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

Shaking Up Brand Coke …
January 19, 2010, 6:09 am
Filed under: Comment

As many people know, I’ve had an interesting relationship with Coca-Cola over the years – based mainly on the fact I’ve always believed they could/should make their ‘optimism’ positioning live waaaaay beyond their print and television advertising obsession.

Whilst I’m proud of some of the work I’ve done with them, I can’t tell you the number of ‘discussions’ I’ve had ‘suggesting’ they stop/reduce their mainstream advertising* and use the cash to develop programs/ideas that can positively affect the lives of youth [rather than just the ad industry] however for a bunch of reasons, I’ve tended to be met with:

“Yes Robert, that’s very interesting, but what about our ad?”

I’ve also banged on how I believe experiential advertising shouldn’t be approached interms of wanting to make people ‘feel good’ about the brand [though obviously it has to do that too] but in finding ways that continually proves the brand is sincere in what it says, believes and does.

Note the word ’CONTINUALLY’ … because doing something positive once, doesn’t mean you don’t have to do it again till you feel the brand is on the wane.

That’s why I like Tesco’s so much, because they continually fight for their customers loyalty – not just through pricing – but through innovation, reinvention and a constant desire to find ways to be relevant in current social/cultural/political and economic circumstances.

[See their 1990’s ‘Computers For School’ promotion as an example of how they infiltrated culture [not just shoppers] and stated to position themselves as a community champion, not just a food retailer]

Anyway it’s for this reason that I prefer to call/approach experiential communication as Brand Truth ideas … and the reason I bring this all up is that whilst it is not exactly fighting for youth optimism on a grand scale, Coke have just done an experiential activity/experiment that not only brings the brands position to life, but makes people probably look a bit differently at Coke vending machines for quite a few months to come.

Wish I’d done it … but then if I had, I’d of encouraged it to be executed in a shitload of places rather than just one so no one could accuse me of doing it just so I could make a viral film out of it.

Ooooooh I am such a cynic.

But well done Coke, it’s a step in the right direction – a bit more and a bit quicker please.

* Lets face it, in many markets their distribution and market share is so strong, the role of their advertising is open to debate, or at the very least, open to spending reduction.

17 Comments so far
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the time has come to break my 2010 resolution and give a serious fucking answer to one of your pieces of shit blogposts. blame china, google and auntie if you have a problem with it.

youre right campbell that it feels like a stunt to create a viral video. it would have been much better if theyd launched a fuckload of these happiness vending machines and then people uploaded clips off their own fucking back but like most big companies they dont want to leave anything to chance so they basically stage manage the whole fucking thing which is why product placement rarely fucking works like it should because the fuckers insist on clunky focus on their brand which is why you get unsubtle shit like sony in bond flicks.

theres a rumour that coke funded some michael douglas movie and had a shit attack when they watched the movie to see he blows it up in gunfire during one of the scenes so they made them film it again and so a store where everyfuckingthing is shot to shit with a sawnoff, only a single fucking can of coke remains and in the centre of the fucking counter.

that pisstake scene in waynes world is more fucking subtle than some of the shit in hollywood nowadays.

i like the idea and it would have got shitloads of viral if it had been allowed and coke werent nervous ninnies but what do you expect from the land of shouting and scale?

is now the right fucking time to point out happiness an optimism are different fucking things or do i sound like a fucking planner? how come you didnt pick that up campbell? losing your dodds gene in your older years?

now campbell are you allowed to go or have they classed you as too dangerous?

Comment by andy@cynic

by the way your “continually” rant of this post is probably the best thing youve written but then you stole it of me. youre the andrew lloyd ugly of adland.

Comment by andy@cynic

On a somewhat unrelated note Coke should use (bring back?) their “third world” distribution methods in more developed markets.

But yes that happiness machine is brilliant.

Comment by rafik

made me think of how dope dealers throw free testers to fiends to continually prove they got the good shit.

are they happy bout coke or bout cheating the system and getting shit free? interesting pièce of human nature. Hope they not futue bankers…

Just saying

Comment by Niko

I really like the Coke machine but I do agree with Rob and Andy’s comments about the corporate stage managed element of the idea.

We can debate the difference between happiness or optimism but it’s still better than anything Coke have done for years.

Comment by Pete

Knowing my luck that fucking machine would only give me a bottle of coke.

Remember what they did to us guys! Why are you being so nice to them again? 2 dollar crack hoes aren’t as accomodating as you and I should know. Fuck that’s not right. Screw it, it’ll give you sad bastards something to smile about and by snoop dogs holy trinity you need it.

Comment by Billy Whizz


Comment by Angus

i agree with rob and andy, and like the idea very much. i dont like the ad. just because it is not real and i can very well see that. the “thank you coke” line and the baguette killed it for me. i might change my mind if they really programmed vending machines to give out some more bottles every once in a while. why did they not start it like this and aired an ad etc saying “did this happen to you? we just wanted to bring some happiness to you”. yes, that sounds corny, but im not a copywriter ha. but you get the drift – im grumpy and its late here.

Comment by peggy

are you sitting at home pulling your small fucking wand and eating a packet of cheeze rings again billyboy?

Comment by andy@cynic

i like it when youre grumpy peggy. throw in a few swear words and you could push lauren off the top of the league table. my league table.

Comment by andy@cynic

thanks andy… even though im grumpy, i dont want to push lauren. hey lauren x

Comment by peggy

A swear-off between Peggy and Lauren? Now THAT would make me “happy”.

Comment by Age

Are those Baz hands we see handing stuff out the vending machine?

Comment by DH

I love everyone’s comments but I have to say Andy and Billy’s are my faves – mainly because Andy show’s his smart side in the first one [the Michael Douglas movie was ‘Falling Down’ by the way] and then his evil banter side with Billy ‘everybody hates me’ Whizz.

Just like old times and we all know what a sentimental fart I am.

Comment by Rob

Todd has the look of someone used to being upstaged.

Comment by Chris

It’s all a bit one-way and lacking in interaction. More a gluttony machine than a happiness machine. The talking Nesquik machine was better.

Comment by John

a compliment from you campbell is like a pat on the head from a granny. not fucking worth much even if you made the right call. for once.

Comment by andy@cynic

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