We’ve all heard the tale that Coca-Cola’s recipe once included cocaine in it’s purest form… Could the company be channeling their drug heritage in their most recent ad campaign?
The tagline of the new campaign (“You’re on. Diet Coke.”) could be referring to drug use. Most people read the ads to say “You’re on Coke” because of the position of the slogan and the logo. The ad company responsible, “Droga5,” has gained a lot of attention in the media for this provocative campaign. By chance, “drogas” is also the Spanish word for drugs… Was the message of this ad just a coincidence or did Coca-Cola intentionally reference cocaine in their campaign?
Coca-Cola claims the “you’re on” slogan “celebrates ambitious young achievers from all walks of life and reminds them that Diet Coke is there to support them in the moments when they are at their best.” The company assures that their message does not condone the use of any illegal substances. One of the ads reads, “All you’ve got is a tight deadline, a nose, and a grindstone” which could also sound a lot like ingesting cocaine… Intentional or not, these ads definitely come across to some as references to drug use.
Many people have taken to twitter and social media mocking the campaign. In response to this, Animal New York made exaggerated recreations of the posters that portrayed what everyone was actually thinking (shown below).
As one would expect, Coca-Cola is now receiving a lot of publicity over the real and fake advertisements. In my opinion, I don’t think the allusions to cocaine in the real Coca-Cola ads could be accidental. In a large marketing firm with such an important client, I highly doubt that a reference like this could have been overlooked. Whether or not the ad campaign was intentional, the posters and billboards are definitely attracting a lot of negative attention to Coca-Cola.