New Agency For Diet Coke Won't Mean U.S. Hunk

As the United Kingdom anticipates the return of the "Hunk" campaign, Coca-Cola USA, which shifted the Diet Coke account this week to agency Wieden + Kennedy, says it has no plans to return the hunk to domestic shores.

A spokesperson for Coca-Cola in Atlanta said new advertising, reflective of the "new direction" in which Coke wants to take its diet soda, will debut late in the first quarter of 2007. But it won't be the hunk. "That's a completely different thing," she said of the hunk ads. "That's Coke Light."

The estimated $60 million Diet Coke account had been with DraftFCB since 2002.

The British "Coke Light" ads are a return to the 1990s shirtless male who took a scheduled soda break while a gaggle of female office workers gazed longingly from an office window above. The ads will debut next year, and will feature a hunk alongside a group of young women taking their own soda break.

Wieden already handled global Coke Classic out of Amsterdam, where that office came up with the "Coke Side of Life" theme.

Media spending on Diet Coke is up in the last three years. In 2003, it spent $5 million in U.S. media, but increased its outlay to $30 million in 2004 and $50 million in 2005, according to Nielsen Monitor-Plus.

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