A Sugar-Filled Sparkling Beverage Please

Ad Age takes a critical eye to Coca-Cola’s revisionist nomenclature. The Atlanta-based conglomerate no longer uses the word “carbonated” to describe its best-selling brands. In it’s place is the word, “sparkling.”

The beverage giant appears to be trying to reframe the way carbonated-soft drinks — maligned for empty calories and lost share to alternative drinks — are perceived by the financial community and consumers.
By co-opting a term traditionally used to describe mineral waters, Coke seems to be adopting an eye-rolling marketing euphemism on the order of “pre-owned” for used cars and “active adult” for seniors.
“It’s about the fear that the whole soft-drink industry has become stereotyped as those people who make us fat,” said John Greening, associate professor of advertising at Northwestern University’s Medill Integrated Marketing Communications school.

About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am now head of brand strategy and creative direction at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.