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Diet Coke changes strategy after advertising blunder

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Diet Coke changes strategy after advertising blunder

By Stephen L. Betts. CREATED May 9, 2014

In a rare advertising blunder from Coca-Cola, the soft drink giant has pulled a campaign that was quickly becoming the target of parodies and social media humor.

Taylor Swift signed on as pitchwoman for Diet Coke early last year, and has since appeared in TV ads like the one above. The commercial follows several young people as they prepare to do such things as give a best man speech at a wedding or, in the global superstar's case, take the stage to perform -- ostensibly getting a much-needed boost from a Diet Coke. Each of the situations is then followed by the tagline, "You're on." All sounds pretty goof-proof, right?

Well, it was ... until the ads showed up in print earlier this year. With the word "Coke" in big red letters and the "Diet" somewhat obscured in black, the tagline can be (and increasingly was) easily misread as "You're on Coke," conjuring images of a white powder instead of a refreshing beverage.

The New York Times reports that the print ads have now been pulled and a new campaign, based on the previously used slogan "Just for the taste of it," has replaced "You're on." But not before a slew of parody ads and Twitter posts began to circulate.

Swift has been a Diet Coke spokesperson since 2013. There's no word yet on how she might be featured in the revised campaign.

By the way, Coca-Cola was once made with an estimated nine milligrams of cocaine per glass, before the ingredient was removed in 1903.

Stephen L. Betts

Stephen L. Betts

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Stephen L. Betts ("Steve") is a Nashville-based journalist who started his career as a tour guide, karaoke operator and library assistant at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum.