Remember that episode of The Monkees in which Peter Tork sold his soul to the devil in exchange for the ability to play the harp? The devil was called Mr. Zero that time (the evil dude has had so many names over the years). Ever since I saw that episode many years ago, I've had a negative association with the term "zero" (of course, by default, it can have negativity attached to it anyway). Coca-Cola (NYSE:KO), however, thinks the term "zero" will bring nothing but good fortune (although none of the executives there should count on sudden harp-playing skills).

According to Dow Jones Newswires, Diet Sprite will be christened with a new name in a couple of weeks: Diet Sprite Zero. Why, you ask? Here's the apparent logic behind the marketing concept: Zero implies an absence of quantity. What do people who are watching their weight look for? Yep, that's right -- an absence of any and all unnecessary calories. That's what you get with a diet drink, and that's what you get with Diet Sprite.

Coca-Cola and competitor PepsiCo (NYSE:PEP) are chasing all growth opportunities, and the best way these concerns know how is to constantly innovate their marketing schemes. They, of course, can develop new products to capture growth -- Coke's C2 and Pepsi's Edge are two examples -- but reenergizing a brand via new packaging and a new title can oftentimes be more effective, both in terms of cost and creativity. Plus, you don't have to worry about potentially damaging backlash to a different concept; "New Coke," you'll recall, wasn't appreciated by the beverage marketplace.

Diet Sprite Zero has a nifty ring to it; the "Zero" at the end confers an almost quasi-sci-fi connotation to it, if you get what I mean. Maybe it will provide a hip hook that dieting teenagers can latch onto. After all, Coke wants its consumers to be as young as possible so brand loyalty can settle in nicely.

Here are some more beverage-related Takes:

What is your opinion of Diet Sprite Zero? Is the name too goofy for your taste, or does it adequately quench your intellect? Come on over to the Coca-Cola discussion board, and let us know what you think.

Fool contributor Steven Mallas owns shares of Coca-Cola.