Wednesday, April 11, 2007

A Coke and a grimace

Few ads bother me more than those with a hugely inflated sense of self-worth about their products. I know that the whole point of advertising is to talk a product up, but there's a difference between "delicious beverage" and "life-changing experience." Isn't that right, Coke?

Seriously, you have got to be kidding me. It's bad enough that this nursing home is apparently trying to cut costs by killing its patients, because who in their right mind would think it was a good idea to load a bunch of 80-year-olds full of sugar and caffeine, and furthermore that the ad takes the blatantly ridiculous leap of having the old guy claim he's never had a Coke before (who under the age of "Civil War veteran" has never had a Coke? It's only been the ubiquitous soft drink in America for the last century or so). No, that's a horrible setup and all, but the worst part is the mere idea that the taste of Coke is a life-changing event for this guy. Look, I like Coke fine, but if the very taste of it - a single sip, no less - causes you to re-evaluate your whole life, I think you have bigger problems than a lack of beverage diversity. This is far from the only example of "better living through massive calorie consumption" advertising - see most McDonald's ads and, really, about 97% of all Coke ads produced in the last 20 years - but it's the most recent one to grate on me.

NB: This version of the ad is a minute long, while you've probably seen only the 30-second one on TV. This contains all the same stuff, but pads out a couple scenes and adds a handful more. I'm guessing the "you haven't lived until you've had a threesome" shot near the end is a large part of the reason this one hasn't aired much, if at all.

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