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Diet Soft Drink Brands Lose Conversational Fizz as Consumers Bubble Over With Talk About Regular Sodas

Engagement Labs Releases TotalSocial(TM) Scores in Soft Drinks Category, Finding Coca-Cola Enjoys Strong Brand Conversations Among Consumers While Diet Pepsi Falls Behind

/ -- NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwired - October 05, 2016) - The passion people used to have for diet soda seems to have gone flat. But, consumers are positively bubbling over to talk about their love of regular soft drink brands; according to a new analysis of consumer conversations inclusive of social media chatter and person-to-person discussions by Engagement Labs™. The company's new TotalSocial™ tool, which is used to examine the combined online and offline consumer conversations about brands and categories, finds that the talk of many of the most prominent diet soft drink brands is lagging -- either on social media, or in real life. At the same time, regular soft drink brands are a loud topic of consumer conversation.

Diet Pepsi, Coca-Cola Zero, and Diet Dr. Pepper are some of the TotalSocial underperformers. Their lack of conversational fizz is juxtaposed against the strong TotalSocial scores of their regular variety soft drink counterparts Coca-Cola, Sprite and Pepsi. In fact, all of the soft drink brands that have above-average TotalSocial scores in the category are the regular versions.

"Engagement Labs' TotalSocial scores quantify the impact of these trends on consumer conversations which is clearly reflected by the fact that diet soda brands have a lot in their glass right now -- including: health concerns about sugar and artificial sweeteners and balancing consumer interest in natural ingredients with backlash to formulation changes," said Ed Keller, CEO, Engagement Labs. "The question beverage companies need to ask is: how can they bring the positivity enjoyed by regular soft drink brands to their diet counterparts?"

"From a diagnostics point of view, each soft drink brand we examined has individual strengths and faces some unique challenges. But, one thing they have in common is an opportunity to market with an eye toward curating content and experiences that lead to more shares and positive consumer conversations," Keller continued. "Beverage companies can learn even more about how to positively impact their consumer conversations by paying attention to BOTH online and offline dialogues. We find that roughly one-third of the total conversation volume that takes place about a given brand actually happens as a result of in-person conversations. And more importantly, what is being said on social media channels isn't indicative of offline consumer chatter."

To learn more about Engagement Labs or TotalSocial insights and how to increase your brands word of mouth, in real life and online, reach out at:

About Engagement Labs

Engagement Labs (TSX VENTURE: EL) is the world's first TotalSocial™ company, offering intelligent data, analytics and insights for marketers. We are leaders in tracking, measuring and benchmarking the impact of conversations happening around a brand and industry -- both online and offline. Consumer conversations are a proven driver of critical business outcomes, including sales. The TotalSocial measurement solution provides brands with unique data fuelled insights and powerful analytics to understand online and offline social impact and drive business results. As a unique measurement solution, TotalSocial demonstrates to marketers how their online conversations differ from offline conversation and helps identify areas of competitive opportunity or significant emerging threats. TotalSocial is an "always-on" proprietary scoring system, based on the most important drivers of brand performance: Volume, Sentiment, Brand Sharing and Influence. TotalSocial was built on the pillars of Engagement Labs' patented social media measurement tool and Keller Fay's comprehensive offline word of mouth tracking system for brands and tracks 500 brands within the U.S. across 17 major industry categories, and 350 brands in the UK.

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Kate Tumino
KCSA Strategic Communications

Kenneth Cousins
KCSA Strategic Communications

Beverage TotalSocial ecores for On and Offline consumer conversations