Diet Coke customizes its packaging

Consumers can have their own unique label as the "One of a Kind" program comes to Canada with a stylish bent.

Canadians can now have a Diet Coke bottle that’s uniquely their own, as Coca-Cola Canada launches the “One of a Kind” program today.

Using HP Indigo digital printing techniques, 36 “base” designs inspired by Diet Coke – bubbles, soda fizz, the taste – were fed into an algorithm that turned them into millions of unique, vibrant package designs.

The designs will be featured on glass bottles and 500 ml plastic bottles of Diet Coke, as well as on a limited number of Diet Coke cans, and are available in major retailers beginning this week.

The program will be supported with a fully integrated campaign, including a TV spot, digital video and social ads. As part of the kick-off of the program, Brad Goreski, celebrity stylist and host of E!’s Fashion Police, will be using the custom designs to accessorize the fall fashion looks he shares with fans as part of a media tour today.

Certain digital ads will also feature spokesperson Genie Bouchard playing against a tennis ball machine to create her own unique bottle design by hitting the paint-soaked balls back to a canvas shaped like a Diet Coke bottle. The limited run of 200 bottles featuring Bouchard’s design will be used in an upcoming social media campaign.

“All of the campaign elements, especially on social, are around bringing the idea of uniqueness to life,” says Melanie Isaac, senior brand manager for Diet Coke at Coca-Cola Canada. “You’ll see some really creative, interesting pieces on social networks that celebrate the notion of uniqueness, which gets brought to the forefront through the bottles. That environment is one where consumers will really enjoy the visual nature of this campaign.”

Ogilvy & Mather handled creative adaptation, as well as the digital and social elements of the campaign. Mosaic is handling experiential sampling activations, as well as the elements of the campaign featuring Bouchard. UM is handling the media buy, Hill + Knowlton is handling PR and influencer relations and LPI is handling in-store and point-of-sale elements. Perennial handled packaging design.

This particular custom packaging concept was first launched in the fall of 2014 in Israel and debuted in the U.S. earlier this year. Playing with design and its iconic packaging has been a frequent tactic for Coca-Cola in recent years, be it through personalized labels, using them to unlock summer playlists, inspiring fashion lines or making the anniversary of its signature glass bottle the subject of a massive global campaign.

“When we saw the program in Israel, we thought it was such a great opportunity to connect with the consumer and celebrate the uniqueness of the Diet Coke brand,” Isaac says. “Consumers tell us that they engage with the brand on a day-to-day basis, and Diet Coke lovers are one of the most engaged fan bases. We thought this would give them an additional reason to engage with the brand and post about it, which they are already doing a lot and talking about their love for the brand.”

The main difference between the program in Canada compared to the way it has been done in other markets is more of a focus on the bottles, which Isaac says consumers here have more of a connection with.

Isaac says a campaign heavily focused on uniqueness, design and personal style is also a way for the brand to broaden its reach beyond its typical target.

“Uniqueness is something that is relevant across a wide spectrum of the population, so this campaign is giving us an opportunity to step beyond the boundaries we typically have,” Isaac says. “If you look at who typically enjoys low- and no- calorie soft drinks, it tends to be people in their 30s and 40s. We saw this as an opportunity to connect with Canadians en masse because it’s about uniqueness and style. That’s a great way to remind those who haven’t had a Diet Coke in a long time, regardless of demo, of its great taste with something that they could gravitate to on a more personal level.”