Coke ad signals new direction

Satisfaction scores increase as Welsh singing sensation becomes the new face of Diet Coke.

Duffy: the new face of Diet Coke
Duffy: the new face of Diet Coke

In mid-January, it was announced that Duffy, the Welsh singing sensation, was to become the new face of Diet Coke.

The new advertising campaign featuring the singer first aired on 19 February, signalling a new direction for the Coca-Cola brand.

Previous Diet Coke ads have often played on the brand's identity. Throughout 2005 and 2006, a tortoise with a can of Diet Coke attached to its shell became a common feature of the brand's ads, where said tortoise described his exciting lifestyle while demonstrating the Diet Coke range.

Next, the "Diet Coke Break" ads aired, which undeniably positioned the drink in the female market. However, it appears Coca-Cola has decided to put the maintenance man into retirement in its latest campaign, with the company opting for a celebrity face to front the new Diet Coke ads.

The latest campaign carries a simple message: Diet Coke allows consumers to be themselves. Duffy's actions in the ad portray this well.

The ad opens with Duffy backstage at a gig, where she is enjoying a two-minute interval.

After finishing her can of Diet Coke between performances, she decides to cycle to the nearest supermarket, where she buys a new can of Diet Coke before arriving back at the gig venue with moments to spare.

The first airing of the new campaign was timed well, as it was launched just a week after the announcement that Coca-Cola suffered a fall in profits, due to a drop in North American sales and the impact of the strong dollar on overseas earnings.

Satisfaction scores for the Diet Coke brand increased impressively to a peak of 21% on 27 February - an improvement of 10 points compared to when the ad first aired.

The improvement in buzz scores has been far less dramatic, although the longer-term trend for the brand is positive, with the buzz score for Diet Coke currently at 3%.

It is too early to say whether the new advertising campaign will be as successful and memorable as some of the brand's previous endeavours.

However, the initial uplift suggests that, despite negative trading announcements, Coca-Cola may yet see its Diet Coke brand return to form.

METHODOLOGY: YouGov interviews 2,000 people each weekday to form its BrandIndex, a daily measure of public perception of more than 1,100 consumer brands across 32 sectors. It is measured on a seven-point profile:
1 Buzz
2 General impression
3 Quality
4 Value
5 Satisfaction
6 Recommend
7 Corporate reputation.
In addition, we supply an index score.

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