Wendy Clark, President, Sparkling Brands & Strategic Marketing, Coca-Cola North America, talks to us about Diet Coke. She gives an update on Diet Coke in the United States nearly one year after the launch of the brand’s “Get a Taste” campaign—the highest performing advertising for Diet Coke in the last decade.

You’ve talked about Diet Coke as being one of your favorite beverages. What do you love so much about this brand and product?

I’ve been a Diet Coke lover since I was in college in the 80’s. For 25 years it’s been my go-to drink. Like so many other Diet Coke drinkers, I love the crisp, refreshing taste. My Diet Coke moments on any given day are moments I look forward to and enjoy.

How has Diet Coke’s marketing approach changed over the past year?

We’re fortunate to be the No. 1, zero-calorie, sparkling beverage in America. For 33 years, Americans have fallen in love with Diet Coke because they enjoy its unique taste. And great taste simply does not change. It’s as simple as that.

Last fall, we launched Diet Coke’s newest campaign “Get A Taste.” This campaign is all about reflecting playful examples of how the taste of Diet Coke can make mundane moments a little brighter, a little bubblier and a whole lot more enjoyable. This campaign is about putting the taste of Diet Coke front and center and reigniting fans’ love for the product.

Why has the brand taken this approach to speak directly to its fans?

For us, our loyal Diet Coke fans are at the center of everything we do. We know that when the brand reaches fans directly – cultivating deeper relationships, engaging further with Diet Coke’s brand story – we see positive conversations about the brand continue to grow and spread. 

Has this new marketing approach improved brand performance in the United States?

We’re putting more investment behind the brand in the U.S. This includes full media support with TV commercials, billboards, radio, online video, social and more. In fact, this is our highest performing advertising for Diet Coke in the last decade. We are starting to see early signs of Diet Coke performance improvement. And, we are not stopping. We are committed to getting the brand on the road to revenue growth again.

What can Diet Coke fans look forward to over the next several months?

In the back half of 2015, there will be even more exciting programs behind Diet Coke. We will continue with direct engagement with our fans in social. There will be increased availability and presence of our full Diet Coke portfolio in stores, including Diet Coke, Diet Coke with Splenda and Caffeine-Free Diet Coke.

Your main competitor is changing the formula of one of its diet beverages. Would Diet Coke ever change its formula?

Again, the primary reason our fans love Diet Coke is the great taste and we have no plans to change that. We believe in this product and our fans love it.

We also believe in choice. Within the Diet Coke portfolio, we offer lots of options: we have Diet Coke; we have Diet Coke with Splenda, which we’ve had since 2005; and, we have Caffeine-Free Diet Coke. It’s all about the taste you love, the way you want it.

What do you tell your friends and family about Diet Coke?

My family and friends would be the first to tell you how much I love my Diet Coke.

And for anyone who asks me about any of the ingredients we use or the safety of any of our products, there’s a very simple answer: If it isn’t safe, we won’t sell it. Safety and quality of our beverages is non-negotiable for The Coca-Cola Company. This has been our promise for over 129 years and that won’t ever change.