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Live from Times Square, It’s Diet Coke

November 11, 2009

Earlier this year, Diet Coke relaunched it’s “Just for the taste of it” campaign. The well known slogan had originally been used in the 80’s and early 90’s. The campaign’s debut was on Oscar night via a TV commercial with celebrity chef Tom Collicchio of restaurant Craft and show Top Chef.

The latest in the “taste” campaign is built around the idea that good taste is stylish. The soda’s online marketing presents a range of integrated content to reinforce this idea, including fashion, cooking, entertainment and wellness.

On the Diet Coke website, a cooking and entertaining section begins with a video introduction from Collicchio who again reinforces that “ living well doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice great taste.” Recipes, hosting ideas and inspirational tips are presented. Diet Coke is running online advertising like a unit featured in Daily Candy that drives users back to the recipe section of the site.

Diet Coke_DC

The website also has a celebrity style series, featuring interviews with popular Hollywood stars and designers like Heidi Klum and Hillary Duff. This is most interesting not for its content, but for how the content is broadcast. The interviews are filmed in a Times Square studio and streamed live to billboards outside, plus online to the Diet Coke website and banners on related sites like E! Online.

Diet Coke_TS

As highlighted in AdWeek, this “real-time marketing” is being viewed as the next step in digital media that allows instant connections between brands and consumers. AdWeek points out this tactic has its challenges as well, like loss of control for brands and smaller reach versus traditional mass media vehicles.

Based on this series of online marketing tactics, it would seem that Diet Coke has embraced digital media. However, what I found surprising is that the soft drink does not appear to have a presence in other online media. All the Diet Coke Facebook pages, Twitter handles or YouTube videos appear to have been made by fans. In fact, when you search “Diet Coke” online, aside from the soft drink’s website, a Wikipedia page and a couple Coca-Cola press releases, the results are filled with entries on the artificial sweetener aspartame or the Mentos – Diet Coke experiment.

Diet Coke may have embraced digital media as a way to talk to consumers, but does seem to have taken the next step to actually engage with their consumers.  Moving beyond what seems to be a push strategy would allow Diet Coke to more fully connect with loyal consumers and make the most of online tools.

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