Apparently, Coca-Cola’s commercial about a spoof product, its “Social Media Guard,” is a “lighthearted “commercial” that reveals a heavy truth about just how crippling our social media addictions can be.” Well. Thank you Coca-Cola for the “Invitation to enjoy every day’s uplifting moments as they happen.” That’s a weight lifted from humanity. We can escape our artificial, virtual world addictions by sharing real moments, enabled by cola.
Coca-Cola tell us that they, “Have just started a conversation on a light-hearted look at how social media can dominate our daily lives and how it has changed the way that we ‘share’ moments with each other.” This is hardly a conversation started by Coca-Cola, as authors such as Sherry Turkle would note.
I am, of course, as referenced in posts such as this one for example, all in favor of reconciling our tendency towards ambient intimacy with genuine connection and belonging. But, unlike my photo to the right, “friends” don’t come in cans… share a real moment with a real person.
The part that really gets to me is how accepting the general public is of these kinds of messages. We as a species have never been more literate regarding the use of the different types of communication employed in altering our purchasing perspective and yet a large segment, if not a majority, still succumb to this kind of commercial wooing by major corporations.
The idea that Coke really thinks the world would be a better place if we engaged in personal dialogue rather than virtual is an obvious and calculated misleading. Coke wants nothing more than to get you to drink Coke and will use whatever tools at their disposal to convince and co-opting genuine social concern to their end is just another of those tools. And certainly not the first time. We all remember the I’d like to buy the world a coke” jingle which forever distorted our collective memories of what that song originally said.
If they just advertised on the health benefits of drinking Coke wouldn’t that be enough to sway our desire? Oh yeah, the health benefit is the one place that really shows us how they feel about us.
Here is a diet coke campaign that co-opts a slightly different social concept to make an emotional imprint on our psyche.
Thanks Bryce. I echo your dismay.