business news in context, analysis with attitude

Interesting piece in Advertising Age reporting that when Coca-Cola chairman/CEO Neville Isdell refers to his company’s line of carbonated soft drinks these days, he refers to them as “sparkling,” refraining “from using the tired old term for the weakening category in which his company's flagship competes. At least a dozen times during the call, the word ‘carbonated’ was swapped with a far more friendly term, ‘sparkling,’ while the word ‘still’ was used in place of ‘noncarbonated.’”

And, Ad Age notes, the company’s press releases now seem to be using the word “sparkling” instead of “carbonated,” suggesting that this is a concerted strategic effort to change the way people think about carbonated soft drinks, a category that has been under sales pressure as of late.

Coke is not commenting on the apparent shift.
KC's View:
We’ve seen Isdell speak several times at the annual CIES Summit, and it seems to us that he’s used the word “sparkling” before…though we could be wrong about that. If he did, we certainly didn’t pick up on the shift…so good for Ad Age for taking notice.

That said, we’re not sure that this is anything the consumer will care about – it is sort of “inside baseball,” the kind of thing that people in the industry will notice but shoppers will completely ignore because it is irrelevant to their shopping decisions.