Tuesday, August 19, 2014

3 Holes in the #ShareaCoke Campaign

I have a love/hate relationship with Coke. I admit there is nothing more pleasing than the thirst-quenching taste of Coke. That sweet 10 teaspoons of sugary goodness billowing out of a bottle and splashing into your mouth tingling your tongue with a dash of effervescence! Definitely sensual and almost sexy. Then there's that awkward after-Coke regret.

I always hate that I've just drunk poison, albeit a great tasting poison. Coke has the same rotten effect on my body every time I allow that rich dark liquid to penetrate my lips, stain my teeth and erode my esophagus as it spills down my gullet to make war with my stomach acids. I'm not sure which one is stronger; the Coke acid or my stomach acid? I can never cover up the morning after fact that I've drunk a Coke due to the tell tell sign. The delicate skin under my eyes look like I somehow turned into a basset hound during the night.
bassett hound

My love/hate relationship is not the subject of this post. The unsettling experience I had while selecting a Coke from my local Dollar General cooler is! I hadn't shopped for a single 20 oz. Coke since the #ShareaCoke campaign began. I had bought a 12-pack. I can't remember anything distressing about reaching for a 12-pack #ShareaCoke can.  But, as I stood in front of that cooler with the door open trying to decide, I ran into the following 3 holes in this particular advertising campaign:

  1. The very first Coke I saw opening the cooler was the name of my first high school sweetheart. "Awwww! How sweet." It might have been a Hallmark moment if he hadn't passed away several years ago. For a split second, I thought about sharing a Coke with him and then remembered he was no longer here. For Coke's sake, I'm glad I didn't close the cooler and go home depressed. I pushed past the sour emotions until I found the perfect bottle.  #ShareaCoke with Steve...my husband! "Awwww! How sweet!" Finding the perfect named bottle felt good but I still have doubt about the coziness of this campaign.
  2. It felt eerie and downright strange for me to select a Coke to share with a stranger. I saw Kim, Alex and Kyle. I know a Kim or two, one Alex came to mind and so did one Kyle but I've never shared a Coke with any of them so I didn't feel all warm and fuzzy about buying their bottles. Am I the only one that finds it weird to buy a Coke with someone's name on the bottle you don't know?  I finally found two Diet Cokes that I was comfortable buying that said "Friends" and "Family". 
  3. "Friends" and "Family" reminded me more of a Sprint cell phone commercial than it did Coke. Whatever happened to the 1979 campaign  "Have a Coke and a Smile" or the 2009 campaign "Open Happiness"? I wouldn't have wasted so much of my time simply buying a soft drink with either of these campaigns and I'd be thinking happy thoughts while doing it.
I wish I had the money to buy the world a Coke and keep it company. Grow apple trees and honey bees and snow white turtle doves. But I think perfect harmony can best be kept in the Coke world without putting names on Coke bottles. I wonder if Coke stopped to think about how miserable the people feel who can't find their names on a bottle? I haven't asked my daughters Sydnee and Sloane if they've found their names yet. Chances are high they haven't!

Halfheartedly sharing,
The Happy Handicap


  1. LoL I laugh at your last point because I accepted long ago I'll never find my name on anything....I blame it on my parents! But yes there are negatives to any campaign. I think they weight the good against the bad and move on from it. For me, I just buy a coke and drink it and don't really care whose name is on the bottle! I am more a fan of the glass bottle cokes that used to come out every year with different old fashioned Santa's on them. My dad used to collect them!! hehe

    1. I didn't think about my daughters having hard to find names when we were picking out their names. Oh well...they can monogram or have their name embroidered! I love bottled Cokes too, reminds me of elementary school when we used to pour a pack of salty peanuts in our Cokes at recess. Good times!