Tim Longhurst's Blog

Coke’s disrespect for public spaces backfired – yes, there’s a lesson here

February 1st, 2006 · No Comments

qanda.gifThere’s a lot of talk at the moment about the zero coke movement. Already thousands of people have visited the site and I’ve had a sea of supportive media and emails. Today, an advertising guy emailed, asking what all the fuss was about. While plenty of advertising media have gone to great lengths to explain this, I have decided to have a go as well…

Coke’s ‘guerilla’ advertising campaign so far has involved SPAM, graffiti and illegal postering all by a corporation that buys more of our attention than any other. Coke has plastered street furniture, outdoor advertising, print & broadcast ads and product placement in just about every movie since E.T.

We need some spaces in our lives that aren’t ramming commercial messages into our faces.

Community forums, our local neighbourhoods and footpaths are all places most of us would like to enjoy without being sold a product or service.

Coke’s “zero” campaign designers failed to understand that 20-30 year old males value commercial-free spaces as much as anyone. The zero coke movement and similar sites are a ‘shot across the bows’ of advertisers considering sailing further into what should remain non-commercial territory.

If your advertising trashes non-commercial spaces, people may well jam your ads and define your brand quicker than you can say “Aspartame, an artificial sweetener in Coke Zero, may cause brain cancer.”.

I hope that clears things up.

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Category: Corporate craziness

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