Coke Zero put front and centre of ‘Holidays are Coming’ campaign for first time

Coca-Cola’s long-running ‘Holidays are Coming’ campaign is back and this year the company is hoping to appeal to a younger demographic of drinkers by putting Coke Zero front and centre of the ad and forging partnerships with Snapchat and LadBible.

Coca-Cola’s effort to lure younger drinkers has largely focused on its Diet Coke range, where sales have now overtaken the original variant.

For its Christmas campaign the familiar TV creative, airing from mid-November, has featured the same music and iconic truck scene as in years past. But rather than the classic red and white bottle, it will "hero" the Coke Zero brand.

“For many up and down the country, the iconic Coca-Cola Holidays Are Coming TV advert signals the start of the festive season. Our challenge every year is to take a tradition that is loved by many and bring it to life in new ways that feel fresh and relevant, especially to our core target audience – young adult,” explained Alec Mellor, marketing manager at Coca-Cola Great Britain.

“This year also marks a significant shift for Coca-Cola as zero sugar will be the Christmas campaign hero – connecting with consumers who have made zero sugar their drink of choice. That means our truck tour will be re-branded to hero Coca-Cola zero sugar, and Father Christmas will enjoy its refreshing taste in our advert creative.”

Off screen the company has also forged several new partnerships in an effort to attract this new generation of drinkers.

A specially-created Snapchat lens has been created while a branded content tie-up with LabBible will see the youth-focused publisher delve into the Coca-Cola archives to explore how Holidays Are Coming became a UK cultural phenomenon.

A social media campaign will also promote its first ever on-pack promotion with Capital’s Jingle Bell Ball, where Coca-Cola has sponsored a live stream of the event via Capital’s Twitter account.

This includes working with The Kingdom Choir who have recorded a special version of the famous Holidays are Coming song, which will be featured on Coca-Cola’s social channels and available to download from iTunes from 9 November.

Finally, a limited-edition flavour – Coca-Cola zero sugar cinnamon – has also been released. To promote the variant, Oxford Circus station will be “cinnamon-scented” with the aim of reminding consumers of Christmas from the moment they step inside.

Media buying for the campaign was managed by Mediacom while the experiential element was developed by Haygarth. Kameleon and Text 100 handled digital and PR respectively.

Diet Coke's recent campaign, 'Because I Can', has been criticised by many in the industry. Read the scathing review from Brothers & Sisters chief executive Matt Charlton here.

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