Coca-Cola takes low sugar battle to rival Pepsi with launch of Coke Life marketing crusade

Screen Shot 2015-03-30 at 1.00.25 PMCoca-Cola South Pacific is gearing up for a TV-led marketing push of Coke Life as it looks to take the naturally sweetened battle to rival Pepsi.

The multi-million Coke Life push will begin in early April with the firm hoping it will turn around its fortunes after a poor 2014 which saw total soft drink sales decline two per cent and net profit plunge 25 per cent.

It is the first new Coca-Cola product since Coke Zero was launched in 2006.

The campaign, created by Ogilvy & Mather, will contain the tagline ‘Let Life Surprise You’ and will run throughout April and May.

The TVC will air from April 9.

The campaign will target 30 to 49-year-olds and unlike Coca Cola’s Colour Your Summer campaign – which was largely social – the crusade will be led by TV and feature cinema, out of home, print, digital, PR and sampling.

The company said the aim will be to “intrigue, educate and engage consumers”.

Coca-Cola South Pacific marketing director Lisa Winn said the development of Life is only the fourth drink to be launched in Coca Cola’s 128 year history, and follows “consumer demand to shake up the category”.

Among the executions will OOH displays at high profile locations including Kings Cross in Sydney, and a takeover of Melbourne’s Southern Cross Station while tailored messaging will invite commuters to “come along for the ride” and “take a detour”.

Screen Shot 2015-03-30 at 12.57.53 PM“We’re extremely excited to be offering Coca Cola Like in Australia, a great addition to the Coca-Cola family,” Winn said. “We’re confident that the new formulation is what consumers have been looking for. We’ve achieved the best possible taste of Coca-Cola, but with 35% reduced sugar and kilojoules.

“Coke Life isn’t simply a new product from Coca-Cola – it’s another great choice for people who want a delicious Coca-Cola to fit their lifestyle. There is a Coca-Cola option for everyone.”

The stevia-sweetened drink was first launched in Argentina in June 2013 amid growing demand from a more health-conscious public for less artificially-sugared products. But sales failed to reach expectations, according to the Australian Financial Review.

The recipe has since been tweaked with management now confident drinkers will be unable to detect the difference between Life and full-sugar Coke.

Coca-Cola South Pacific has plenty of ground to make up in the low sugar market in Australia with Pepsi having launching Next in early 2012.

Last year Pepsi returned to its taste challenge which pitted Next against Coke. The campaign featured a Pepsi Next van travelling across Australia, inviting drinkers to take the test, with the ad concluding with the tagline “Does naturally less sugar Pepsi Next taste better than full sugar Coke? Let your taste decide”.

Creative: Ogilvy & Mather
Strategy & Media: UM
Consumer PR: Adhesive PR
Trade PR: Pulse
Experiential & Sampling: Maverick
POS: Passport

Steve Jones


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