Friday, December 2, 2011

The Drama of the Coke White Cans

It seems like just yesterday that Coke® was proud of their white can and the saving of the Polar bears.
But now, Coca-Cola Co. is switching back to its familiar red can.
Yes, its been just one month since the cola in the snowy white can was released.
But the white cans are out and the red cans are back in, and they will start being shipped next week.

So who cares?, you may ask.
It seems consumers complained that it looked confusingly a lot like the Diet Coke's silver cans. Others argued that regular Coke tasted different in the white cans. (oh please)
Then there were the devoted who called the white cans sacrilegious.

Coke says this year's campaign is part of a partnership with the World Wildlife Fund to highlight global warming's threat to bears' Arctic habitat.
"The white can resonated with us because it was bold, attention-grabbing'' and "reinforced'' the campaign theme, says Scott Williamson, a spokesman for the beverage company. Coke's marketing executives wanted a "disruptive" campaign to get consumers' attention. (well Scott, you did)

Atlanta-based Coke says that it's happy with the campaign and that critics of the white can represent a minority. "The can has been well received and generated a lot of interest and excitement,'' says Mr. Williamson. (we haven't met anyone "excited" over the white can)

Coke says it will distribute more than one billion white cans and roughly the same number of seasonal red cans, which also include polar-bear images. The special red version is "a way to maintain the excitement'' until the campaign ends in February, added Mr. Williamson. (more excitement for Mr. Williamson)

But the company initially said it would distribute more than 1.4 billion white cans in a press release that did not mention the red cans. The company now says red cans will be in the majority by Christmas and that there likely won't be any white cans on store shelves by the time February rolls around. A spokesman said a red holiday version was always part of its plans. (yeah right)

Coke said it became aware of consumer complaints through Internet postings and some telephone calls to the company.

Another person accused Coke of "trickery,'' and still another called the white cans "blasphemy."
Some Coke customers posted on the company's official blog that they weren't happy about the company getting political with the issue of climate change.

Coke says it hasn't changed the taste of its cola and that protecting polar bears is a worthwhile initiative.
It recently put out a "fact sheet'' on its website showing how white Coke cans are different from silver Diet Coke cans. Among the differences: Regular Coke is labeled "Coca-Cola'' and states the calories at the front of the can, while Diet Coke's holiday can—silver as always—is labeled "Diet Coke."