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Coke continues to build trust: launches No Sugar

Coke faces some strong headwinds around sugar. We have worked with Coke for a number of years supporting a programme of work to balance the conversation around sugar and more broadly, build trust.

In June, we supported Coke to launch its biggest new product announcement in over a decade – Coke No Sugar: the closest tasting to Classic Coke but without the sugar. It was another step on the company’s journey to actively encourage New Zealanders to consume less sugar.

Our strategy for the launch centred on a ‘show don’t tell’ approach. It was important to get both Coke No Sugar and Coke Classic into the hands of media and influencers so they could try for themselves how delicious Coke No Sugar was – the product really did speak for itself.

We secured and managed a number of media pre-briefings. This proved to be a very effective and sound approach to achieving positive earned media stories. General Manager of Coca-Cola Oceania, Sandhya Pillay, was prepared and trained, and fronted on The AM Show to set the news agenda for the day and facilitated a live taste test.

With the help of our experiential friends at Copper, we developed the idea for a premium activation in the heart of Auckland to tease the Coke No Sugar announcement. If you had walked past Wynyard Quarter you would have noticed a giant veiled bottle of Coke No Sugar – creative which was aligned to other social and shopper teaser marketing. This activation delivered visual, rich content and assets with a local flavour. On launch day, the giant Coke No Sugar was unveiled. Taste tests and video vox pop interviews with consumers also added to the authentic storytelling and this content was utilised for earned media, social and digital.

Our objective was to launch Coke No Sugar with blanket media coverage, generate ‘talkability’ and consumer engagement and secure editorial which landed messaging around Coke’s responsibility and commitment to reducing sugar. Neutral sentiment was considered a win given the strong media cynicism the brand was facing. Along with meeting all of the objectives, we managed to achieve 96% positive and neutral coverage. Needless to say we all popped open a few bubbles (of the soft drink variety) to celebrate!