Diet Coke plots strategy U-turn to target women

Coca-Cola is to relaunch its flagship Diet Coke brand early next year to connect with women.

The decision marks a reversal of the company's most recent strategy of creating a unisex appeal for the Diet Coke brand, which previously had been aimed predominantly at women.

It is understood to be part of a realignment of the core Coca-Cola portfolio following the launch of Coke Zero, which targets men (Marketing, 5 April).

The soft-drinks giant is aiming to ensure that its portfolio of three Coke brands - Coca-Cola, Diet Coke and Coke Zero - are all clearly differentiated.

The most recent ads for Diet Coke, created by VCCP, have featured 'Tort', an animatronic talking tortoise.

According to Coca-Cola, the campaign was successful in boosting the masculine appeal of the brand. It said that research conducted last January showed that 60% of men said they drank Diet Coke weekly, compared with 40% in 2005.

Separately, Coca-Cola is gearing up to introduce nutritional labelling on the front of packs across its products in the European Union.

Within the next 24 months all Coca-Cola products sold in EU countries will carry an energy logo on the front of the pack, stating the calories per serving and the guideline daily amount (GDA).

The system will be rolled out in the UK first, after the British Soft Drinks Association announced that its members, which include Coca-Cola, are set to adopt a GDA labelling system.

Ingredients on the outside, page 33.

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