Remember the Jane Fonda Workout video? Even if you were one of the
millions of happy customers, you probably haven’t popped it in your VCR
since the 80s.
You know that, but some of the most sophisticated marketers in the world
apparently don’t. A classic case is Coca-Cola. The marketer that so
seldom gets it wrong has presided over 80s-styled ’just for the taste of
it’ ads for Diet Coke in the US for most of this decade. To be fair,
it’s not that it hasn’t wanted to bring diet drinks kicking and
screaming into the 90s, it’s just that nothing else has really worked.
The one serious attempt to dispense with their dated jingle was a brief
campaign in 1994, featuring the line ’this is refreshment’, but it
failed to gel.
Although the diet drinks market is still growing, it’s lagging behind
the rest of the soft drinks market. And, although Diet Coke has retained
its place as the third-largest soft drinks brand in the US, there is a
belief that it must grow by converting what are referred to as
Enter a series of quaint animated tales and the line ’you are what you
drink’. The first three executions, created by Lowe and Partners/SMS in
New York, break this week and introduce humour into the series -
featuring beautiful women enhanced by drinking Diet Coke. If successful,
they will eventually be taken up in other main markets around the
In the UK, they are likely to bring the curtain down on the revamped
’Diet Coke break’ spot featuring female office workers ogling a hunky
male delivery man. When Lowes in New York came up with its original
construction worker ad in 1993, and despite the odds against it, the
spot actually came across as a humorous representation of the
empowerment of female sexuality. Unfortunately, the follow-up, from Leo
Burnett, looks rather 80s.
Lowes has already shot alternative versions of the new films. One
features the Diet Coke brand used in the English-speaking world, Norway
The other uses the Coke Lite name used where the word ’diet’ has
negative or medicinal overtones.