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#unlabeled: Diet Coke Uses Influencers to Fuel A Powerful Conversation

Elise Yu

Dec 5, 2023

One of the most unique qualities of influencer marketing is that it allows brands to ignite conversations that resonate with consumers on a personal level. Through influencer campaigns, people with common interests can connect, putting commonalities at the center of the discussion rather than the product.

Table of contents

A Campaign With No Labels   

Diet Coke recently launched a new initiative, the #unlabeled campaign, where the brand removed the labels from their iconic cans to ignite a conversation about labels. The brand has partnered with 16 unique influencers who proudly promote their diverse identities, and discuss the obstacles of being pigeonholed into a label.

Why it Works:
More often than not, influencers are a final element of a marketing campaign. However, the #unlabeled campaign does not work without the influencers. They are not an afterthought, rather they are what drives the campaign.

Why We Love It:
Not only is Diet Coke using influencers to promote brand values which will ultimately sell more of their product. The brand integrated the product into the campaign by removing labels from the campaign sending a clear message to consumers that if you buy Diet Coke you’re buying Diet Coke’s values.

Unlabeled diet coke ad

Using Influencers To Refresh a Brand

In 2018 Diet Coke entered a new era of branding and marketing to connect with new consumers. Soda cans were redesigned to look sleek and modern, and new flavors were introduced to reinvigorate appeal. With this new branding came a new philosophy with a purpose of making Diet Coke relevant for a new generation of consumers.

Many of our newer fans were not even born when Diet Coke first launched in 1982, so they may see the brand as a choice of generations before them. We’re reframing the brand in a youthful, energetic and aspirational tone and showing how Diet Coke can fit into their lives. – Tara Mathew Sahu, Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC) Director, Diet Coke

2019 marks the second year of the brand’s refresh strategy. Enter the #unlabeled campaign, a socially conscious initiative aiming to connect with a new consumer demographic. As more brands focus on selling values rather than products it’s no wonder that influencers are growing in popularity. However, Diet Coke’s campaign is extremely interesting as the influencers do not simply promote the product, they promote brand values.

Influencer: Brendan Jordan, LGBT & Beauty

Target: Young, Artistic, LA & NY Residents

Brendan Jordan is a performer and make-up artist based in Las Vegas. He rose to fame in 2014, when a video clip of him dancing behind a news presenter was posted to YouTube. Now Brendan, who is also friends with Lady Gaga (nbd), has 453.9K followers on Instagram.

Brendan’s followers are split evenly between men and women, 52% of his followers are between 24-35, the leading cities are Los Angeles and New York City, and the most commonly used hashtag amongst Brenden and his followers in #lovewins. As Diet Coke aims to targeting a new generation of consumers through social initiatives, Brendan is a great influencer for engaging those involved or allied to the LGBTQ+ community.

@brendanwjordan instagram audience demographics

Brendan Jordan Instagram audience demographics

Influencer: Doc Todd, US Veteran & Rapper

Target: Hip Hop Lovers, Southerners

A great element of Diet Coke’s unlabeled campaign, is that they are not targeting a singular audience. With a diverse pool of influencers, they prove that everyone can relate to feeling mislabeled or unrepresented. Doc Todd is veteran of the US Navy who suffers to PTSD, he teamed with Diet Coke to talk about his experience with his condition and the stigma of mental health.

Though Doc Todd’s audience is smaller than Brendan’s, with 20.7K followers, he is interacting with like-minded individuals who share common interests. 54% of his followers are Men, the average age is 32 years old, and the top 4 cities in his audience are Atlanta, New York , Miami, and Memphis. 12% his audience are Veterans or interested in Vet related content, and #hiphop is the most popular hashtag used by Doc Todd and his followers. Indicating that while his audience is not large in numbers, the strength is a common interests.

@therealdoctodd’s instagram audience demographics

@therealdoctodd’s instagram audience demographics

#unlabeled: An Ongoing Conversation

Diet Coke’s campaign was launched in mid-July 2019, and will be running for the next year. A few of the influencers have begun to share content on Instagram, and we expect to see more over the next few months. In just a few weeks, and only from the content of 3 Influencers, we have already observed a $91.6K Earned Media Value, which should be very interesting to follow as the campaign continues.

Initial Impact of #unlabeled campaign

  • 11 Posts
  • 13.2K engagements 
  • 376.8K Reach
  • $91.6 EMV


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