We Don’t Need No Stinking Diets

from NY Times: Soft-drink makers are racing to replace or play down the word “diet” in brand names in favor of alternative terms they hope will help fatten sales.
The Coca-Cola Company kicked off the trend in September by renaming the diet version of its Sprite lemon-lime soda Diet Sprite Zero. That name will probably be changed before long to Sprite Zero, as the soda is called in more than 20 markets overseas.
The Pepsi-Cola Company division of PepsiCo last month changed the name of the diet version of its lemon-lime soda, Sierra Mist, to Sierra Mist Free. Both Sierra Mist Free and Diet Sprite Zero are being promoted in multimillion-dollar campaigns on television, in print, on posters and in stores.
The rebrandings come as marketers are struggling to inject some effervescence into sales of carbonated soft drinks, which have been losing luster – particularly among younger consumers – to products like water, tea and energy beverages. About the only sodas gaining sales are those without sugar, so the renamings seek to capitalize on that momentum.
Rony Zibara, executive creative director for North America at FutureBrand in New York, said “No one wants to be seen walking down the street with a diet beverage in hand.”
Dan Dillon, vice president for marketing in the diet unit of Coca-Cola North America, said, “Zero is a much better, more accurate description of the product, because it extends beyond zero calories, zero carbs, zero sugar to encompass zero color and zero caffeine.”



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.