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Sparkling Together for 30 Years: Diet Coke Celebrates a Milestone with Star-Studded London Event

By:  Lauren Croft Feb 7, 2013
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Diet Coke - Sparkling Together for 30 Years


Diet Coke burst onto the European scene in 1983 – a year after its triumphant U.S. debut – and quickly became a cultural icon synonymous with fashion, taste and fun.

The trailblazing brand – known in many European countries as Coca-Cola light – celebrated its 30th anniversary recently with a fittingly stylish, star-studded party at Sketch, an eclectic central London venue that was once the headquarters of designer Christian Dior.

The Diet Coke red carpet was graced by socialite Peaches Geldof and her model sister Pixie, designer Pearl Lowe, singer Sophie Ellis-Bextor, model Jade Parfitt, and many cast members of the popular UK reality TV show Made in Chelsea. Many other models, bloggers, musicians and TV personalities were spotted at the event, as well as several fashion journalists.

Diet Coke 30th Anniversary Party

Roland Mouret’s red dress worn by Heidi Klum for the Diet Coke Heart Truth campaign was displayed at the event.

Guests sipped Diet Coke cocktails and enjoyed a retrospective exhibition of advertising and memorabilia from Diet Coke’s history, including a number of original items sent to London from the Coca-Cola archives in Atlanta. Roland Mouret’s stunning dress worn by Heidi Klum at the 2009 Academy Awards for the Diet Coke Heart Truth campaign was a highlight, as well as a collection of the most iconic designer bottle collaborations from throughout the years. Sex and the City costume designer Patricia Field, whose 2008 limited-edition Diet Coke bottles were on display, attended the event.

Zoe Howorth, marketing director for Coca-Cola Great Britain, hosted the evening. She kicked off the festivities by sharing her insight into the brand’s evolution over the last three decades, as well as her excitement for the new campaign. “The stylish and sassy execution will cement the brand’s popularity for the next 30 years,” she said.

Hilary Alexander, the influential fashion director for The Daily Telegraph, offered her perspective on Diet Coke’s link with fashion. She praised the much-loved designer Diet Coke bottles, especially the memorable Karl Lagerfeld collection from 2011 and the more recent "Night” and “Day” bottles designed by creative director Jean Paul Gaultier.

Howorth then treated guests to a surprise appearance by Andrew Cooper, the new “Diet Coke hunk” and star of the brand’s hit new TV commercial, “Gardener.” The spot shows a group of women flirting with a lawn-mowing gardener in a park while sipping a can of Diet Coke. In keeping with the original “Diet Coke Hunk” ad, the 2013 version features Etta James’ iconic 1961 hit “I Just Want to Make Love to You.” The commercial has garnered more than 500,000 YouTube views since debuting online on Jan. 27.

Cooper is the fourth hunk to star in a Diet Coke ad. In the memorable “Diet Coke Break” from 1994, a group of women in an office were glued to their window as a construction worker, played by Lucky Vanous, enjoyed a Diet Coke break. The hunk returned to the screen several times in the years that followed, making his most recent appearance in 2007. Diet Coke fans have been pleased to see the hunk’s reappearance in 2013, as the brand turns 30.

Following Cooper’s appearance and a screening of “Gardener,” guests mingled in the stylish venue and had their photos taken with the star, while blogger Bip Ling performed a DJ set late into the night.

Following the fabulous 30th birthday party, Diet Coke announced that Marc Jacobs will be the brand’s new creative director for 2013. Promising designs that "capture the rise of female empowerment through the Eighties, Nighties and Noughties," Jacobs’ exclusive bottles and cans will be released later this year.