Redesigning Coke Zero Sugar is becoming a biennial event for Coca-Cola. In 2014, Zero (as it was known then) got an “edgy” makeover and a new visual identity that features a red circle icon as it looked to shake off its blokey image.
Fast-forward to 2016, and Coke Zero was revamped again, this time changing its time to Coca-Cola Zero Sugar to really hammer home that it doesn’t contain any sugar and introducing the Coca-Cola red disc to its packaging. It was Coke’s biggest product launch in a decade, but even that branding couldn’t last.
Fast-forward once again to 2018 and Coke Zero has had another redesign. Bringing its ‘One Brand’ strategy to the fore, even more, now the only thing that distinguishes a can of Coke Zero Sugar from a classic can of Coke is a black strip at the top and ‘zero sugar’ in small lettering. It’s also getting a £5m marketing push under the strapline ‘One way or another’.
Coca-Cola has put some serious marketing budget behind Coke Zero Sugar over the past few years as it attempts to manage a shift in consumer trends that move away from fizzy drinks in favour of healthier options. The idea behind Coke and Coke Zero Sugar looking the same and featuring in the same ad campaign is to convince shoppers that they can still get a can of Coke that looks like Coke and tastes like Coke but isn’t as bad for you.
Whether that washes is another thing entirely. Coca-Cola is doing all the right things to manage the decline in carbonated drinks sales, but it is still a decline. Full of sugar or not, consumer perceptions of fizzy drinks have shifted and people are moving more to alternatives like sparkling water and iced tea. Coke knows this, hence it focuses on innovation and investing in alternatives, as it has just done with energy drink BodyArmor in the US.
Credit: Marketing Week