The image: Coca-Cola turns 125 this year, but the company doesn't want anyone to think it's set in its ways. Case in point: In September, Coke will introduce a limited-edition can for Diet Coke to celebrate, executives say, the "new looks and new energy" of the fall season. The new design will retain the old can's bare-aluminum background, but that's where the similarities end. The existing logo is blown-up to the point where only the "D" in Diet and the "k" in Coke are fully visible on the can (see image below). The soda's full name will still be there, but in much smaller print. Is this a "bold" new look for America's No. 1 diet soft drink, or a design faux pas?
The reaction: Like any fashion statement, the new Diet Coke can mixes "the playful and the sophisticated," says Catherine New at Daily Finance. Even for a blockbuster product as established and taken-for-granted as Diet Coke, this kind of splash "can help refresh the image and experience of the brand." But, again like fashion, this is hardly timeless design, says Robert Klara at Adweek. "Blink twice" and it will be gone. At least, "Coke isn't tampering with the formula for the stuff inside this new hipster can." As it learned with the New Coke debacle in 1985, the packaging is one thing, "but leave the recipe alone." Here's Diet Coke's new look (below left), compared to its previous design (right):