How Taylor Swift is Trying to Goose Diet Coke's Facebook Likes

Wide-Reaching Campaign Including Digital, TV, Print and Concert Tie-Ins Breaks This Spring

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Diet Coke today revealed more details about its partnership with 23-year old singer Taylor Swift, which Ad Age first reported last week.

Taylor Swift for Diet Coke
Taylor Swift for Diet Coke

The brand announced today that fans will see a big campaign featuring Ms. Swift break this spring, and noted that the pop-country crooner will be featured in TV, print and digital ads. Diet Coke referred to her as a "program ambassador," and added that Ms. Swift will soon be integrated into a variety of marketing efforts, including advertising, retail activation and experiential marketing.

But she's already begun her job. Her first order of business? Getting her fans to start engaging with the Diet Coke brand on social media.

Afer Ad Age revealed that the brand had teamed up with Ms. Swift on the heels of Pepsi's partnership with Beyonce, the singer confirmed the partnership to her fans by making a 45-second video announcement that was posted on YouTube.

"We're actually going to be making it official with one of the great loves of my life, Diet Coke," said Ms. Swift in the candid video, clad in bright red, the color synonymous with Coke brands.

Ms. Swift urged fans to like Diet Coke's Facebook page, telling them that would serve as their "backstage pass" for "so many fun things" related to her Red Tour kicking off March 13. Her overt request for fans to go and like Diet Coke's page suggests that , in addition to TV commercials and concert tie-ins, part of her mission will be to help Diet Coke increase social-media engagement.

The brand has just shy of 2 million likes, compared to more than 58 million for Coca-Cola. It already has an edge over Diet Pepsi, which has just 706,000 likes. Brand Pepsi has nearly 9.4 million. But Ms. Swift's incredibly large fan base could help increase conversation about the Diet Coke brand.

Diet Coke, which within the last 24 hours has updated its Facebook page with the announcement and a photo of the songstress, would be smart to capitalize on her presence on social networks, given she has a massive following. And when it comes to Twitter, her presence is far bigger than that of one of the most famous women in the world -- and Pepsi spokeswoman -- Beyoncé.

Beyoncé has just under 7 million followers on Twitter, while Ms. Swift has more than three times that many followers, at a whopping 23.5 million. To put that into perspective, it's just a couple million shy of what U.S. President Barack Obama boasts.

Ms. Swift is closing in on Beyoncé on Facebook too; she has nearly 39 million likes on her official page, while Beyoncé's page has 42 million. The short video she posted about Diet Coke got 25,000 likes within a 20-hour period.

Now the question is whether all that social-media engagement can help translate into sales for Diet Coke. The brand has enjoyed a No. 2 ranking among soda brands since 2010.

At the same time Diet Coke has hired a new face for its brand in North America, it's bringing back an old one overseas.

Diet Coke unveiled its new "Hunk" today -- British model Andrew Cooper. BETC London's newest commercial features a group of women in a park that decide to play a little prank on this hot gardener using a shaken-up can of soda, only to find the tables turned when he decides to strip, in a nod to the original "11:30" hunk spot. It's been about five years since we last saw spokesbeef for the soda, and 20 years since original hotman Lucky Vanous hit the scene.

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