Campaigns: Consumer - Crystal designs make Diet Coke sparkle

Campaign: Diet Coke Crystal Collection
Client: Diet Coke
PR team: Lexis PR
Timescale: October 2010
Budget: £100,000

Diet Coke launched its Love It Light campaign in 2010, to tap into the target audience of young girls. Lexis PR was asked to continue the initiative with a campaign to generate excitement. The brand wanted a way to get young girls talking about Diet Coke and associating it with their interests in style, fashion and shopping.

Objectives - To create excitement around a new Diet Coke collaboration

- To drive brand awareness and relevance

- To bring fame, glamour and stand-out to the brand

- To tap into the style, shopping and fashion interests of a younger audience

- To drive sales

Strategy and plan

The PR team arranged a tie-up with celebrity jewellery designer Johnny Rocket, crystal company Swarovski and Selfridges to launch a 'piece of fashion history'. The designer, who was famed for creating Kylie Minogue's embellished hot pants, created crystal tattoos for the original Diet Coke glass bottle.

The Diet Coke Crystal Collection was housed in-store at Selfridges and a pop-up workshop was created to let customers design their own bespoke bottle. The pop-up workshop, which was housed alongside young fashion brands in the store, ran for two weeks. Customers had the choice of designing their own bottle for £5 or buying a pre-crystallised bottle designed by Rocket for £1.50.

With PR the sole channel to drive awareness and footfall in-store, it was essential to use every touchpoint within this campaign to generate buzz and sales. Social media were an essential starting point to generate anticipation ahead of the Boudoir opening, drive social commerce and get the target audience in-store to purchase bottles.

Social media also helped to drive awareness and footfall of the workshop, and the PR team invited key bloggers to be the first to get their bottles crystallised as part of an exclusive launch. The Diet Coke, Johnny Rocket and Swarovski Facebook pages were used to generate excitement.

To engage with traditional media, the collection was announced to fashion and lifestyle titles and bespoke bottles were made for them. An animated advertisement was also put up in London's Piccadilly.

Measurement and evaluation

The collection generated 133 pieces of coverage across UK media and blogs. There were more than 2,250 'likes' for the collection on Facebook and more than 150 tweets from consumers. Media highlights included Stylist, Heat, Star, Take 5, Cosmopolitan and Look.

The campaign also generated coverage internationally, both online and in traditional media.


The full stock of crystals sold out in just a few days. There were 850 pre-orders and in total 1,895 bottles were customised over the two-week period. Bids for bottles on eBay went up to £119.

SECOND OPINION - Phil Borge, Account director, Eulogy

It could have been quite a challenge to put any kind of fizz into a FMCG campaign trying to break into the style and fashion arena, even for a brand such as Diet Coke, but Lexis certainly did its job.

The crystal-clear strategic approach was well thought out, providing a central theme that appealed directly to the target media and defined audience.

What also worked well was the range of channels and tactics used, giving the audience plenty of opportunities to engage with the campaign and brand.

I particularly liked the use of a pop-up workshop. It's a fashionable and sometimes misused tactic at the moment, but here it lends itself perfectly to the idea of customising your own fashion accessory.

It's a tough campaign to critique, not least because of the fantastic results that respond directly to the objectives of the activity. Another nice angle would have been to involve celebrities and trendsetters, especially those who would appeal to the young female audience, giving them the chance to create their own design.

Those with large numbers of Twitter followers would have helped to generate even more online interest, and the bottles themselves could have become competition prizes or even fuel for a charity auction.

I wonder if the experiential element of the campaign was a little London-centric; pop-up elements in Selfridges in Birmingham or Manchester would have given a nice regional slant.

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