Diet Coke Is Shedding Its Labels to Make Room for Stories About Identity and Resilience

Select run of blank cans to spark conversation

Activist Shea Diamond stars in new Diet Coke campaign from Anomaly L.A. Coca-Cola
Headshot of Shannon Miller

Labels have been saddled with a bit of an unfair rap, as they have become synonymous with limiting one’s identity. But the truth is that the issue was never with labels themselves. In fact, they can be quite useful for establishing boundaries and pinpointing the different ways people may navigate their environment.

However, the problem rests with outside perceptions of particular identities, which become a fecund ground for misconceptions, stereotypes and sweeping, limiting assumptions. In an environment that is so overtly divided, a label can make all the difference between war and peace.

In a new campaign from Anomaly L.A. called “Unlabeled,” Diet Coke has, quite literally, set aside their product’s labels from a select supply of cans to make room for people to tell their own stories. Through a series of short films, Diet Coke highlighted a few unique individuals like Shea Diamond, a trans activist and artist who shared how labels have simultaneously been weaponized against her and useful in shaping her own truth.

The stories of Shea and many others kick off a multi-year platform geared toward cultivating serious conversations about the labels that we voluntarily take on as well as the ones imposed upon us. In addition to the visual content, Diet Coke is converting their social media platforms into “safe spaces” for others to share their own stories.

“Unlabeled” is not designed to shame the concept of labels. Instead, the campaign is meant to demonstrate how we should feel empowered to define our own. Diet Coke will travel the country to collect insights from events like Pride, Essence Fest and Girlboss Rally to inform future iterations of the steadily growing project.


Brand: Diet Coke
Campaign: Unlabeled
Agency: Anomaly L.A.
Production Company: Unreasonable Studios
Directors: Gillian Laub and Ben Poster
Editorial: Unreasonable Studios
Color: Unreasonable Studios
Finishing: Unreasonable Studios
VFX: Unreasonable Studios
Sound Design: Margarita Mix
Mix: Margarita Mix

The Fans. The Brands. Social Good. The Future of Sports. Don't miss the upcoming Brandweek Sports Marketing Summit and Upfronts, a live virtual experience on Nov. 16-19. Early-bird passes available until Oct. 26. Register now

Shannon Miller is a writer, podcast creator and contributor to Adweek.