“It´s 11.30, it´s diet coke break”, this sentence was setting women’s hearts racing when Coca Cola started to advertise its new light product.
The Coke Light Men has captured the hearts of numerous females and the memorable background song “I just wanna make love to you” underpinned the sexual theme. The launch of the ‘diet Coke’ break campaign was probably one of the most significant steps towards sexual equality in advertising. For the first time not a women but a sexy man was the object of desire.
Furthermore, CCE (Coca-Cola Enterprises) was making a clear distinction between its trilogy of cola brands in its ‘new’ advertising strategy: ‘Coca-Cola’, the universally loved, iconic brand at its core, ‘Coca-Cola Zero’ for the boys and ‘diet Coke’ for females everywhere.
149.539 people, presumably mostly women, watched the video on youtube and numerous Diet Coke commercials followed with similar topics in various countries.
CEE decided to return to its female roots and celebrate modern woman when ‘Coca-Cola Zero’ (dubbed ‘Bloke Coke’) was launched in 2006. Following the return of the iconic ‘diet Coke’ break campaign, featuring a new Hunk, the ‘diet Coke’ advertisement was enlarged through integrated marketing tools. A massive ‘diet Coke’ brand promotion gave lucky consumers the chance of winning and creating their ultimate ‘diet Coke’ break worth £10,000 each. From a trip to Monte Carlo with the girls, being pampered in absolute luxury in Rome or a shopping extravaganza in Florence, winners got a chance to create their own ultimate break.
The promotion included new packaging for ‘diet Coke’ where consumers were able to discover a unique code on pack. Consumers had to register this code on the ‘diet Coke’ break website or text to receive instant notification. Winners had to need to log on, enter the code and then begin creating their ultimate ‘diet Coke’ break online.
Reflecting the universal popularity of reality shows, star searches and Internet voting, Coca-Cola Co. in Germany started a ‘Diet coke man’- competition. The contenders had to prove their humour, intelligence and spontaneity by solving various tasks: Classic dancing, cooking, cocktail mixing or acting. From more than 10,000 competitors a Coke Light Man was selected who starred in a TV spot for German-speaking Europe. The media awareness was enormous.
Coca Cola´s ‘Diet Coke Man’ campaign is probably a role model for women´s advertising. On the contrary to the Media Analyzer survey I presented last week, women liked the ‘sexual aspect’ of the ads and I remember many of my girl friends talking about the campaign and starting to drink Coke Light. With it´s IMC approach the promotion was reinforced to become a brand experience.
In my opinion CCE´s Sex Sells Strategy was not simple-minded, on the contrary- it was surprising, sexy and set a new standard for emancipated advertising.
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