In early 1980, with Jane Fonda leading the home video exercise craze, 20% of all American adults preferred diet sodas to regular. Dominated by the then popular diet soda called Tab, Coke saw an opportunity to move towards a new market. On today's date, July 9, in 1982, Diet Coke was introduced in a $100 million ad campaign. The head honchos over at Coke knew what they were doing and with an extravagant New York City gala launch, they had guests instantly hooked on the new diet soda. Diet Coke was a huge sensation and by Christmas time it had grown to be the third most popular soda after only Coke and Pepsi. Today Diet Coke is the most popular low calorie beverage in the world, served in over 61 countries. It has developed a crazed, almost cult like following with addicts drinking up to as many as 12 Diet Cokes a day.
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