Usually Evil, Sometimes Brilliant
My relationship with Coca-Cola is a complex one. I absolutely love the classic beverage, but it's terrible for me. I love the unifying influence their brand has around the world, a brand that has attained almost mythical name recognition; I hate their corporate size and the fact that they are almost a monopoly on cola sodas. But whatever I may think of them, sometimes they are positively brilliant. Take these two "marketing" campaigns. Both seem altruistic and even charitable while still doing the job for getting people thinking about and possibly buying more product.
This first one is a very simple concept but it puts the beverage giant into an unusual position, match-maker or ice-breaker. It is funny though that they would put one of these on a college campus but not even think about putting one in a normal public place, because of course college students should socialize but normal grown ups should stay lonely and isolated.
This, latest campaign taps perfectly into the current eco-conscious mentality while not necessarily being that eco-friendly. It does bring up an issue that I've always thought about: disposable containers. As I learn more and more about making things in different mediums I appreciate the products of modern plastic manufacturing more and more, to the point that I really think it's a shame that we throw away plastic bottles. They are so well made, such objects of simplicity and beauty that it seems a shame to only use one for one single purpose and then throw it away(or recycle it). I've often thought about the way milk used to be delivered, glass bottles that were used over and over and over again. Why don't we do that anymore, and why don't we do that with everything? I would love to finish a jar of peanut butter(I could put a period there and this sentence would be just as true :) and put it in my shopping bag to take it back to the store with me on my next trip where it would be exchanged for a full jar that itself had come from someone else that had finished and returned it. Just thinking about how many resources we would save and how many jobs that would create almost makes my head hurt. What's interesting about this Coca-Cola campaign is that it takes that concept one step further. Why not get a lid for that jar of peanut butter that turns it into a piggy bank, a child's snack cup, or even an adapter that would turn the jar into the outer housing of an oil filter for your car?