Coca-Cola is changing the packaging across all its flavours — the original, Diet Coke, Coke Zero, Coca-Cola Cherry, Coca-Cola Vanilla, and the recently launched mid-calorie range Coke Life — so that they all look the same, aside from the different colours.
Coke says in a press release that the packaging transformation moves it to a “one brand” strategy across Great Britain, Ireland, France, Belgium, the Nordics, Holland, and Spain.
It kind of highlights how confusing Coke thinks its brand extensions have become.
Each can or bottle will have a more detailed description on the front about what each product contains. Coke Zero will more proudly display that it has zero calories and zero sugar, for example. But original Coca-Cola, amusingly, doesn’t cover the ingredients on the front and instead just reads “since 1886.”
The idea is to make sure consumers fully understand the benefits of its full portfolio. For example, the company says that five in 10 consumers in the UK don’t realise Coke Zero is a zero calorie and zero sugar drink.
To complement the new cans and bottles, Coke says its lower and no sugar/calorie variants will now be presented in the final frames of all its TV ads in Great Britain. And its 2015 media investment in the low/no sugar/calorie products will be doubled compared with last year.
In Great Britain, the idea is to meet an internally-set objective for 50% of its sales to come from the lower and no calorie range by 2020.
Coke is often heavily criticised by health campaigners for obesity issues that come with consuming lots of sugary drinks, but in the Great Britain market the company has been running a heap of initiatives to promote healthy living. Last year, for example, it launched a £20m anti-obesity drive which included offering free fitness classes, as part of a separate goal to get 1 million people in the region more active by 2020.
It’s not entirely clear how rearranging the deckchairs in terms of the packaging will encourage consumers to make more healthy choices. The cans don’t look that different from before and the kind of people interested to find out how many calories a drink contains would probably check the ingredients list on the back anyway.
But by doubling the marketing investment behind its healthier brands, it’s certainly more likely that consumers will at least know that Coke isn’t all about sugar, it’s about choice too.
Here’s one of its new billboard ads in Great Britain:
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