Archive for the ‘Diet’ Category

Service of Watch What You Say: Deep Six “Diet” and “Old”

Thursday, December 16th, 2021


Image by Skica911 from Pixabay 

I’m surprised that there are only 24 entries in the “words” category on this blog. Two recent articles in media report that marketers are avoiding “diet” and anything to do with “old.”

“‘Zero sugar’ has replaced ‘diet’ for many no-calorie soft drinks,” wrote Danielle Wiener-Bronner on cnn.com. “Canada Dry and Schweppes ginger ales, 7Up, A&W and Sunkist, made by Keurig Dr Pepper, now label their diet drinks ‘zero sugar.’ (One exception is the namesake Dr Pepper brand, which will still come in ‘diet’ packaging in addition to a different zero sugar version.) The reason for the overhaul: The word ‘diet’ has fallen out of fashion — especially for Millennials and Gen Z-ers.” Millennials are 25-40 years old and Gen Z-ers 9-24.


Image by Vesa Minkkinen from Pixabay

Wiener-Bronner reported that Greg Lyons, chief marketing officer at PepsiCo Beverages North America, said that the offended are bothered by both the word and the concept–Gen Zers don’t want to follow diets–“But distaste for the word diet doesn’t signal an aversion to no-calorie beverages.” These sodas “hit the mainstream in the 1960s.” The market reached $11.2 billion in 2020 and is growing faster than the standard sodas with sales of $28.2 billion that year, up 19.5% and 8.4% respectively.

The Key to Marketing to Older People? Don’t Say ‘Old.,'” was The New York Times headline for Corinne Purtill’s article. “According to company lore, the idea for Nike’s CruzrOne sneaker — a well-cushioned, thick-soled running shoe that debuted in 2019 — originated with a conversation between a Nike designer, Tinker Hatfield, and the company’s co-founder Phil Knight”. Knight, in his 80s, slow runs 8 miles a day.

“By positioning the CruzrOne as a shoe with excellent support for runners who — for whatever reason — go at an extremely slow pace, Nike can offer a product designed for the older athlete to the general market. It’s a perfect example of what Rob Chess, a Stanford Graduate School of Business lecturer, calls ‘stealth design’: a product that addresses specific needs of older consumers in a form that doesn’t scream, well, ‘old.'”

“You basically put all these elements in that make it much more usable by an older customer, but you don’t necessarily advertise and play up those elements,” Mr. Chess said. “Or if you do, you certainly don’t position them as, you know, ‘Gee, we’re doing this for older people.’ (A Nike spokesperson declined requests for interviews.)”

Have you noticed other words marketers avoid?


Photo: amazon
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