As the new Coca-Cola® Zero Sugar makes its way to store shelves across the U.S., a creative campaign launching Labor Day weekend sets out to make sure fans buy – and, most importantly, try – the best-tasting zero-sugar Coca-Cola yet.

A no-frills series of TV, radio, outdoor and social media ads addresses the skepticism many vocal Coke Zero™ fans have shared over their beloved brand being replaced since the news broke earlier this month.  

“We wanted to acknowledge that we’re listening to fans, but also invite them to try this new-and-improved version of Coke Zero for themselves,” said Kate Carpenter, senior brand and innovation manager, Coke Trademark, Coca-Cola “Because what we’re seeing at end of the day with Coca-Cola Zero Sugar is that tasting is believing. Many people realize they like it once they try it.”

The thirst-quenching creative puts the ice-cold, delicious Coke Zero Sugar liquid front and center. It’s unapologetically straightforward and delivers the key point that this is a delicious Coke with zero sugar and zero calories.

“Our whole premise was removing all gimmicks and saying, ‘We’re not going to overhype the launch with any marketing sizzle,” said Kate Santore, senior manager, integrated marketing communications, Coca-Cola North America. “We see it as a fun way to break through and get people excited to try this great-tasting new beverage.”

Santore said the spots hope to both reassure Coke Zero loyalists and pique the interest of people who may be looking for less sugar or may have shied away from no-calorie soft drinks until now. As part of Coke’s One Brand marketing strategy, which unites all Coca-Cola trademark brands under a single creative umbrella and visual identity, the Coke Zero Sugar campaign marks a slight departure from Coke Zero’s irreverent tone.

Coke Zero Sugar

“It’s an interesting challenge because we’ve built a very distinct tone of voice for Coke Zero over the years, but we wanted to fully integrate Coke Zero Sugar into our Coca-Cola trademark family,” Santore added. “So we’re moving a bit closer to the Coca-Cola voice – by both borrowing from our history and looking to the future.”

Coke’s efforts to get people to try its newest beverage extend beyond advertising. Limited-time discounts on 8.5-oz. aluminum bottles of Coca-Cola Zero Sugar will entice shoppers in select retailers across the country to try the product for under $1.

An interactive sampling tour will reach thirsty fans at sporting events, music festivals and more. Fans will have the chance to step inside an interactive kiosk that looks like a vending machine. The kiosk choreographs a visual, auditory and tactile experience as if the guest is inside a glass of Coke Zero Sugar. First it will heighten the senses of sight, sound, smell and touch before removing them, one by one. At that moment, guests will taste a sample of the ice-cold beverage.

'We wanted to acknowledge that we’re listening to fans, but also invite them to try this new-and-improved version of Coke Zero for themselves. Because what we’re seeing at end of the day with Coca-Cola Zero Sugar is that tasting is believing. Many people realize they like it once they try it.'

“It’s a sensory deprivation booth,” Carpenter said. “It’s a cool way to allow people to zero-in on the taste of Coke Zero Sugar without distraction from their other senses. We’ll be at high-sensory events where this quiet, immersive experience will stand out.”

The national sampling tour kicks off Saturday, Sept. 2 at the World of Coca-Cola in Atlanta with a college football-themed celebration in conjunction with the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Games. Learn more here, and see the full traveling schedule here.

College football fans can expect more Coca-Cola Zero Sugar tie-ins throughout the season. Coca-Cola is back again as the official fan refreshment of ESPN College GameDay, the live pre-game show broadcast on Saturday mornings. Coke Zero Sugar, along with other Coca-Cola beverages, will be sampled on-the-ground at the show each week.

Coke Zero Sugar College Share a Coke

Fans can even order customized bottles with their favorite teams’ logo or nickname at Nearly 60 colleges and universities are participating in the limited-edition program, which will run until mid-January.

The Coke Zero Sugar advertising campaign was developed by Fitzco/McCann.