Monday, March 7

Diet Coke "Stay Extraordinary"

I would love to get everyone's take on this.

What do you think of the current campaign from Diet Coke that seems to be growing and growing across multiple media channels. We talked about it quite a bit while we were tweeting live during The Oscars (on Twitter at #OscarExp) -- Diet Coke was a major sponsor and aired several spots throughout the night.

For me, the jury is still out but it is growing on me. I just don't think that a diet soda can claim to help keep someone extraordinary. We are all trying to cut back, if anything. It just doesn't seem like a promise that is relevant and appropriate for the category.

But having said that, I do kind of get it. Diet Coke is what keeps us going. It's not about being on a diet anymore certainly. It's a little bolt of energy, cold and refreshing, right before we need to get something done. I'll admit that I still partake, even though I am cutting back.

So in concept, the notion kind of makes sense. The advertising shows little snapshots of people drinking a Diet Coke right before a big speech, or a class, or going into care for someone. Out of home advertising encourages us to "Stay Extraordinary." Banner ads are all over the internet at all hours of the day and night.

But I want to hear what you think. One of the comments on #OscarExp was, "What else do you expect them to do?" Fair point.

You can watch one of the executions here. Beautifully produced with great music. Really sucks you in. But is it believable?

What's your experience? Jim.


  1. You bring up some good thoughts- what's a credible brand promise?
    Lately, I've been cringing with the overpromises from insurance companies, especially Nationwide. An absurd claims really sours me..and makes me crabby and complain to my wife. That's never good.

  2. With all the current health campaigns negatively targeting soft drinks right now I think Diet Coke has to take an approach like this. It's not good to constantly drink soda even if it is diet but if you need a little kick or pick me up the sugar and caffeine can help. As long as they don't start showing people drinking Diet Coke in the gym or during a marathon it works for me.

  3. Had to chime in on this Jim!

    Maybe I was brainwashed by seeing the campaign so often last summer during "Work of Art" on-demand episodes where it was the only ad running. For me, what resounded more than "Stay Extraordinary" was the combination of images and lyrics. The ad sends the message that people doing their jobs, people going to events, people having fun, people being creative....they're all connected by Diet Coke as a part of all those experiences. Diet Coke provides the distinctive, creative edge for everyone in those moments.

    When I was watching all those ads, I'd given up all soda (primarily Diet Dr. Pepper). When I started drinking it again (at the AMA Market Research Conference, coincidentally) to get that little edge going, what did I start drinking? Diet Coke.

    Oh, the fact we were in Atlanta may have had something to do with that, but it's what I'm still drinking and trying to kick again!

  4. Thanks Ed and Henry, great comments. And Mike, I am glad you are weighing in because it's your comments at #OscarExp that got me thinking. You changed my mind about the whole campaign, actually, so thanks for that. It's a great debate. Jim

  5. In a seminar, I’ve heard that Diet Coke was positioned as a brand for young “successful women”, provably 25-35 years old who are or (in reality) want to look like models. On the other hand, Coke Zero was positioned for the average guy –this is the reasoning for the brand’s goofy humor (Mentos –Coke Zero car viral video, etc). After watching the new Diet Coke commercials, what caught my eye was the amount of successful young men in the commercials. It seemed as if the brand was trying to appeal to urban, successful, 25-35 year old women and now MEN. As a lifestyle product, Diet Coke seems to be trying to appeal to this audience in an emotional way as 25-35 year olds are in a transition from experiencing youth, freedom, etc to gaining responsibility, wrinkles etc. This tag line seems to say “don’t worry if you’re getting older and seeing wrinkles, you can Stay Extraordinary….by drinking diet coke.” Seems that Diet Coke is suggesting that they are the fountain of youth…which is provably what this target audience (including me) is looking for.

  6. Interesting that you saw it that way ... I had not processed it that way. I guess what is becoming apparent about the campaign is that we are each seeing it from a different lens, which in fact may mean that it is even more powerful than I ever suspected. Jim.