Those Weenies at Coke

I mentioned the other day I was guzzling Coke Classic.

I’m not much of a soda drinker. Coffee is my beverage of choice and I drink copious amounts daily, year round. Theoretically, Alzheimer’s Disease will never affect me nor will I develop prostate cancer.

However, several times a year I have to have a Coke. Have to. Have to, have to, have to. Like The Borg, resistance is futile.

Except for the occasional Vernor’s Ginger Ale, no other carbonated beverage holds any charm for me. If for some reason there’s a soft drink emergency and I’m faced with Pepsi and no option for Coke, water, coffee or iced tea, I cut it with Sierra Mist. Otherwise it’s like drinking liquid sugar.

I think it’s the sweetness of soft drinks I dislike. So, yes, I was one of the folks upset when Coca Cola changed the formula to try and beat Pepsi out of 1st place in the soft drink wars.

Boy was I mad. Not infuriated, but aghast that bazillagillion dollars a year in profits weren’t enough, Coke was in a pissing war with Pepsi over 1st place and Coke purists like myself were thrown under the bus.

Now I didn’t set myself on fire or switch to Pepsi or even talk about it much, but I silently wondered what was going to happen when the shakes started and I needed a Coke.

Other folks, however, got all kinds of upset. Boycotts and public cries of displeasure and yada yada. I have a relative, a serious Coke junkie, who got so mad that to this day she still drinks Pepsi in boycott.  Coke relented and for awhile we had New Coke and we had Classic Coke. Pretty soon, New Coke died a quiet death and that was that.  My Aunt is still drinking Pepsi.  Vitriol can take a long time to shake off.

If I were going to get upset about Coca Cola, I would rant and rave about the high fructose corn syrup. In Spring, it’s possible to buy kosher Coke which is made without the HFCS.

And purportedly there’s a “Mexican Brown” – Coke sold in Mexico uses cane sugar – that I’ve been on the lookout for. I love the crispness of cane sugar, but I don’t fire off a letter to Coca Cola to complain. (Perhaps, I should. Apparently they respond to consumer whining.)

This year, to bring awareness to the plight of polar bears, Classic Coke was packaged in white cans for the holiday season. I think they’re quite festive.

But legions of Coke fans have their panties twisted into origami whiny vipers. Apparently, they’re confused by the white cans and find it hard to purchase Coke if it’s not in the familiar red can. And the Coca Cola Corporation cried uncle and is ceasing production of the white cans.

Seriously. You can’t make this stuff up.

Facebook changes the user-interface every 12 seconds. Apple releases a new must-have product every few months. Betty Crocker got a face lift. Car makers change body styles nearly every year. Yet the fragile little darlings addicted to Coke can’t cope with a different colored can? For a few weeks? And Coke gave in?

Now if Coke had changed it just because Marketing Departments are expected to innovate something now and again, I might be a little more sympathetic. But the powers-that-be did it to bring white light to the problem affecting the animals that Coke has more or less adopted as its mascot.  Note the similarities and differences of the two videos.

They could have pointed out that distinguishing a white can from a red one is a hell of a lot easier than getting stranded on an ice floe.  In the former, one merely needs to pay attention.  In the latter, one is likely to die.

So if I were to write a letter to Coke, it might read like this:

Dear Coke:

You weenies.  You could have handled this better. This was a teachable moment.  You blew it.



P.S.  Cane sugar.  Please?

Out of sheer perversity, I bought a case of white-canned Coke. Perhaps they’ll be a collectible someday.

One thought on “Those Weenies at Coke

  1. In all fairness, I think the issue is not about distinguishing white from red, but the white from silver(diet). Somebody at work was setting a beverage station for a party the other night and as they wheeled their cart by I thought- “Thats an awful lot of diet coke.. They really need all that?” Then I saw another cart and thought the same thing, and then again. At that point I had to look a little closer and after looking at it for a minute, I figured out coke changed the can. If nothing else, I just think its poor marketing- everybody knows Coke as being in a red can. Why couldn’t they just put a snowflake or a “holiday tree” on the can if they desperately wanted to be so festive?

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