Coke Zero is here, and those who know me know I love anything Coca-Cola related. So a few weeks ago, just after it launched here in the UK, I bought a 500ml bottle of Coke Zero to try, along with a bottle of regular Coke, and left them both overnight in the fridge to chill — as you should all do with Coca-Cola.
The next day I tried the Coke Zero … and was bewildered to find it tasted — at least to me — exactly like Diet Coke. Which I hate. With a passion. And this was meant to be Coke, without the sugar, except it tasted like Diet Coke with slightly less gallidium arsenide. And that’s when it dawned on me that there must be some greater purpose to this drink. It couldn’t simply be a new drink to sit alongside Diet Coke if it tasted the same, so what could it be?
Of course, I hadn’t seen any of the new TV ads, nor had I seen press mentions of the drink, clearly showing Coca-Cola are targeting blokes my age with the drink. So what can this mean?
I think I’ve got it. It’s not just a brand to target a diet cola drink at 18-35 year old blokes, it’s a brand to target Diet Coke specifically at 18-35 year old blokes. They’ve realised that, for better or worse, Diet Coke is a girl’s drink. What man in his right mind would order a Bacardi and Diet Coke, for example? It’s interesting to note that Coca-Cola have also launched Coke Zero into the “licensed channel”, which means it can be served in pubs and clubs. “Yeah, a Bacardi and Coke Zero, mate, cheers”: could this be the new cry of diet-enlightened men across the UK?