Seeing red

TOKYO-202108-00059-LF

Taste the Feeling. It’s the real thing. Things go better with Coke. Coke is It! These and dozens of other slogans have saturated the media through the decades to help sell the billions upon billions of bottles and cans, glasses and cups of the sugary carbonated cola drink that have been consumed since it was first developed as a tonic in 1886.

I’m not much of a Coke drinker, but walking around town the other day I kept noticing Coca-Cola delivery trucks so I started taking photos of them. Thinking about it, it’s no great surprise; there are Coke vending machines on just about every corner and of course Coke is sold in all the convenience stores — and there’s practically one of those on every corner too. Not to mention the restaurants and cafes that need restocking.

Coke is pervasive. It’s inescapable. I hadn’t noticed them before, but the delivery trucks brought to mind a recent story concerning Christiano Ronaldo, the very influential, very health conscious football superstar who very intentionally moved a couple of strategically placed promotional Coke bottles during a televised press conference, and made a point of promoting agua — water — instead. While it’s been convincingly argued that his actions weren’t responsible for Coca-Cola’s stock value simultaneously dropping $4 billion, it’s a fascinating example of the modern media and marketing dynamics that are worlds away from Coke’s catchy slogans.

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