Three adverts being shot next month for screening next year on TV and in cinemas will build on the brand's previous hunk campaign but, besides getting female pulses racing, they will have a greater focus on female friendship, communication and camaraderie. Billboard and print adverts are also being developed as part of the activity.
The company is kicking off a national press and PR campaign next week asking consumers to nominate celebrities or non-famous people they want to see in the role by e-mail.
The decision to reinforce the brand's female links follows the launch of no-sugar 'bloke' Coke Zero early this year. Coca-Cola GB said it was making the distinction between its three main brands much more defined, with adverts for its classic Coca-Cola concentrating on its iconic status and adverts for Coke Zero emphasising its male positioning.
Press adverts currently running for Diet Coke's limited edition silver bottle with the line 'The little silver number' already mark the brand's return to more female-oriented advertising.
The Diet Coke ads of the mid-1990s propelled unknown actor Lucky Vanous to stardom as the semi-naked construction worker who took his 11.30 Diet Coke break while female workers ogled him through their office windows to the Etta James tune 'I just want to make love to you'. A later creative, called 'Appointment Hunk', helped the brand win a National Television Award in 1998 for the best TV commercial.
More recent campaigns for the drink have not had the same impact, however. Ads showing a tortoise carrying the drink on its back were panned by critics for failing to link the drink with its target female audience.