Lowe offers fresh take on Diet Coke romance

Lowe has unveiled a relaunch campaign for Diet Coke that offers a fresh take on the product's traditional boy-meets-girl theme.

The TV execution, which breaks this week, attempts to appeal to a wider, unisex UK market by positioning the drink in a more modern setting while building on its well-established heritage.

A new endline, "Must be a Diet Coke thing", is introduced to capture the power of the soft drink.

The new 40-second television execution depicts a girl on a train journey having a sexy fantasy after opening her bottle of Diet Coke.

As she travels through an urban landscape, a suggestive message, which is constructed through snatches of everyday scenery, unfolds before her eyes. It reads: "Hey sweet thing you turn me on let's get down to business."

But she is brought back down to earth after she closes her bottle and turns to see a man sitting opposite her.

He turns out not to be the fantasy she was hoping for and the moment of enjoying her Diet Coke is over.

Jeremy Bowles, the Lowe managing director, said: "This new brand injects some stature into Diet Coke. 'Must be a Diet Coke thing' serves up a moment of fantasy and reflection in a modern way. We felt that the previous work was a little bit stuck in the 80s and we wanted to stay relevant to today's audience."

The ad is scheduled to appear between programmes such as ER and Big Brother.

A version for cinema is expected to break on 11 July, with an outdoor element to the campaign planned for later in the year.

It is hoped the ads will reach 83 per cent of British adults approximately eight times, with the core target audience identified as men and women in their late 20s.

Mike O'Reilly, the account director at Lowe, said it anticipated the campaign would run for five years or more. "It's a sexy commercial, and that's the heartland of Diet Coke," he said. "We hope it will create a platform for the future that will enable us to move the brand on."

Diet Coke is the number-two soft drink in Britain, with a sales growth of more than 8 per cent, according to Nielsen Media Research.

The ad, which takes the drink out of the office-based context, was shot over four days in ten different locations around Miami.

It was directed by Walter Stern through Academy. Sam Heath wrote the ad and the art director was Frank Ginger. Media planning was through BBJ, with media buying by Universal McCann.

Charlotte Oades, the marketing director for Coca-Cola Great Britain, said: "This new ad for diet Coke builds on the brand's heritage of lighthearted, sexy advertising, which British consumers really look forward to seeing."

It is only the second offering for Diet Coke by Lowe since the agency picked up the account a year ago.

The Hollywood actress Kim Basinger starred in the agency's debut television commercial, which launched a promotion for consumers to win movie-related prizes.