20th Nov 2014| by Paul Findlay

Breaking Brand


As the big consumer brands fight for a larger slice of the youth pie, we see them doing what they can to try and regain their cool and remain (become) relevant again.

Brands are trying hard to break their moulds to become more fun, more free, more environmentally aware, more healthy, more charitable, or all of the above. With generation Y more interested in healthy options, the revenue on fizzy drinks is down – Coca Cola has made some changes to try and reconnect with the youth and regain it’s lost market share. Firstly they’re breaking their own brand guidelines in a world first, they’ve just changed up their iconic can colour, to a series of bright pop colours: orange, pink, blue to name a few.

‘Colour is a way for teens to assert their identity’ reckons Coke. Hallelujah!!! It’s a bold statement (Just to be clear I’m referring to changing the can’s colour, not the previous statement from Coke:) but risky. In 2011 Coke changed their cans to white in a partnership with WWF to raise awareness for the plight for polar bears… this failed significantly and Coke pulled the white cans after only a month. Let’s not forget that even Santa’s colours are red and white because of Coke’s branding influence.

Classic Branding Design Coca Cola Santa With Kids

Coke has also just launched a new product called ‘Coca Cola Life’ it will be sold in Great Britain starting in the winter, but was first introduced in Argentina and Chile last year with the aim to look more natural and healthy… don’t quite know if they thought too much about what the ‘Coke Life’ nickname will become once it gets Gangstafied by the kids, sounds more like a Irvine Welsh novel title to me 🙂

I know what you’re thinking… So apart from changing the can colour to green and a bit less sugar, what does this all mean? Good question!… Well from what I can see that’s pretty much it, the key ingredient is a natural sweetener called Stevia, they say this sweetener is 200 times sweeter than sugar! This new Coke apparently has fewer calories (89 Calories) than your standard red label Coke, not that hard considering a can of Coke clocks in at 140 Calories. On the flip side, Diet Coke has zero calories, but is jam packed with serious chems, so pick your poison I say! But what does it taste like? Reports are saying that it tastes almost identical to normal Coke, though die hard Coca Cola lovers are observing that it has a slightly different texture.

And surprise, surprise! Pepsi has also announced a green canned, yep you guessed it! Stevia based drink with a third of the calories than classic Pepsi. Let the soda wars begin (again)! It will be very interesting to see how the stevia drinks catch on with consumers, particularly with the coveted millennials, who don’t seem to think much of fizzy drinks. Though for better or worse, they’re probably pretty familiar with stevia, after it featured heavily in the finale of ‘Breaking Bad’…  

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Paul Findlay
Paul is the Creative Director at Brands to life® with over 25 years experience building brands. He has founded two of Melbourne’s most successful independent agencies with many highlights along the way including ‘BRW Fast 100’ and ‘B&T Agency of the Year’. Paul creates memorable and authentic brand experiences through engaging Strategies, Identities, Visual Languages and Brand Stories, whatever it takes to breathe new life into brands.