Diet Coke have pulled off one of the best satirical marketing campaigns ever… I hope…

Shane O’Leary takes his hat off to the genius satirical minds at Diet Coke. Or does he?

“Life is short. If you want to live in a yurt, yurt it up!”

“Just like I’m into getting a haircut and then waiting for people to ask ‘Did you get a haircut’?”

“Twisted mango, that tastes like San Francisco!”

“Still goin’. Maybe it’s getting sexier?”


What utter strategic brilliance by Diet Coke. In a world where idiot marketers are infatuated with targeting ‘millennials’ and painting the most diverse and broad group of consumers that there’s literally ever been into one ridiculous segment, it’s so refreshing to see a brand indulge in some satire.

The brilliant marketing minds at Diet Coke have launched a range of fake ‘millennial’ inspired new drinks with names like ‘Blood Orange’, ‘Twisted Mango’ and ‘Feisty Cherry’.

But even better, they’ve created a range of hilarious TV and video spots that laugh at all the best millennial stereotypes that you can see above.

Faux diversity? Yep!

Stupid hipster outfits? Oh yeah!

Completely forced inauthentic product reviews that are even worse than some of the guff from those #influencers that millennials love? You got it!

All that’s missing is a nod to avocado toast!

These ads are a brilliantly high brow meta critique of the stupidity and ridiculousness of brands trying to talk to ‘millennials’ in an uber patronising way.

They’re a sarcastic piss take of Pepsi’s equally awful but sincere Kendall Jenner spot that was lambasted and had to be taken down.

They’re a funny play on brands that try to be down with the kidz, sort of like that 30 Rock episode when Steve Buscemi’s character pretends to be a high schooler.

Obviously, Diet Coke a hope that their cultural commentary isn’t too esoteric and their audience will get it quickly. But as they know, their audience is made up of cynical, culturally smart people who have been weaned on the sarky humour of the internet.

People will get it, and I’m sure these awful parody ads will become an instant meme, a parody of a parody.

People will say ‘ah how smart of them! I think I’ll buy a Diet Coke to celebrate their hilariousness!’

Eventually Diet Coke will reveal the big joke and we’ll all laugh at the foolish people who fell for it!

Top stuff. Well done on a brilliantly executed ‘tease and reveal’ campaign that’s also a searing commentary on modern marketing Diet Coke!

Hmmm… but wait.

Actually, now that I write this, there is the *slight* chance that this isn’t actually intelligent satire and someone actually thinks this ridiculous suite of ads is good.

There is a chance that the suits at Diet Coke reckon that millennials are a target segment and that this type of nonsense is actually a real attempt at marketing to young people.

There is a chance that they haven’t learned anything from their biggest rivals Pepsi and have made a spectacularly ill judged public fuck up.

Naaaah. Couldn’t be!

Nobody could sign off on stuff like this right?



Uh oh…

Shane O’Leary is a senior strategist based Dublin. To receive his irregular marketing and media newsletter, click here.


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