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Situation


Coca-Cola and PepsiCo were battling over low calorie cola market share leadership.   The Coke brand, Tab, was launched as a one-calorie brand and made you look “beautiful”.  TV spots and print ads ended with a clever pneumonic of a glass that “cinched” at the waist.

Challenge

How could Diet Pepsi compete against a substantial budget behind Tab and why wasn’t the work being done by Diet Pepsi having any effect on market share?

Solution

Even though Diet Pepsi was one-calorie, testing revealed that people weren’t aware of that.   Brand Slam partner Harvey Hoffenberg led a creative team to create a campaign called, “Now you see it, now you don’t.”  It was simple and provocative.  Using the “New Wave” style of photography – not seen in the USA until now – One-Calorie was clearly communicated.   Beautiful product and drink shots (Now you see it) were intercut with attractive men and women (Now you don’t).  Heads were cropped off the models so viewers would concentrate on the figures.

TV visuals were put to a retro Joanie Summers sound track.

Videos



Results

The commercials were so provocative, the TV Networks and Coca Cola tried to ban them.  The Moral Majority sent letters to PepsiCo threatening a boycott.

The music track won best jingle in the industry and the commercials best soft drink advertising.

According to then PepsiCo President John Scully, the campaign, “Saved the brand from extinction.”  Diet Pepsi became the Number 3 soft drink on the market behind Coke and Pepsi.

Tab never recovered.



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