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Diet Coke Embraces Its Virtual Nothingness

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We remember the first time we had a Diet Coke, when that stupid vending machine next to the baseball field was out of regular Coke. After one sip and some great expectorations, we threw the mostly full can away thinking two things: 1.) this tastes like someone added "ass" to water, 2.) girls will put anything in their mouths if they think it will help them lose weight. (Both insights have aided people throughout the years. The first helped Glaceau founder J. Darius Bikoff make millions. The second netted more than a few hummers from Kate Moss.)
As bottled water encroaches on soft-drink territory (the two are now comprable in size, with bottled water bringing in $50 billion a year to soda's $68 billion), Diet Coke has employed a marketing team of budding Sartreans, who are embracing Coke's nothingness as quintessential to its being.
A new Diet Coke print ad, pointed out by Freakonmics' Steven Levitt, simply contains a picture of a can of Diet Coke and the tag-line "99 Percent Water." (Next up, an abortion-clinic ad that shows a picture of a fetus in a bottle with the tagline "75 Percent Water" (keeping with the theme of the day))
Levitt notes how ridiculous this ad would have seemed in the 80s, and several of the commenters note that pointing out the water content of something is ridiculous in the first place, since everything we drink is mostly water. Starbucks - everything we serve is 98+% water. Even water is 99% water in most cases.
At DealBreaker, we're starting a new marketing firm for consumer products that will up the post-existentialist ante, and just advertise our products as "99.9 Percent Nothing." You can eat almost nothing, virtually guilt free. By eating almost nothing, you're bound to lose weight. After all, everything is mostly nothing (look at an atom).
Diet Coke is 99% Water (And That Is Now a Good Thing) [Freakonomics Blog]

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