Coca-Cola is piloting new packaging graphics and marketing communications that unify the look of its core trademark brands – Coca-Cola, Coke Zero, Diet Coke/Coke Light and Coca-Cola Life – in 13 countries starting this month.

The launches – which will roll out this year in countries including Spain, the United States and 11 markets in the Northwest Europe and Nordics region – will test the effectiveness of applying familiar Coca-Cola imagery and brand personality more prominently across the Coke Trademark. This approach aims to simplify and visually connect the “Coca-Cola family" while supporting the company's commitment to offer choice, with more clarity and more investment behind all Coca-Cola Trademark brands. 

While the company’s nearly-129-year-old flagship brand will clearly be positioned as the head of the Coca-Cola family, the communication will highlight the unique role each variant plays in the Coca-Cola portfolio using signature colors (black for Coke Zero, silver for Diet Coke/Coke Light, and green for the new Coca-Cola Life) and clear ingredient descriptions (such as “Zero Sugar, Zero Calories”) to make it easier for consumers to choose the brand they want.

“We built a visual identity system that takes Coke’s universally cherished and immediately recognizable elements – including the Spencerian script and dynamic ribbon – and links them to all variants,” explains James Sommerville, VP, Global Design.

Two Packaging Designs

Participating markets will launch one of two packaging design approaches. The first, “Monocolor” (pictured above), features single-colored packaging for each brand and a horizontal typography that visually connects packs when lined up side by side on the shelf or in a cooler. This design will be launched in 11 markets in the Northwest Europe and Nordics region including: Finland, Iceland, Great Britain, Ireland, France, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg.  

The “Split” design (pictured below), which will launch in Spain, sports a horizontally divided look, with Coke red appearing above the horizontal ribbon on every pack, and the variant’s signature color appearing below.

Split cans

In Europe, participating markets will be uniting the Coca-Cola family into a one-brand marketing approach. Instead of separate brand communications for Coca-Cola, Coca-Cola Zero, Diet Coke/Coca-Cola Light and Coca-Cola Life, consumers in these markets will now see one iconic Coca-Cola brand, supporting all Coca-Cola choices. 

No- and low-calorie Coca-Cola options will be included in the sign off for all Coca-Cola television advertising in these markets, and the optimism, happiness and refreshment of the iconic brand will be reflected in all Coca-Cola communication. 

“This move puts choice for consumers at the heart of our marketing strategy. It extends the iconicity of Coca-Cola advertising across the entire portfolio, promoting all Coca-Cola variants with the power of the original brand,” said Javier Sanchez Lamelas, VP, Marketing, Coca-Cola Europe. “With this new approach, whichever Coke you choose, you’ll have the iconic Coca-Cola brand in your hands.”

In the U.S., Coca-Cola Trademark brands are taking a test and learn approach to the global marketing approach pilot. The U.S. will be focusing on packaging design, applying a version of the “Monocolor” design across Coca-Cola and Coke Zero. Other aspects of the pilot strategy and testing will be explored based on global learnings and U.S. business results.