Coca-Cola ditches unified packaging strategy with Zero Sugar push

Coca-Cola has enlisted Tyler, The Creator for its latest campaign which looks to highlight the “indescribable” feeling drinking a Coke creates, while showcasing the redesigned Coca-Cola Zero Sugar pack.

Coke Zero

Coca-Cola has unveiled a new look for Coca-Cola Zero Sugar, marking a departure from the unified packaging strategy launched in 2018.

The all-red can is now distinct from other variants, and no longer features a black band around the top to distinguish it from the original variety.

The unified look was initially designed to encourage more consumers to try the zero-sugar version. It followed a 2015 decision to bring all Coke variants together under one brand.

The soft drinks brand is also launching a campaign to support the “evolved” Coca-Cola Zero Sugar product, featuring a soundtrack created by rapper and musician Tyler, The Creator.

The creative is based on the experience of drinking a Coke, which – according to a UK poll – a quarter of consumers say is ‘indescribable’. ‘Open that Coca-Cola’ seeks to reflect the “beyond words” sensation of drinking the product by showing people beginning to move uncontrollably as they take a sip.

The campaign is going live across TV, online and radio channels, with interactive out of home, social, digital, PR and shopper activation activity all under way.

Coca-Cola’s senior vice-president of marketing, Walter Susini, says: “We’re really excited to launch this campaign and express the iconicity of the experience, not through one single word, but through music, movement and a universal language that can be recognised by each person that experiences and loves Coca-Cola.”

Coca-Cola made the decision to cut “zombie brands” from its portfolio and focus its attention on fewer, stronger brands last July, as it believes this will help it recover from the pandemic faster.

Earlier this month CEO James Quincey said long-term growth will be “powered” by these core brands, adding that marketing investment would be returning to pre-pandemic levels.

Coca-Cola’s net revenues declined 11% to $33bn (£23bn) in 2020, driven by a 7% decline in concentrate sales.