put it into my body. In South Africa some of the knock off colas use 25% artificial sweetener in their colas to reduce costs, but you can taste it straight away. Please don’t think the consumer is stupid enough to believe that coke with real sugar will taste the same as coke with artificial sweetener in it. I hate stupidity.

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