January 19, 2016 US News
Coca-Cola, under pressure as many people look to cut back on sugary drinks, is unveiling a new global campaign that for the first time unites its flagship cola with lower-calorie versions.
The Atlanta company says the “Taste the Feeling” campaign will feature Coke as well as variations such as Diet Coke and Coke Zero. The effort replaces its “Open Happiness” campaign, which launched in 2009.
Coke is underscoring the various options that it offers to consumers at a time when sugary drinks are increasingly linked to obesity. Globally, the company still gets about three-quarters of its sales full-calorie drinks that include Sprite, Powerade and Simply orange juice.
The company did not provide a breakdown of how much of its sales come from its traditional cola. But in a phone interview, Chief Marketing Officer Marcos de Quinto said it didn’t matter whether original Coke ends up being just 20 percent of sales over time.
The new strategy is meant to convey that all the variations are a single brand, rather than competing products with different personalities, he said. Individual markets such as the U.S. will determine how to adapt the global strategy locally.
In Chile, Russia and Spain, the company is already testing its Coke lineup with cans that look more alike. The top halves of Coke, Diet Coke and Coke Zero cans are all red, while the bottom halves denote the variation.
De Quinto said it was too soon to determine whether similar packaging would be rolled out elsewhere, but that the pilot has worked well in those markets.
The new campaign arrives as Coke struggles to push up sales, with its soda volume up just 1 percent for the first nine months of the year. Coke CEO Muhtar Kent has promised to lift sales with stepped marketing.