The ‘one brand’ approach is designed to “extend the equity and iconic appeal of the world’s no 1 beverage brand to Coca-Cola Light / Diet Coca-Cola, Coca-Cola Zero and Coca-Cola Life.”
Coca-Cola says it marks a ‘significant shift in its marketing strategy,’ with the campaign designed to underscore a commitment to choice.
But analysts warn the fundamental challenge is consumers simply don’t see carbonates as a healthy option, regardless of any sugar or calorie reductions.
‘Coca-Cola is for everybody’
The ‘one brand’ strategy follows Coca-Cola Great Britain’s rebrand in March last year, which also sought to integrate the different varieties on offer with the traditional full calorie drink.
Coca-Cola says its aim is to reinforce the concept that ‘Coca-Cola is for everybody.’ Chief Marketing Officer Marcos de Quinto said the strategy will present Coca-Cola as one brand with different variants, which all share the same values and visual iconography.
“People want Coca-Cola in different ways, but whichever one they want, they want a Coca-Cola brand with great taste and refreshment,” he said.
He added that bringing products like Coca-Cola Zero and Coca-Cola Life to the forefront highlights the company’s commitment to choice for different tastes, lifestyles and diets: with or without calories and with or without caffeine.
Coca-Cola Life, for example, is a reduced calorie beverage which uses cane sugar and stevia leaf extract. Meanwhile, Coca-Cola Zero is a no sugar, no calorie version.
As part of the new strategy, the ‘Taste the Feeling’ campaign will be rolled out worldwide this year. Six TV adverts (which you can watch below) were launched yesterday and focus on the emotional aspects of sharing and drinking any Coca-Cola drink.
Familiar Coca-Cola cues – such as the contour glass bottle and red disk – are featured in each. The sounds associated with the drink – for example the pop of the cap and fizz – are also included. At the close of each clip, the group of Coca-Cola products unite under the red Coca-Cola disc.
Alternative versions of the ads have been produced with locally relevant casts.
Hope Lee, senior analyst for beverages at Euromonitor International, says Coca-Cola is under pressure to drive brand sales, and has made a number of efforts to do so.
A successful example is 'Share a Coke,' because it is personalized to consumers.
But the overall sluggishness in the carbonates category is a huge challenge for all carbonates players, she told BeverageDaily.
"Some consumers can’t actually tell the difference between the four brands (Coca-Cola, Coca-Cola Zero, Diet Coke and Coca-Cola Life): putting them together can perhaps tell a direct story and make a direct comparison between the big four brands for consumers to choose.
"This marketing campaign is a calculated risk. Many consumers seem to have already made up their mind that 'carbonates are not a healthy option,' regardless whether they are full sugar or zero calories. Our latest data does not show significant share gains of the big four brands in 2015 the UK."
Jenny Zegler, global food and drink analyst at Mintel, says the campaign may help Coca-Cola connect with more people and more occasions.
'The campaign leaves the consumer with the choice, rather than connecting each brand with a specific demographic or consumption occasion.'
Jenny Zegler, Mintel
"By featuring all of its different colas in one advertisement, it lets consumers choose which Coca-Cola variety not only fits their personal preferences, but potentially also a specific occasion.
"This leaves the consumer with the choice between the four varieties, each with its corresponding sweeteners and calorie levels, rather than connecting each brand with a specific demographic or consumption occasion."
She also notes the campaign's new focus on emotions.
"The campaign expands the brand’s connection with emotions beyond its previous focus on happiness and to a wider share of feelings and moments. The ads depict a range of emotions and place Coca-Cola as a catalyst or, at least a must-have accessory, when people are enjoying time with friends, family and – as some ads point out, strangers.
"Many of the ads feature young people who may be craving these memorable moments, but also might not always think to consume carbonated soft drinks, which may help Coca-Cola connect with more people."
‘Taste the Feeling’
Coca-Cola is moving on from seven years of ‘Open Happiness’ (which has focused on what the brand stands for) to ‘Taste the Feeling’ (which puts the spotlight on ‘the emotional aspects of the Coca-Cola experience’).
An international network of agencies is working on the campaign, which includes TV commercials, digital, print, out-of-home and shopper materials.
The ‘Taste the Feeling’ campaign anthem comes from Swedish artist and producer Avicii and features singer Conrad Sewell. Avicii also will produce additional versions of “Taste the Feeling” for Coke’s UEFA EURO 2016 and Rio 2016 Olympic Games campaigns later this year.
Meanwhile, visual storytelling comes from more than 100 images shot by fashion photographers Guy Aroch and Nacho Ricci.