Coca-Cola Zero Sugar Seeks Reassurance That It’s ‘the Best Coke Ever’

Coca-Cola Zero Sugar

A new campaign highlights an updated version of the sugar-free drink.

Coca-Cola has been busy this summer putting an updated version of Coca-Cola Zero Sugar in stores across the country. Now the brand wants people to know about it.

Starting today, Coke is launching an advertising campaign that will appear on social media, radio stations and television. The ad campaign, created by agency IPG Mercado McCann, features characters arguing over whether the new Coca-Cola Zero Sugar is “the best Coke ever,” urging customers to try the new version themselves.

The ad campaign also involves out-of-home elements, such as billboards and bus stops. To get more people to try Coca-Cola Zero Sugar, the company is placing more than a dozen refrigerators with the product in cities across the country. To get a free drink, people will only need to scan a QR code, which has become a favorite tactic of marketers during the pandemic.

The timing of the interactive aspect of the campaign was not the best. With coronavirus cases on the rise and companies postponing employees returning to the office, shoppers likely won’t go out as often as some had anticipated in late 2021.

“We are continually reviewing national and local CDC recommendations for proper guidance and advice,” a Coca-Cola spokesman told Adweek.

A few months ago, Coke announced plans to stop selling its Coca-Cola Energy drink in the U.S. and Canada — just a year after it introduced it in a Super Bowl commercial starring John Hill and Martin Scorsese. With footfall in convenience stores declining and shoppers largely sticking to what they know and trust during a pandemic, sales of the new product fell short of expectations.

New sugar-free Coca-Cola

The latest iteration of Coca-Cola Zero Sugar has a modified recipe that tastes more like the classic taste of the original Coke. Likewise, the redesign — now all red with black lettering — is meant to mimic the iconic Coca-Cola logo.

As consumers prefer healthier options and functional drinks that provide some benefit – whether it’s energy to stay awake or a sense of calm to fall asleep – beverage brands are doing their best to keep up with the times.

Last week, rival PepsiCo agreed to sell a majority stake in its Tropicana and Naked juice brands — once considered healthy but now losing popularity because of their high sugar content — to private equity firm PAI Partners for $3.3 billion.

Earlier this year, Pepsi Zero Sugar launched more than 70 commercials with messages tailored to key moments in men’s daily lives. The gist of the campaign is this: Although adulthood requires many concessions, Pepsi Zero Sugar will never ask you to sacrifice taste.

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