10: Coca Cola

Last night at work someone was taking pictures of our Coca Cola napkin holders. They look like that. I would have taken my own photo, but my phone rarely has signal let alone camera capabilities. 

Now this might not directly support my point, but I think it ads* to it: Coca Cola's ad campaigns must be header by a real-life Don Draper. They are amazing. 

Imagine some kind of cave dwelling, raised by wolves, Blast From the Past or Encino Man (basically Brendan Fraser) type fellow who has never had a Coke before. Imagine trying to describe the taste/appeal of a Coke. 

"Y'know, it's like brownish sludge water and it fizzes and it's only good cold and if you leave it too long it gets syrupy and molasses tasting at the bottom and it can clean blood off the highway and grime off a penny and apparently it used to be medicinal but now it's just delicious and refreshing, but not actually because I think it dehydrates you." 

If you are actually aware of the ingredients, you might have a better "it's a caffeinated, caramel infused, carbonated beverage" description, but I doubt that would be the first thing anyone not working for the Coca Cola corporation would think of. 

Honestly, I will go out of my way to go to a place that serves Coke. Not only do I find Pepsi** sweeter, but their ad campaign is mean and petty. Here's one 1983 slogan: Pepsi: "it's cheaper than Coke!" Plus they have all those ridiculous anti-Coke ads:

Seriously? Seriously. Is that the best you can do? The only redeeming Pepsi commercial is the one with a young James Dean dancing. 

And I'd still never order one. I would probably just buy a Coke and watch East of Eden again. 

Coca Cola advertising, on the other hand, doesn't feel like it's trying to be cool and rely entirely on celebrity endorsements (not that they never have used them); they just make me feel happy and instill in me a desire to share things and love my neighbour. 

Coca Cola ads really don't sell Coca Cola, they sell happiness. 

Sometimes when I watch ridiculous cleaning advertisements (a.k.a. not the ones that I love, which are all ones where inanimate objects are personified: the lonely dustmites, the spongemen paper towels and the cleaning products jealous of the magic eraser) I think about how they might have affected television watchers when television was a new thing. 

When I watch a woman put a plate with cake on it into a dishwasher, turn on the dishwasher and then reveal an immaculate clean plate I think:
1. Bullshit. 
2. Did you really just waste a cake?

But what was it like before that? What was it like pre-advertisement cynicism. Did 1950's housewives watching similar commercials have completely different internal monologues? Did they perhaps not worry about the cake and actually believe the product?

"My lord, she is putting that entire cake in that dishwasher. Oh, that just won't do. Surely, there will be cake leftover after the cycle is up...  Oh gosh, it's clean. Not only if it clean, it's perfection. The dishwasher dissolved the entire cake! This is magic! This is magnificent. I must have this dishwasher! Jean, are you watching the television at your house? Did you SEE this dishwasher they have?"

The only ads that pull me into the world of naive enthusiasm are Coke ads. They make me think: "Yes, I could have a rooftop summer party with a dozen  friends and two dozens cokes!" 

Yes, maybe I will. Yes. With Polar bears and penguins and robots that hug me. Yes.

**If you look at one of the logos long enough  (or more than the obligatory three seconds) it doesn't even look like a word anymore. 

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