Yesterday Coca-Cola finally addressed its nemesis PepsiCo by laying its promotional cards on the table and declaring: “We’ll see your Beyoncé and raise you a Taylor Swift.”
Like the Beyoncé deal, Swift/Diet Coke will be a “long-term” relationship between everyone’s favorite low-calorie soda and everyone’s favorite musical memoirist that will integrate Swift “into all key marketing efforts” for Diet Coke’s Stay Extraordinary campaign. Her latest album title, Red, even complements the brand. It’s almost like she knew this would happen…
We think we get Coca-Cola’s strategy here: Swift, despite being one of the world’s biggest pop stars, has a reputation for being close to her (overwhelmingly female) fan base. The video she released announcing the partnership and encouraging supporters to visit Diet Coke’s Facebook page is a good example of this personal branding aesthetic in action:
Coke will play to the unusually engaged fan demo by offering an “extraordinary access” backstage pass to the star on her upcoming tour.
So Pepsi is Beyoncé (bigger, louder and more glamorous) while Diet Coke is Taylor Swift (still a strong female personality but a little more…restrained). From a branding perspective, it makes sense. And in Swift’s own words: “I’ve said for years that Diet Coke just ‘gets me’ and my lifestyle. I’m so excited about our new partnership”. Translation: we share a key demographic!
Another point: by endorsing Diet Coke, Swift may have cleverly avoided some of the criticism Beyoncé received for endorsing a notoriously unhealthy product.
Will Swift help Diet Coke differentiate itself from Diet Pepsi? Or will she have to write one of her famous breakup songs when she falls for Diet Mountain Dew?