Taste Test

In the endless knife fight that is the Cola Wars, the two tied-at-the-wrist gang leaders are circling again - around to exactly where the other guy was just standing.

With the introduction of the "This is Diet?" campaign a few weeks ago, Diet Pepsi involved the actual taste of the drink in its marketing campaign for the first time. And next week, Diet Coke will drop its fifteen-year-old "Just for the Taste of It" standard bearer in favor of the newly-minted, lifestyle-based "You Are What You Drink."

And while the subtleties of diet cola tag line manufacture probably escape all but those who actually crank them out, that these two billion-dollar products could essentially flip-flop their marketing positions in the course of a month - without either product actually changing - only suggests that, um, maybe neither lifestyle-enhancement nor simple taste is either brand's strongest suit. Cool commercials are.

-- Greg Knauss

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