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 head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.