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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Diet Coke Lightens Its Spiel

NEW YORK -- Forget taste. Forget low calories. Forget refreshment.


Diet Coke's new ad campaign and slogan focus on none of those.


Instead, three new spots feature humorous vignettes in which Diet Coke is depicted as making women more attractive.


The brand is even axing its original 1982 slogan, "Just for the Taste of It," which it dropped in 1991 but reintroduced in 1995, and replacing it with a variation on an old pop-culture saying: "You Are What You Drink."


The new ads by Lowe & Partners were released last week.


Coke executives are playing down the campaign's focus on sex appeal, even though a sexy ad in 1994 featuring a bare-chested Lucky Vanous being ogled by female office workers got the brand a lot of attention.


Instead, Sergio Zyman, Coca-Cola's marketing supremo, said the spots are designed to "capture the holistic attitude of young adults" and that today's "consumer mind-set is about looking and feeling your best, whatever one perceives that to be."


One of the Diet Coke spots shows men on a snowy street corner in Alaska evaluating women who go by, even though they are wrapped from head to toe in heavy clothing. The key determinant of sex appeal: whether they are carrying a Diet Coke.


In another spot, a young girl in an Italian village asks her homely Aunt Rosalina whether she needs to drink Diet Coke to grow up as attractive as the beautiful women she sees. Rosalina, who never drank Diet Coke, says no.


A Coke spokesman said consumers already know about the taste and low calories of diet beverages and don't need to be reminded again.