In a new U.S. marketing push Coke Zero places NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Championship in the center of the attention and through the tagline “It’s Not Your Fault”, amuses the viewers with the idea of always being in the game.

The campaign is a first for Droga5, the independent agency which won the account from Crispin Porter + Bogusky in August last year. Pio Schunker, Head of Integrated Marketing Communications at Coca-Cola North America told AdAge“Our new campaign tasks the brand’s voice to be the ultimate defender of guy enjoyment on the premise of not having to make any sacrifices. It celebrates guys being guys.”

Already being aired, the TV spot features two guys working on brackets rather on focusing on their job. When their superior appears, one guy bails out, while the remaining one takes a sip of Coke Zero where a voice over kicks in, reassuring him that the thing he is doing is just right. The whole receives a comic twist when it gets supported by historical figures:

According to AdAge, the new campaign seeks to appeal to men which make 57% of the brand’s consumers at the end of 2012. Along with the traditional media including digital videos and a partnership with TBS’ Conan O’Brien, Coke Zero has revamped its website to be concurrent with the campaign where it features a number of digital goodies including a bracket challenge, inspirational mottos and a special bracket insurance.

Compared to the Diet Coke’s female oriented marketing push in the UK with Hunk campaign that got supported by Marc Jacobs, Coke Zero’s campaign is rather different where the brand is obviously not missing its target audience, resulting in a great addition to March Madness.