Too big to fail? Maybe. Too big to fail at advertising? Never.
The ‘Because I Can’ advertising campaign was launched as part of an effort to re-brand the beverage as “an authentic, self-aware, stripped-down Diet Coke that is really inclusive”, according to Danielle Henry, group director of integrated marketing content for Coca-Cola North America.
The campaign includes a selection of short clips featuring ‘a diverse cast’ to promote the four new flavours Diet Coke has to offer.
Besides ticking all the boxes for political correctness, Diet Coke themselves said that the campaign is ‘all about doing the things in life that make you happy, no matter what anyone else thinks.’
Judging by the reaction from major publications, the campaign wasn’t received well by the media.
Joe Ellison, editor at the Financial Times said:
It’s cloying, annoying and patronising — I can’t stand its simpering suggestion that drinking an aspartame-sweetened beverage designed to pander to a woman’s worst neuroses is in some way expressive of my female prerogative. I hate the way it pretends to suggest that I have agency to decide what I want, when “the mood” takes me, while simultaneously giving me permission to do so.
Matthew Chapman, editor at Campaign Live said:
Diet Coke’s advertising used to be full of a confident swagger but has now been replaced by an apathetic, limply-scripted ‘Because I can’ campaign that makes the viewer die a little inside.
And Jeff Beer of Fast Company said:
Diet Coke’s new ad might just be the laziest commercial of the year
But just for a minute, let’s forget about what the media has to say about it, what do regular people think?
Oh… it looks as though most people agree.
We can summarise by saying that this is just another lacklustre effort from a brand jumping on the ‘look at us, we’re inclusive’ bandwagon to score points with as many people as possible with a ‘one size fits all’ campaign.
It’s the very definition of throwing sh*t at the wall and seeing what sticks.