Sometimes, when you spend too long in the corporate bubble, bad things start to happen. You can start to believe that everyone back in the real world is also drinking the brand-building Kool-Aid, and that they are as concerned about the fortunes of the ACME Widget-making Company as you are. And that mindset can lead to unfortunate and excruciating public exhibitions such as the above from Coca-Cola.
It doesn’t start promisingly, because there is a choir. Not the Halifax choir imploring us to believe how well we will be treated if we switch our current accounts into their loving care – no, it’s the worst kind of choir when it comes to television commercials. A youth choir.
As the adorable, angelic youth choir intones “sometimes I feel like throwing my hands up in the air”, we are treated to bland, politically correct, focus group-approved pseudo-inspirational statements flashed on our screens, such as:
“For every tank being built… there are 1000s of cakes being baked” – contrast picture of an evil tank factory with a birthday cake
“For every person running from the law… there are 100s running for a cure” – to the backdrop of people running in a charity race
“Each time a red card is given… there are 12 celebratory hugs” – cue footage of the winning goal celebrations
“For every display of hatred… there are 5000 celebrations of love” – cut to footage of a newly married gay couple at their wedding
The grotesque display of emotional manipulation culminates in the inevitable:
“For everyone who doesn’t get along [cue two siblings arguing]… there are many more sharing a Coke”
Okay, Coca-Cola Corporation. I get it. You hate war, criminality, intemperate bad sportsmanship, public rioting and sibling rivalry. And…what? By drinking your carbonated brown sugary liquid, we can extinguish these evils from our world? Increasing the presence of Coca-Cola in our refrigerators will bring peace to the streets of Fallujah?
For the final coup-de-grace, we are encouraged to submit our own “reasons to believe” (as to what, it is never explained) using the Twitter hashtag #ReasonsToBelieve. Because clearly none of us have anything better to do than become servile, willing pawns in Coca-Cola’s latest social media campaign.
Each time a large corporation tries to shoehorn its way into the nation’s affection with an affected, overly sentimental commercial in which they try to imbue their brand with the universal ideas of peace, love and goodwill… Semi-Partisan Sam throws up a little in his mouth.
Bring back the “Holidays Are Coming” Coke ad. At least that one made a modicum of sense.