Diet Coke: What the F*CK?!?!

Back in September Diet Coke launched their latest campaign You Do You. A fully integrated campaign consisting of TVC’s, OOH, Social and Digitial. There is almost no escaping this campaign. They have even released 8 limited-edition cans with the mainstream phases at the heart of this campaign.

Diet Coke mock modern sayings by getting adults including elderly women saying them. Now I’ve had mixed thoughts about this campaign with the immediate thought being, “what the f*ck!?!”. I’ll leave you to soak in these TVCs and see what you think first.

The first of the TVC’s to be released was Grannies I’m in.

So you’ve just seen the TVC that launched the campaign. Grannies I’m in. Thoughts? How about I show you the next in the series for this campaign while you ponder that one?

This next one may remind you of your dad trying to be cool.

Anyone else got that cringy feeling on a very relatable level? A common situation of that dad trying to be cool and as my parents may say, “down with the kids” but blown way out of proportion.

I’ll be honest after “lit” I have no idea what this guy says. Again a cringy moment drawn from the relatable situations of saying something then immediately regretting it. Feeling like you can hear crickets or a tumbleweed is going to pass any minute.

Ok so now you have seen the TVC’s from the You Do You campaign by Diet Coke, what do you think? It’s ok if you don’t have an answer to that. It took me a fair bit of processing before I knew what I really thought. In all honesty, I’m not completely sure on this still.

A little context

Let’s get a little bit more context to this campaign before we progress any further.

Diet Coke’s Marketing Manager Tuuli Turunen tried to enlighten us a little in Coca Cola’s press release on the campaign.

“Diet Coke is enjoyed every day and the launch of the new light-hearted campaign to celebrate everyday ‘you do you’ moments from embracing cultural trends to enjoying everyday pleasures aims to encourage our fans to just be themselves.”

Ok so it’s a nice sentiment but why have they shown it in this wacky way?

Wieden+Kennedy London who developed the campaign for Diet Coke didn’t give much more away with their blog post on their work.

They did, however, mention how the campaign “champions the love of mainstream cultural moments and language”. Deciding to do this by using characters such as the “two grannies [to] defy conventional norms by unashamedly embracing mainstream treads”.

Ok so there wasn’t so much context there but you see the creators are clearly giving away their thought processes here. No points are given for showing their working out here.

What I think this campaign

Well, my initial thought of this campaign as mentioned at the start of this post, and the title, was “what the f*ck?!?”. Initially, this was going to be one of my posts about campaigns I don’t think worked to their best. I did say I would challenge myself more in my previous post after all.

As I began to write my views were challenged to my surprise. Don’t get me wrong my initial thoughts remain the same but as I’ve dug a little deeper I see more of this campaign making me find it a little less irritating.

Firstly, the sentiment to the whole campaign, You Do You. What’s not to love? As Wieden+Kennedy London explained this was showcased by showing people defying social norms. Our immediate reaction as the audience is to be stunned and in the latter two TVC’s the characters featured share this same reaction. Closing the videos perfectly shutting this reaction down the, You Do You sentiment is announced. Basically saying they don’t care what you or any of these characters think they are just being them, what’s the issue?

Secondly and I mentioned this before but each situation is quite relatable just extremely over-exaggerated in a wacky way. Well, I would say this is more so with the latter two TVC’s with Grannies’ just drawing us in.

Really when you look at it this campaign it tickets all the boxes, great sentiment, relatable, gets people talking, well it certainly got me talking, hasn’t it? But this section isn’t really for my realisation of the campaign it’s about what I really think about it.

My original statement remains but I have to give credit where credit is due. The campaign would be more forgivable for me if it wasn’t so cringy though. I suppose they have stayed true to their tone in all fairness though after their last campaign launching their newest fruity flavours. The true definition of cringe.

Although looking into this campaign it has earned back some points for me, unfortunately, I’m not a lover of the cringe factor in this case. Not like there are many situations where I am. For me the Coke campaign Share a Coke you may remember me speaking about previously is still miles better.

Brief Verdict

I hope you have enjoyed my not so brief look into Diet Coke’s You Do You campaign. As always, I would love to see your comments below and I’m always up for a discussion on any of my blog topics if you want to drop me a message via LinkedIn or Instagram. What did you think of this cringy campaign? Was your original reaction to the campaign changed?

Featured image courtesy of The Grocer.


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