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I Called Coke(r) Today

OK. I’m sound asleep. Alarm goes off and without warning, I’m assaulted with the most annoying commercial that I’ve heard in a very long time.

It began with the most irritating male voice barking at least three million male-dominated clichés designed to inject the product with pure, unadulterated testosterone.

My brows furrowed as hard-rock guitars screamed and the announcer growled ever increasing annoying sound bites.

About now, my dear son entered the room asking, “What on earth are you listening to?”

The ad ended by implying that “real” men eat meat and vegetarians are basically “girly-men.”

Well. That’s when I became very annoyed.

You see, I happen to live with two very male vegetarians. I happen to be one myself.

“What on earth were they advertising,” I asked my son.

“No idea,” he answered, “but talk about a dumb commercial.”

My day began and still I couldn’t forget that insipid commercial. Finally, I called the radio station, stating the exact time the commercial ran.

“What product were you pitching,” I asked.

“No idea, ma’am,” the DJ said, “Computer just says we ran an ad Coca Cola.

That’s all I needed to know.

After some quick research, I found the product and performed a quick Google search.

Turns out the advertising agency creating the spots for this product have managed to not only offend vegetarians, but they’ve also raised the ire of the Teamster’s Union with these no-thought-whatsoever-put-into-them ads.

Let’s do some quick math here:

Google tells me that we share our nation with around 5 million vegetarians. Google also tells me that the Teamster’s Union boasts around 8,000 members. Adding friends and family members to these numbers and we’re talking about a wide circle of influence.

This leads me to a couple questions: What’s the purpose of advertising? Do Teamster members drink soft drinks? What about vegetarians? After all, soft drinks are indeed vegetarian fare.

This is what led me to call the Coca Cola Company. I told them I found the commercial stupid and that they’d probably increase sales more effectively by spending their advertising budget on commercials that didn’t alienate large sections of the soft drink drinking community.

They thanked me for my opinion.

I ended my conversation by informing them that we plan on purchasing Pepsi products for my son’s Eagle Scout ceremony. We’ll do the same when he graduates.

As a vegetarian, I’m not all that offended. Heck, I’ve become accustomed to the sideways glances and diatribes starting with the sentence, “Where do you get your protein?” Political correctness is utterly boring and I enjoy an occasional spar.

However, as a practicing copywriter, this ad infuriated me.

I despise stupid advertising. It’s a waste of money. It’s offensive. To make matters worse, despite my quick research, I couldn’t tell you the exact product they were pitching.

Millions down the drain on forgettable “branding.”

Truly sad. Inanely stupid.

Talk later,


Published inJournal