A few words about those ever so cute Coca-Cola polar bear ads.
Another Christmas has come and gone, and thankfully, we’ve all gotten through the marketing assault in one piece. Of course, Macy’s continues to pummel my mailbox with indecipherable sales coupons and hyper-photoshopped, guffawing models of culturally ambiguous origins, because that’s just how they roll. But for the most part, the panicked squawking for our meager holiday dollars has drawn to a close until Valentines Day butt ugly jewelry sales. Or is it President’s day and kitchen appliances? I don’t know. I can’t really keep up any more.
But here at the close of another holiday shopping season, I want to say a few words about those ever so cute Coca-Cola polar bear ads. Polar bears drinking Coke? Of course they are. And it’s so cute I just wanna shove every dollar I have into a Coke machine. All. Night. Long. OMG! The ad above is just one of dozens that appear magically around the holidays. (Oh wait…sorry. My bad. I added a big death’s head skull for a laugh. Ha.) The original ad looks like this.
1) Polar Bears are having a crappy holiday season.
Polar bears are not wandering the arctic in search of the nearest coke machine. The sea ice that polar bears use as a platform to catch seals is shrinking, threatening the species’ existence. And part of the problem is the nine billion Coke delivery trucks that are delivering cola and other scary concoctions all over the world, every minute of every hour of every day, making absolutely sure that you can get your diabetes ramped at any store, kiosk or arctic nature preserve you might happen to encounter.
2) Our children are facing an epidemic of obesity.
Yet, here are Coke’s images of sweet little OMG SO CUTE polar bear cubs reaching for and drinking what is the equivalent of brown food coloring and 10 tablespoons of sugar. Sometimes I like to just stop and stare at the relentlessly focus-grouped expression of parental approval on the adult polar bear’s face.
“Drink,” says the Momma polar bear. “Just drink deep my little innocent babies….drink.” This is some horror-movie sick shit, no?
3) Open happiness. Really?
Sometime back a million years ago, companies used to advertise their products by saying essentially, “this is my product and this is what it does.” We don’t do that any more. Now, every fleeting human emotion is dragged through the marketing mud by ads that equate love, brotherhood, children, life, and yes, happiness with handing your money to your local check-out clerk. And right along with the rest, we have Coke preying on the millions of people who, failing to find emotional satisfaction with the humans in their lives, are cheerfully encouraged to seek it in a bottle of liquid sugar, food coloring and caffeine.
I’m thinking we take this emotional marketing thing a step further and try the “open happiness” theme on a bottle of Jack Daniels? C’mon all you marketing guys, you know you want to. You want to so bad.
What in God’s name are the legions of Coca-Cola marketing drones thinking? Are they so totally tone deaf that they will continue to employ an endangered species as a cute n’ funny marketing campaign even as man made global warming threatens wipe the polar bears out? It’s obvious that, like the cigarette companies, Coca-Cola has to keep marketing their ole brew to our little children. But honestly, as we continue to extol the virtues of guzzling gas, gulping processed food, and box store-wrestling for Black Friday land fill fodder, can we at the very least, leave the poor polar bears out of it? We’ve already doomed their species. Let’s at least leave them some dignity.
Oh, and then, there’s this from http://therealbears.org: