Coke Cares!

“Drive safely,” say the car capitalists.

“Drink responsibly,” say the beer bourgeoisie.

“Eat well and exercise,” say the sugar-water sultans:

“We have to have discreet and visible ways to demonstrate we care. …We want to put our marketing prowess and muscle behind it,” said Wendy Clark, senior VP-global sparkling brand center at Coca-Cola, to Ad Age.

Yes, “discreet.” Wouldn’t want to set off an actual discussion of the place of soda pop in modern society now, would we?

4 Replies to “Coke Cares!”

  1. You know, with these ads I am no longer sure that 1) they think we’re that dumb, 2) after decades of habituation we are actually that dumb, or 3) it is neither of the previous two, just that advertising has morphed into psy-ops, designed not so much to sell a product, but to simply to instill a sense of hopelesness by building a world in which this type of absurdity/psychic violence is normal.

    This took way more of my life than the one minute to watch it. I’ve been raging on and off for the last few hours.

  2. I can imagine a lala land where safe driving and healthy beer & soda consumption exist in abundance, but such a land would not require commercials.

    Marla, I’ve fallen for you again, but more importantly, I vote for your #3. Commercials once tried to sell actual products or services; they now sell hopelessness, sort of like televised slave auctions. Even the dumber among us are aware, on some level, that the commercials are mocking them. It’s like a get-well card from Josef Kramer.

  3. Personally, I think these ads are designed as “discreet” threats to prospective activists and governmental do-gooders. You want to punish us for hard-selling a dangerous product? Well, we are “out in front” of you, bucko.

    I can’t think of another way the word “discreet” actually makes sense in Madame Clark’s sentence, in fact. There’s certainly nothing subtle about the direct “consumer” message of the ad. But the ad does stand as an indirect “Don’t fuck with Coke” statement.

  4. Good points, Michael, and it is scary effective, as one of the consequences is that even people with some vague progressive ideals (to the extent such can exist at all in the content middle class environment I inhabit), see all this as “steps in the right direction”, and that if we only pushed corps. to be nicer along those lines, things will be allright. Hence, activism such as boycotting certain corporations, and supporting others. (And it pains me that this is self-perceived as rational, self-aware thought, while it is the essence of reactionary, reformist politics that has been discredited so many times over a century. As one of my college professors said, “It is sad that so many people spend their lives poorly citing old authors without ever becoming aware of that”.)

    And better yet, in the words of my favorite toxic twitter account (from the days I was still registered there) – “Good capitalist vs. bad capitalist slug it out in a dipshit’s head”

Comments are closed.