Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Have Your Coke And Drink It Too

Get ready to see more advertising for Diet Coke

According to AdAge, the calorie conscience cola is reorganizing its marketing to span the entire calender year rather than focusing their campaigning to the first quarter. The impetus for this decision stems from beating out Pepsi for the number two spot in the cola category - guzzling 9.9 percent of the market in 2010. It seems as if this decision is to recognize and give Diet Coke the backing that a number two brand deserves.

However, don't credit savvy marketing for Diet Coke's ascension to the category's second spot. Its "Stay Extraordinary" position is complete marketer inspired nonsense and really means nothing to consumers.

The real driving force behind the rise of The (somewhat) Real Thing is an ever-expanding consumer waistline that now counts cans of soda as a serious calorie contributor. Diet Coke is a just beneficiary of a health conscience (or at least calorie guilty) culture that still wants to have its Coke and drink it too. Evidenced by a steady decline in per capita consumption in carbonated soft drinks since 1998 coupled with the rise in alternatives like diet colas, teas and bottled water.

Unfortunately, Diet Coke's position as the anti-cola is the reason for its success and unquestionably is to the detriment of the original formula. Despite holding on to the top spot in the category with 42 percent, Coke has competition and cannibalization sipping away at its share more than ever before.

Obviously, I view the Coke bottle as half empty. I'll even take it a step further. While it may be a bold prediction, I believe its day to suffer a similar fate as competitor Pepsi will come.

No comments: