Once again, an over-zealous quest to be “bold and attention-grabbing,” a marketer (a BIG ONE) didn’t keep how real people might perceive things front and center. Coke’s current “oops” with its White Christmas, WHITE WWF/ “Save the Polar Bear’s Habitat” holiday cans is another classic. (Sorry, couldn’t resist the reminder).
The idea wasn’t bad — use *green* philanthropy and cute animals to drum up some business. Check√. Big donation to show you were sincere and putting your money where your cans were ($3 million worth). Check √(literally). Even the design of the white cans was cute. (And I am sure the requisite 87+ Coke marketers viewed them in simulated– or even real– shelf sets and proclaimed that they “popped.”) Check√.
But did anyone check √ with the people who love their coke? Their Coke in the red can? Doesn’t seem like Coke is the kind of organization not to check. And they sure have the time and the money to check. But did the two brand teams who work on Red Coke v White Diet Coke ever check with each other? (OK, Diet Coke is technically silver. All I know is that my Diet Coke is in a light can vs the sugar stuff — cause who can really tell the difference between white and silver on shelf? I am an DC addict and I couldn’t tell you what color my DC is, really. It’s light.) So were real people consulted? It doesn’t look like it. (Though again, that really surprises me for a hallowed marketer like Coke.)
Every *good* idea can flop very now and then. But this one feels like it was a textbook example of “Creativity” not working with “Reality,” or not even asking for permission. A reminder of the power in the people. The value of the Reality Check.
GWH W.T.F. (Winner, Toss-Up, or Flop) Award? Sorry Flop. But only cause it didn’t Reality Check. Creativity was there, really. Just forgot the people who drink the soda.