Coke keeps Plus debut simple

ATLANTA: Coca-Cola has taken a low-key approach to introducing Diet Coke Plus, a new version of its top-selling, zero-calorie soft drink with added vitamins and minerals.

ATLANTA: Coca-Cola has taken a low-key approach to introducing Diet Coke Plus, a new version of its top-selling, zero-calorie soft drink with added vitamins and minerals.

Diet Coke Plus launched in April with a "very straightforward" PR strategy that included a news release, samples to the media, a limited-edition slim can in New York and Los Angeles, and b-roll for broadcast outlets.

Coca-Cola worked with Rogers & Cowan to produce media materials and for early seeding at the Academy Awards, resulting in media hits.

"The idea of Diet Coke with vitamins and minerals made it a newsworthy announcement in and of itself," said Scott Williamson, group director of marketing and communications for Coca-Cola North America. "In this particular case, we've been relying on what has been true for decades - the level of passion for and interest in the brand that millions have, including the media."

In 2005, Coca-Cola introduced Coca-Cola Zero, another zero-calorie soft drink.

"The major soft drink companies are doing everything they can to bring excitement back to the category, and one of those things is to add a little something extra," says Jeff Cioletti, editor-in-chief of Beverage World magazine.

Williamson said the company wants to take advantage of media coverage of beverage innovation, but emphasized that Diet Coke Plus is simply another way to enjoy the popular soda.

"We are answering what we believe is an increasing consumer demand for variety and more options from their favorite brands," said Williamson.

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