Diet Coke is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year by returning the famous Diet Coke hunk in its “sparkling together for 30 years” campaign. The iconic break ad - one of the best recalled in history - was first aired in 1994, gaining immediate success and becoming a cultural phenomenon by flipping traditional gender roles on their head. The thought behind the original ad, starring a hunky construction worker who keeps a group of admiring women glued to their office window every day at lunch time when he pauses for a can of Diet Coke, was to create ritual in people’s lives and a real lifestyle brand. Now he is back, "sexier than ever".

Diet Coke is the second biggest soft drink brand globally, with a value of over $11 billion. Last year the company’s revenue dropped by 8 per cent in Europe in the late summer months. With the help of the fourth Diet Coke hunk and a number of other ads celebrating the brand’s history, the brand now looks to its past to retain its ‘lifestyle’ status. By going back to its roots and “putting the brand at the heart of  its stories in a fashionable, 21st century way”, it seeks to revitalize the "true Diet Coke experience", especially by aiming at a younger audience and those, who may not remember the original campaigns.


Having concentrated mainly on fashion in its marketing in the 2000’s, cooperating with designers such as Karl Lagerfeld and John Paul Gaultier, it is going to be interesting to see what the effects of a modern Diet Coke hunk ad will be. Will women respond to it in the same way as in the 90’s? Consistency being one of the most important aspects of a strong brand, especially regarding its positioning, it is highly important for a brand to remain loyal to its heritage, yet keep it fresh as well.

(Anna Wallin, 10083285, COMM 335-2, brand positioning, lifestyle brand, commercial)