Diet Coke, which earlier this month announced a North American branding relaunch featuring a packaging redesign and four new flavors, has now debuted the first ads in the supporting campaign, “Because I Can.”
The brand also announced that it will air a Super Bowl ad for the first time since 1997, but will not preview it before it runs in the game.
In the new Anomaly Los Angeles campaign, aimed at both male and female millennials, the brand has dropped its reliance on flashy celebrities like Taylor Swift. Instead, the ads have a stripped-down approach — young people shown in ordinary settings talking into the camera — that’s meant to appeal to millennials’ craving for “authenticity.” The theme is “doing the things in life that make you happy, no matter what anyone else thinks,” in the brand’s own words.
“We’ve stripped away the glossy marketing and we’re just telling people how good Diet Coke really is,” Danielle Henry, group director of integrated marketing content, Coca-Cola North America, summed up in a statement.
Diet Coke “wanted to present a fresh approach to Diet Coke advertising, while still bringing our loyal current fans along on the journey,” said Rafael Acevedo, Coca-Cola North America’s group director for Diet Coke, adding that the creative is about “having the confidence to do what you want to do and drink what you want to drink…because you can.”
The released ads include the campaign’s first 30-second TV ad (below), featuring Gillian Jacobs. Jacobs is known for her roles in the NBC sitcom “Community” and the Netflix romantic comedy series “Love" — an actress apparently perceived as having a more low-key, authentic persona than a music diva.
Jacobs is shown buying a Diet Coke from a corner store and saying, as she talks into the camera, that the soda is “delicious” and “makes me feel good… Life is short…just do you, whatever that is. And if you’re in the mood for a Diet Coke, have a Diet Coke.”
Four other, 15-second ads feature a diverse group of young people who were “not selected for their ability to deliver a line on cue,” Henry explained in the Coca-Cola Journey blog. “This is a carefully curated cast of recognizable, up-and-coming actors who are starting to make their mark on culture and who reflect the attitude we want Diet Coke to convey.”
Each ad features a solo actor talking in an ostensibly off-the-cuff way about one of the four new flavors. For instance, in one (above) a red-headed guy says that he drinks the ginger lime flavor because he supports “all things ginger.” All of the ads can be viewed on Diet Coke’s YouTube channel.
The spots were directed by Paul Feig, known for the cult classic TV series “Freak and Geeks” and millennial-friendly movies including “Bridesmaids” and 2016’s “Ghostbusters” re-boot.