Coca-Cola to hero Coke Zero for the first time through Rugby World Cup ad strategy

Coca-Cola has kicked off its Rugby World Cup sponsorship activity which will see the drinks giant throw its sugar free Coke Zero variant into the spotlight for the first time after implementing its one brand strategy.

It is Coke's first sports sponsorship under its one brand pan-European strategy, which pulls the four Coke variants of Cola, Diet, Zero and Lite together for the first time. A launch event took place in London yesterday (3 August) where Coca-Cola asked members of the public to take part in a ‘balls amnesty’ and swap other sports balls in exchange for a rugby ball, as it continues to push its ties with leading a healthy lifestyle.

The ad campaign began on Saturday. It uses an existing Coke Zero ad with new rugby elements to drive awareness of the product and capitalise on the “massive opportunity” around the sporting event.

“Part of today is about launching this activity from a consumer perspective," Coca-Cola's marketing director for Great Britain Bobby Brittain told The Drum.

“In particular Coke Zero will be benefitting with the activity that we do with the Rugby World Cup – for the first time since we launched our one brand strategy back in March we have the opportunity to foreground one of the individual product variants, in this case Coke Zero, to benefit disproportionately from the partnership that we have.

“We think there is a massive opportunity for Coke Zero to benefit from an association with the Rugby World Cup and also to benefit from the growth that we can see coming from Coke Zero in the future.”

The sponsorship also sees Coca-Cola run its biggest ever rugby on-pack promotion, which gives consumers nationwide the chance to win one of up to 1 million Coca-Cola-branded Gilbert replica rugby balls.

Additionally, the brand is putting on free rugby-inspired sessions through its ParkLives initiative and along charity partner StreetGames is hosting pop up street rugby in the host tournament cities.

Watch the full interview with Brittain, and spot rugby player Thom Evans, here. Take a look at the new Coke Zero rugby ad below.

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