Thursday, May 21, 2009

Coke Could Also Use Better Advertising

Didn't mean to hate on Coke in two posts in a row, but that's how fate would have it. (It also seems critiquing bus shelter advertising is becoming a trend for me...can't wait to do the medium some justice when I get out in the real world!)

Anyway, today's unfortunate example is currently running in Atlanta, and presumably across the country, to support Coke's Secret Formula campaign. Having worked on a piece of the campaign myself I can attest to the fact that the campaign has potential to be fun and interesting.

Wieden+Kennedy, one of the world's leading creative shops, was behind the original idea, though I can't be sure they oversaw the production of this piece in particular. The iffy art direction notwithstanding, the headline of this ad is atrocious. It is tautologous nonsense, and adds absolutely zero to the big idea. Just because the ads are supposed to look amateur doesn't mean the writing should be. Keep reading...

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Coke's Verbal Creativity is Lacking

Last week the Coca-Cola Company announced the upcoming launch of an innovative new plastic bottle made partly (30%) from sugar cane and molasses. This new packaging is fully recyclable, and is said to reduce carbon emissions by as much as 25% over the product lifecycle. Dasani will be the first drink to be sold in the new bottle, followed by vitaminwater next year.

Naturally, I applaud this move. I hope the next few decades see the gradual disappearance of toxic petroleum-based packaging in favor of more renewable choices. So why am I bothering to post this story? Actually, it's because of the name of this new plant-based bottle.

PlantBottle™. They jammed together the two most generic words to describe it, and then trademarked the result. Granted, the "P" and "B" sounds do go well together, given their common plosive (meaning an expulsion of air from one's mouth) nature. As a site note: linguistically, "B" is a voiced plosive, meaning your vocal cords vibrate when you make the sound.

As Seth Meyers might say on Weekend Update, "Really, Coke?" It's hard to believe that's the best name a multi-billion dollar company and all its ad agencies could come up with. Just off the top of my head, here are a few alternatives:


...more to come. Keep reading...

Thursday, May 7, 2009

The Allure of the Airport

Looking at the sprawling spiderweb that connects the world’s airports, I often imagine myself as a tiny dot on one of those arcing lines, slowly traversing the distance between two larger dots, which incredibly represent entire cities full of tiny dots like me. I dream of spending my life moving from point to point on the map, discovering what makes each of those identical dots different.

The feeling I get when entering the airport is probably comparable to the feeling a beer lover might get if he walked into a bar with all the world’s brews on tap. For an airport is possibility, and possibility is intoxicating. As I walk by the gates I observe where each one is heading. Get on this plane, go to Bali. Get on that one, go to Bogota. Then step out into a new day— one with warmer air, brighter colors, and surrounded by sea of strange tongues. The prospect of so easily exchanging one environment for another is enormously appealing to me; just three hours separate London fog from the Spanish sun.

An airport is a modern-day harbor, constantly buzzing with activity, as travelers arrive and depart, and thousands of bags criscross unseen conveyor belts on their way to a final destination. People from across the world convene at these amazingly intricate nodes, bringing with them their hometown newspapers, fashions, and foods. So many people, so many stories, so many reasons for their fleeting presence in this window to the world. Keep reading...

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Google Sees the Future Part Deux

Everyone knows Google does amazing things; there seems to be no limit to the company's technological aspirations. But did you know they can send you emails from the future? Here is a very strange screenshot I took of a recent email. Be sure to look at the time stamp and the computer's clock. Crazy. Keep reading...