The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]

Bitter And Twisted? Yep, That Sounds About Right …
March 10, 2008, 7:10 am
Filed under: Comment


So last year we had a ‘What’s The Best Meat’ online competition – and whilst the answer is obviously sausage – we lost.

In some ways I was happy, because during the duration of sausages involvement, all productivity at cynic [not to mention Virgin] basically stopped – however because he’s mad, lovely, mischievous and smart, the ever-lovely Marcus/Kaiser has decided we should all have another competition so this time the aim is to find out ‘What’s The Best Drink’

Now because I drink copious amounts of the stuff – plus work [or worked, depending on what we disagree with on any given day] I’ve been bestowed with selling the virtues of Diet Coke.

I could talk about how it is the second most popular soft drink in the World or how it was the driving force behind low calorie drinks or how it’s advertising promoted female empowerment when most ads were generally negatively stereotyping women or how it helped push ‘calorie control diets’ into the mainstream … but you know what, I’m not going to do that, infact I’m going to do something radical – I’m going to ask you NOT to vote for me.

Say No To DC

Now there are many reasons for this, and over the course of this post, I’ll be covering most of them – however lets start with the issue of who Diet Coke is ‘up against’ in round one of the competition …

1 Red Bull

2 Innocent

3 Spring Water

In that list, the only brand I’d rate Diet Coke higher than is Red Bull.

I fucking HATE Red Bull.


I know our dear Charles has just won the account in China [well done on that by the way] and I worked with them in Europe and Australia for a few years – but that still doesn’t excuse the fact the drink is disgusting, looks like wee and is owned/run by some of the most misguided German’s since a certain small moustached twat tried to take over the World.

I hate their shitty ads … I hate how they ignore the influence of the nightclub in its sales success … I hate how they think they are uber-cool … I hate how they keep talking about it giving you energy when most people consume it as [1] a mixer [2] a hangover cure … I hate the German marketing person who insists on being called DR just because in Krautland you can be a DR of Marketing [delusion anyone?] and I hate how they sponsor extreme games when the most radical thing about that drink is that it can kill you if you consume too much. [Which to be fair, is pretty radical]

Ooooooh I feel better now. I feel much, much better.

Right, now lets get onto the other two shall we – Innocent and Spring Water.

Well they’re good aren’t they.

Sure there’s certain accusations that have been thrown at them in the past [Innocent is not as nicey-nicey as they pretend and if Spring Water was as pure as they claim, how come the bottles have a sell by date] but compared to Diet Coke, they’re pretty fucking untouchable aren’t they.

Think about it … a brand that invests in proving it genuinely wants the World to be a happier, nicer place versus a brand that is created purely by mother nature versus a brand that is owned by a massive international conglomerate who spend billions each year controlling the distribution channels, brainwashing the masses, encouraging younger and younger consumption and trying to drive out all the smaller players from the marketplace.

Not a tough decision is it?

LEGO red cross keyring

Then there’s the issue as regards the health benefits of Diet Coke.

Sure it’s only one calories but one of the key ingredients is something called aspartame – an element that has been alleged to be responsible for all manner of illnesses, from headaches through to depression and pretty much everything in-between.

OK, so after pressure from Walmart they released a Diet Coke variant that swapped the controversial element with the more health-friendly Splenda – however they spent little cash promoting the product [focusing on Coke Zero instead] and thus demonstrated their lack of concern for the people who make them rich.

If you want to read more, then I suggest you go here but you may rather ignore it  because it makes for pretty frightening reading.

What about the fact a simple Mentos mint can make the product do this …

That’s not normal is it – but then either is the fact a dirty copper coin can come out sparklingly clean once dropped into the stuff for 10 mins or so.

Now to be honest, I’m getting abit bored with this post and I’m sure you’re feeling the same, so to aid in my quest for you to NOT vote for “DC”, I will fall back on the tried and tested lazyman blog post, and write a list of points …

1   Rather than improve the taste of their product, they decided to confuse consumers by making weird Diet Coke flavour combinations [ie: Lemon / Cherry / Lime] so you couldn’t compare it to the high-sugared ‘mother brand’ that so many of you love.

2   They have made some of the most fucking appalling ads ever – especially the recent ones [see here and here – though Kate Beckinsale looks amazing in her ad whereas the other spot is just pathetic and a rip off the Club 18-30 campaign]

3   They pretend to be a woman’s brand but approx 40% of their sales come from men. Over 40.

4   They think they’re better than they are – they’re just a soft drink for fucksake – and yet they act like they’re the second coming of Christ.

5   Rather than represent female empowerment [despite a large majority of their core consumers being men] they have become an advocate for superficial material possession.

6   They’re making their bottles/cans bigger so they can increase the volume of liquid you consume to make up for the shortfall they are experiencing as people choose naturally healthier drinks.

7   They’ve launched a Diet Coke with added minerals and vitamins. I mean, that’s like eating 5 kebabs and washing it down with a water and thinking that makes everything OK again.

8   They’re schizophrenic – in some markets they’re DIET COKE, in others they’re COKE LIGHT and in Japan, they’re NO CALORIE COKE.

9   Coke’s strategic goal is to ‘never be more than an arm-length away from a Coke/Diet Coke.

10  Despite alleged health issues, Diet Coke are currently claiming to be ‘healthly heart advocates’ 

11 Coca-Cola once spent millions trying to copyright the colour ‘red’. Millions. In the end they only managed [I believe] to secure the rights to the colour when used in context with their white ‘swirl’, which is copyrighted anyway.

12 They’re from America – and in typical American fashion – contribute a massive amount to the World’s rubbish.

13 The Coca-Cola brand ruined the 1996 Atlanta Olympics with all their fucking signage.

14 Some of the Diet Coke executives sit on the boards of American Companies whose goal is to [allegedly] destroy consumers freedom of choice.

15 We’re dead busy and I can’t afford my team to be pre-occupied like they were for ‘sausage’.

Is that enough?

It should be … unless you’re a [1] Coke exec, [2] A myopic American and/or [3] a total fool.

OK – so here’s my final pitch.

Praying together

I once sat in a meeting in Atlanta where they proudly announced Coke and Diet Coke were the most loved brands in the World.

When I asked why, they said it was because their products sold in greater quantities than any other brand on the planet.

After I pointed out this simply meant they were the most well distributed brand in the World and it had no reflection on how much they were loved, I was ignored for the next month.

If you let Diet Coke win this competition then you are not only aiding in marketing delusion, but you’re going to make a brand with one of the biggest egos around put Bono into the shade.

Look despite all this negativity, I still drink the stuff like it’s going out of fashion [hell, I don’t drink, smoke or do drugs, I need one vice] and to be honest I don’t give a toss if you vote for Innocent or Spring Water – all I am asking is that in this competition you please, please, please DON’T vote for Diet Coke or Red Bull.  Is that too much to ask? 

Right, go and do your bit against globalisation [hahaha, that’s another reason] by clicking here.

27 Comments so far
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I found your site on technorati and read a few of your other posts. Keep up the good work. I just added your RSS feed to my Google News Reader. Looking forward to reading more from you.

Chris Moran

Comment by Chris Moran

Good points well made Rob, but you also revealed that your prolonged participation in the competition would reduce Cynic’s productivity to zero. Some might argue that to be a negligible fall, but not me.

I agree with your sentiments but ask myself, would a vote for one of the others mean that we were backing the ultimate winner of the competition. Who knows? On the other hand it’s clear that a a vote for Diet Coke is conclusively that rare thing – a vote that will make a difference to the bigger picture. Decisons, decisions.

Comment by John

Lets hope certain people at a company based in Atlanta don’t see this post before I meet them Robert. For your sake.

Comment by George

Another fan Robert. Pity George is going to end your life before you reach your true potential.
Just for you I WON’T be voting for DC but just like you I WILL be drinking ridiculous amounts of the stuff which hopefully will keep George and your friends in Atlanta slightly calmer.

Comment by Pete

well done fuckhead, you will be the first person in history to win and lose clients via a blog.

good post though and ill vote “spring water” so i can do an with with an idea ive had for fucking ages called “springwatervessence” which uses bursting balloons and some inappropriate soundtrack

Comment by andy@cynic

and dodds, feel free to come round and say that statement to the poor buggers who work their talented little souls out for their masters and clients. if they dont kick you in the throat till youre lying on the floor gasping for air, i will.

besides, most of the mob dont even come on this pile of shit, they have much better taste than that which is why they work for us and not some multinational talent vampire.

and dont come back saying that last comment proves i have no taste, i know i dont, i hang out with campbell for fucksake.

Comment by andy@cynic

If there’s a “Best Airline” blog competition, could you please not represent us Robert.
Thank you.

Comment by Lee Hill

as george is killing rob in about 23 hours you can relax and know thats never going to be an issue you have to worry about.

Comment by andy@cynic

Auntie George.

Killing me?

By ‘nicing’ me to death no doubt! 🙂

Comment by Rob

you didn’t quite understand how this all works did you?


Comment by Marcus

Haha, brilliant line Lee.

I agree. Aspartame (aka Nutrasweet) also supposedly causes cancer.

Comment by Rob Mortimer

What do you mean I don’t understand how this works Marcus??? You don’t, you’ve not put the fucking link up yet and it’s “my week”.

Comment by Rob

Back off Campbell. I’m feeling “fragile”.

Comment by Marcus

I tell you what, I hope “fragile” is over 16 or you could get into all sorts of trouble. Dodds wouldn’t be happy for a start, ha!

Right, had a right-royal-shit-day so I’m off – have a top day all, and hope it’s not too painful being back at work Marcus, it’s nice for us you’re back at least.

[Now do I mean because you get to share the pain of work like the rest of us or do I mean we’ve missed your comments? 🙂 ]

Comment by Rob

Brilliant. You get my vote for Diet Coke.You got me with:

15 We’re dead busy and I can’t afford my team to be pre-occupied like they were for ’sausage’.

Now I want you to win and will tell everyone to make you win. I will even make advertising for you on my forehead.

Comment by Seb

[…] postponing Round 2 until next week but Rob Campbell has already delivered his remarkable Diet Coke contribution – so go and have a […]

Pingback by A bit of a round up, the results from the Ultimate Beverage Bracket (Round 1) and an apology.

rob’s list of things to do for the week:

alienate clients. tick.

confuse everyone by posting against the beverage i’m supposed to be supporting. tick.

and in the process, suggest that the tower of celebratory diet coke from my wedding is actually a pariah of carcinogens and hope that jill doesn’t think i’m implying anything about our marriage. tick

well done rob 🙂

Comment by lauren

Playing mind games again Robert. Well if you think this tactic will get me to do what you really want me to do you’re wrong but first can you tell me what it is you don’t want so I can do the opposite.

Comment by Billy Whizz

hey Rob, I’m just as confused with Billy Whizz – so you’ve (obviously) convinced some of us to be anti-Diet Coke. but then, um, aren’t you supposed to be, um, supporting it?

Comment by theletterzee

Tap water is where it’s at.

Comment by Andrea

its not billy whose confused, its campbell.

as for tap water being where it’s at, that depends which country youre talking about though auntie george swears by indian tap water, normally just before he starts shitting himself uncontrollably.

Comment by andy@cynic

Andy, if you have the same mail address type as rob you should have got a mail with a picture you can place next to the pictures of your wives on your desk,
And if you have a second why not vote for the big poft off extravaganza:

Comment by Seb

hello seb my kraut friend. i might have got your email but for the last 8 hours our server has decided its had enough with the high porn spam it has to contend with and has shat itself. it should be back up tomorrow (it term which roughly translates into “ill reboot in the morning as im watching porn in my office) so i will revel in your mischief then. you good?

Comment by andy@cynic

yepp. shitty presentation for big, fat, ugly client tomorrow.
will go running, then sleep for 3 hours and then off to plane.
starting now. see you after running, when you’re still awake.
it’s 1 am here…dunno what time it is in NY or wherever you are.

Comment by Seb

you poor fucks, it would be ok it is was a hot, cool client but not some fucking fat kraut who wont respect you in the morning.

its a very respectable 8pm here and im going out with some of the guys to drink ourselves stupid because its a monday and all mondays are hideously unpleasant and need to be forgotten. happy writing.

Comment by andy@cynic

well. it’s a very corporate, big, expensive client that no consumer likes but they have some sort of monopol (its competitors are just as stupid, fat and ugly as them) so everybody copes with them. now they want us to turn them into a smart and nice company that everybody likes. but they still view our work from their fat and shitty monopolist view and pretest every word.
well. thank god it’s only new business and the client I have is nice and listens to what we say. unfortunately its business won’t exist anymore in a five years time. and I think they don’t really get that. anyway. off to run now. see you tomorrow.

have a great night out. and remember: you should drink to forget but never forget to drink.

Comment by Seb

Rob – you’ve got the right strategy posting about why people shouldn’t vote for you – if you want to win that is. I tried it (it buried Seb’s coffee) but unfortunately it got me into round 2 and now I have to do it all again.

It beat COFFEE, for fuck’s sake – how can hot chocolate beat coffee ? (well, he got disqualified for not posting – that’s how)

Comment by RayGrunt

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