LONDON: Coca-Cola has launched a £10m campaign to promote its rebranded Coke Zero Sugar in the UK, with the goal of boosting the share of brand sales taken by low or no-sugar variants.

Currently around 43% of its UK sales fall into this category, The Drum reported, but the company wants to see that climb above 50% by 2020, as people opt for healthier products and as the government encourages that trend with its planned sugar tax.

The rebranding – from Coke Zero to Coke Zero Sugar – was deemed necessary since half of British consumers didn't realise that the original product contained no sugar. A reformulated recipe is also said to bring the taste more in line with classic Coke.

"We've spent years developing this new recipe to get even closer to the taste of Coca-Cola Classic without the sugar," said Jon Woods, general manager, Coca-Cola Great Britain.

"That's important because we know a growing number of people want to reduce their sugar intake but have been reluctant to try a no-sugar option because they don't think they taste as good as the original."

A 30-second TV spot will support extensive sampling activity throughout the summer which will reinforce the tagline of "tastes more like Coke and looks more like Coke".

Woods added that that this was the "biggest marketing investment in a decade" for the UK business.

The brand has been active in other areas as well, having just launched its own YouTube channel – CokeTV – in the UK, fronted by local YouTube stars Manny and Dodie.

"The beauty of CokeTV is it puts the Coca-Cola brand directly into the world of the YouTube generation, reflecting their interests and speaking their language, week after week, said Bobby Brittain, marketing director for Coca-Cola Great Britain.

He also asserted that "it will be the most engaging platform to reach young adults in GB and Ireland".

But Campaign noted that particular claim could run into problems as the logos of other brands that crop up – when the presenter is playing a soccer video game for example – have been blurred out. While there are good legal reasons for this practice, it doesn't necessarily play to the audience's, and talent's, need for authenticity.

Data sourced from The Drum, Campaign; additional content by Warc staff