Coca-Cola and Pepsi have consciously fought for their target markets and a monopoly on being the main cause of diabetes across the world!

Their fights are usually perpetrated in the wrestling cages of ad campaigns. Where Pepsi employs Fawad Khan and a horde of golden age musicians to inspire nostalgia, Coke insists that spicy fusion food can only be coupled with their beverage. Both hurriedly jumped on the bandwagon of attaching themselves to misappropriated social causes. Where Pepsi wanted underprivileged communities to substitute Pepsi bottles for light bulbs (the marketing flaw in that was too obvious to be missed! any plastic bottle can substitute for a light bulb) and Coke wanted the late Edhi to be their silent spokesperson from the grave. Ignoring how during his life he refused to affiliate himself to blood-sucking corporations.

However, celebrity support and being the two central soft drink empires of the world pave the way for both companies to confidently launch hit and miss adverts. Allowing consumers to ignore the bigger picture of how healthy and socially responsible their product is (not).

One of Coke’s recent ads launched in order to counter the backlash being faced by the deplorable season 11 of Coke Studio and the seething rage their employers have been subject to after the success of Pepsi battle of the bands feels increasingly tone deaf. Momina Mustehsan showcased in a new ad for Coca-Cola depicted everything that a commercial shouldn’t be. Watching the ad was like seeing a white crash into a tunnel made of political correctness and basic bitches. You knew that it was a disaster and yet you couldn’t get over how mind-numbing and cringe-inducing the lack of creativity and diversity was. Outdated and uninspiring would be a borderline compliment for Coke at this point. The ad focuses on Mustehsan walking with a bottle of coke in one hand, and some sheets of music in the other. The wind blows said sheets of paper away and she sets her coke down on what turns out to be a moving platform that a construction worker/billboard installer (Tony Kakkar – without any safety gear in place) is hoisted up on. She tries to call out to him, but he can’t hear her because of his headphones (safety hazard’s galore!). A traditional music band, standing idly near the scene of action, starts to beat their drums as soon as Mustehsan has given up shouting out.

The noise of the drums causes the bottle to teeter, and Mustehsan realizes that she could use the power of sound to tip the bottle over from the rising platform defying both science and logic.

She would thus be able to catch it and drink it. Her master plan of an idea spreads through the crowd, perhaps through telepathy, and suddenly dozens of people, all miraculously dressed in yellow and red appear out of nowhere and join in the singing and clapping. Mustehsan sings to the bottle, which is about to fall when the construction worker/billboard installer picks up the bottle and takes a giant swig. More nonsense follows and eventually, a Coca-Cola truck appears and everyone gets a drink.

Meanwhile, a low budget execution does not justify lame ads like these in a generation of Axe deo-sprays and ‘Dead-pool’ marketing. The ad felt contrived, inauthentic and pointless. In spite of accepting that advertising is about pushing the product at the forefront to the point of deliciousness. It’s only in Pakistan that coke expects its market to mainly cater to a pindi-boy mentality. It’s like Coke has made a vow to make it even easier for Pepsi, they’re not even trying to compete. They’re just looking through their archives and copy-pasting ideas from 80’s India. They could have pushed for diversity or inclusivity and yet they continue to punctuate their revenue numbers with the same mindsets that depict unreal portrayal of construction sites. Looks like coke needs to share an Idea instead of a coke!

If you are recovering from the Mustehsan ad, here is a Coca-Cola campaign, which actually made sense: 

We certainly are left wondering how creative teams capable of this, produced the highly awkward Coca-Cola ad that has gone viral for all the wrong reasons.


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