Diet Coke Gets Taller, ‘Feisty’
Brand’s new flavors and redesigned cans earn in-store and digital support at retail
Coca-Cola Co.’s Diet Coke kicked off the new year by launching four new flavors and debuting redesigned, taller 12-ounce cans.
The flavors – “ginger lime,” “feisty cherry,” “zesty blood orange” and “twisted mango” – were the result of a two-year innovation process. The company spoke to more than 10,000 people from across the country to gather ideas and input on potential flavor extensions and packaging updates. Based on these insights, Coca-Cola’s R&D team developed and tested more than 30 Diet Coke flavor combinations, ultimately arriving on four flavors that received the most positive consumer responses. Packaged in the revamped cans, the standard and new flavors rolled out to stores in January.
Diet Coke’s national campaign included creating “house parties” via Irvington, New York-based Ripple Street (formerly House Party), a company that brings brand-sponsored parties to consumer homes. The events were staged March 24 with party hosts receiving free coupons for five eight-pack cases of Diet Coke, party props and other branded accessories to distribute to guests. The gatherings served to encourage trial and participants posted their reviews and thoughts on a Diet Coke “House Party” event page within houseparty.fun.
Target, Meijer, Hy-Vee and Giant Eagle also sponsored their own parties to spotlight the flavors’ arrival in their stores. Hosts for retailer-specific events received the same party materials and event pages directed participants to the retailers’ respective websites and Facebook pages.
The rollout also earned other retailer support across channels.
7-Eleven ran a “Taste the Journey” sweepstakes and promotion from Jan. 24 through Feb. 28 that let members of the retailer’s 7Rewards loyalty program earn free private-label SKUs by purchasing the new “slim” cans. Shoppers could also enter to win one of seven $100 store gift cards with purchase of one Diet Coke beverage or one of seven $2,000 Delta vacation gift cards with purchase of five cans.
A carousel ad on 7-eleven.com and an ad within the retailer’s mobile application touted the sweeps. The convenience store further underscored the brand’s launch by offering loyalty members 200 bonus points with a Diet Coke purchase through May 2. Points are redeemable at the retailer for food and drink.
Albertsons Cos. ran an account-specific “Because It’s Your Adventure” sweeps awarding 44 winners a “flavor-inspired experience” such as a kayak and coastal cuisine getaway in Washington’s San Juan Islands, an art and music trip in New Orleans, or a salsa dancing vacation in Miami. Participants entered from Feb. 1 to April 30 by purchasing one of the Diet Coke flavors and uploading a qualifying receipt to a microsite operated by sweeps administrator HelloWorld, Southfield, Michigan. In stores, support included several floorstands spread out near entrances and the checkout area, as well as shelf labels positioned down the beverage aisles.
Meanwhile, Walgreens posted a six-second Facebook video on Feb. 12 that depicted the five Diet Coke varieties and communicated a “because being a little extra is cool sometimes” message. Diet Coke floorstands stocking the five flavors and carrying a “because delicious deserves a try” message also supported the launch in stores.
At Walmart, Diet Coke received the spotlight through account-specific, gravity-fed merchandisers and dump bin pallet displays encouraging shoppers they “need a break from the ordinary.”
The beverages also received secondary merchandising space via gravity-fed floorstands at retailers such as Ahold Delhaize’s Stop & Shop and Albertsons’ Jewel-Osco as well as floorstands at Target, Ahold Delhaize’s Food Lion and Kroger’s QFC.