adver_tisingIt took me a few cans, but I finally came around to Coke Zero. Sure, it might give you brain cancer and it doesn't taste QUITE as good as Diet Coke, but I was won over by the can design and it really does taste good with food.
That was before I discovered what has become my new favourite marketing disaster story - the tragic tale of Coke Zero.
It appears Coke tried to curry favour with hip, cool internet users by pretending to be hip, cool internet users themselves, setting up a fake blog called "The Zero movement" advocating freedom of expression and an anti-mainstream agenda.
Hmm - a worldwide brand telling us to fight homogenised culture? COOL!
Naturally the web found out and Coke were exposed to be the completely uncool company they are, and the whole campaign went tits up in the face of some extremely dodgy TV commercials. Just proves that a viral campaign has to be BLOODY subversive to make it on the web these days - people are just too cynical.
Anyway I can't tell it as well as others have, so I'll just throw some links at you. But lord, it's a good story!
I recommend taking these in order (once daily):
- The history and deception of "The Zero Movement" - http://www.timlonghurst.com/content/view/124/35/
- Coke's pathetic cover up of their own "blogging" deception on their newly revamped site - http://www.thezeromovement.com/about.sm
- An excerpt from a very entertaining letter from a Coke employee about how the company is hitting the skids - http://thezeromovementsucks.blogspot.com/2006/01/why-cant-half-baked-cola-launch.html
- An anti Zero Movement website - http://www.thezeromovement.org/