Diet Coke Opens Up a Can


Coca-Cola, which is one of the largest and most successful brands in the world, recently celebrated its 125th anniversary. Diet Coke is a huge part of this success, currently claiming the title of the number three bestselling soft drink on the globe. Thus, Coca-Cola has selected its low calorie counterpart to receive a special anniversary design.

The limited edition packaging will bear the familiar Diet Coke logo design, but in a much larger scale. It has been stripped of bubbles, waves, fake can condensation and all of the details that have always made the can gaudy and over-complicated. The Coca-Cola logo design is one of the best-known in the world, and these frills merely complicate the matter. Diet Coke has a similarly prominent logo, so why mess it up? This new can takes that logo design and makes it a true icon, one befitting a brand with a century and a quarter under its belt.

If we had to come up with a criticism, it would be that the company does not leave well-enough alone. The Diet Coke logo is placed in a much smaller size in another two places on the can. Really, we think that most people in the world would know at a glance exactly what they are drinking; the logo itself is not new to anyone. The color scheme itself is so heavily associated with Diet Coke that most people will be able to identify the logo from any angle. The extra logos hidden on the can are gratuitous and distract from the power of the larger image.

This is a great example of how packaging can be an extension of your brand rather than merely a reflection of it. While a smaller company might need to use their full logo on packaging because of a lack of recognition of the individual elements that comprise it, this is certainly not the case with Diet Coke. They can afford to play a little with their logo, cropping and ‘repackaging’ the images associated with the brand.

One of the key flaws with the new brand is that it only forms the whole logo design on a shelf when the cans are turned just so. This could turn into a real headache for the store merchandisers. The new packaging is recognizable, but it certainly looks better when placed carefully with other cans to form the whole soft drink logo. The Diet Coke logo seems to have been designed to be displayed this way, but the required manpower just might be too much for most stores.

The new Diet Coke can is scheduled to be officially released in September, although it is already being seen in some markets around the United States. Coca-Cola has not indicated how long this new packaging design will be used, so those of us who like it can hope that the new can will have a long tenure. We suspect that this may be a test run for the new logo design; with so many companies encountering protests at the release of new logo designs and packaging, it makes sense to save face by testing a new logo on a huge scale.