To Help People Battling Labels, Diet Coke Drops Its Own

Diet Coke is launching a new ad campaign titled "[unlabeled]" and themed around appreciating individuals for who they are -- not the socioeconomic, racial and gender-specific stereotypes that some people use to identify them.

In line with that idea, Diet Coke is removing its brand name from its recently restyled cans. But the label is only being removed for special events where Diet Coke would give its product away to consumers for whom the idea of being “labeled” has a special sting.

 The can bought at the 7-Eleven will be unchanged.

“We live in a world full of labels,” the text on the website begins. “Some labels are earned. Fought for. Demanded. Proudly owned. But then there are labels that are imposed upon us. Weapons aimed to limit. Box us in. Make us feel lesser than. But imagine a world where we are not limited by the way others label us.”



The copy continues: “We're removing our own labels to start a conversation about labels.”

[Unlabeled] videos are beginning to appear on social-media sites. Earlier this month at a Pride event in Los Angeles, Diet Coke distributed stickers with words including “Independent” and “Misrepresented” to drive home the labeling point.

The brand says throughout the summer, its Instagram and Facebook pages will be designated “safe spaces” for consumers to share their stories or read comments posted by others.

And through the summer, will “provide partner resources that shed light and open up space to all to start their own conversation.”

It promises a “manifesto film” will be released in mid-July.

This summer the brand will have a presence — ranging from Pride events to the Urban League’s annual national conference and a dinner celebrating the 28th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act. 

It says “insights and stories” from these events “will feed into future development and evolution” of the [unlabeled] campaign.

Diet Coke's announcement promises this campaign is the start of a “multi-year platform” to spark “authentic and unapologetic conversation about the labels that surround us.”

Diet Coke claims the genesis of the campaign is homegrown, coming from employees at Coca-Cola's Atlanta headquarters.

The campaign is an example of how marketers are increasingly embracing multicultural consumers once more or less shunned by mass marketers.

But unlike some of those bold marketing efforts that let all consumers recognize a brand's commitment to a cause, Diet Coke's marketing of [unlabeled] seems to take a safer route.

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