Why can't half-baked cola launch campaigns come with zero sackings?
But of even greater interest was this little snippet of info that appeared in today’s Crikey subscribers mailout. (For non-Australians or non-media/politics-types out there, Crikey is to Down Under what the Drudge Report is to the US: good reporting and industry gossip that more often than not hits the mark). According to an anonymous informer at Coca-Cola:
The launch of Coke Zero is causing major problems within Coke. We started with a viral teaser campaign called the zero movement which has totally backfired – consumer backlash may cost the PR firm and the marketing personnel responsible dearly. All you have to do is Google it to find all the reactions. Also the trade is lukewarm to the product after the disaster of Coke Lime and also after finding out Coke Zero failed in the US. We have forcibly allocated massive amounts of stock (supermarkets say too much) and there are some nervous store managers out there. We are also scared that our marketing dept and ad agencies have lost the plot after a string of below average ads and terrible program sponsorship decisions (eg X factor). There is no confidence that the Zero launch will get any better. And forward orders for regular Coke and Diet Coke are more than 50% down leading alot of us to believe that we are just going to cannabilise our own sales, instead of going after Pepsi who are doing very well at the moment stealing our share with great advertising but Coke head office does nothing!