The Many Guises of Diet Coke

This past year has been a rather exciting one for Coca Cola. On top of being an official sponsor of the London 2012 Olympics, it’s diet-friendly off-shoot named Marc Jacobs their new creative director/brand ambassador. Peddling back two years, Diet Coke and Karl Lagerfeld partnered up to make a very fashionable line of bottles. Why Karl Lagerfeld? “The Hardest Working Man in Fashion” only drinks Diet Coke. He apparently drinks 10 cans of the diet beverage a day and avoids water. Whatever the strange logic is behind Lagerfeld’s decision, the bottle designs were eye-catching and very chic.

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On top of Karl Lagerfeld’s work, Jean Paul Gaultier teamed up with Diet Coke to produce a line of “Tattoo” aluminium bottles, displaying the many iconic designs of Gaultier’s label. Diet Coke finally forged a friendship with the fashion industry and it was looking good. Not only was this exciting news for those who were Diet Coke/ Jean Paul Gaultier fans, but packaging design nerds everywhere rejoiced. Coke was bringing back their retro bottle design and they were adding some much needed flavor to it (still calorie free). Though, the bottle designs weren’t too outlandish, making the “tattoos” recognizable to most of their consumers. Diet Coke was finally joining the tattoo trend.

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Not too long after the Jean Paul Gaultier collaboration with Diet Coke, Marc Jacobs jumped on the bandwagon as the new creative director. Jacobs wouldn’t just design a new series of cans, the high-profile designer would also be the new face (and body) of the Diet Coke ads. To celebrate the 30 years since the launch of Diet Coke, the new creative director designed three new cans that would symbolize each decade. The designs were sweet, simple and appealing to the general public. While Gaultier’s designs were intricate and bold, Jacobs took a minimalist approach. The three new cans and bottles come along with codes, giving fans a chance to win their very own Marc Jacobs tote.
Diet Coke has long appealed to the fashion-savvy crowd with designer collaborations since 2003, but now they’ve taken it a step further with their most recent bottle designs. Though, we’d be interested to see if Coca-Cola ever decided to collaborate with smaller, lesser known designers, rather than big names and personalities. For the sake of packaging design, I’m sure that would be a very interesting collaboration.

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