EDIT: If you read this earlier today you probably wondered why I didn’t know the difference between a panda and a polar bear… yeeah. Both are cute, that’s my only excuse. I’ve since changed the copy so it’s now correct, thanks to a kind comment by a dear friend!
I’m from Atlanta, so I love coke. All kinds. It’s pretty much the law there. Also, in adherence to a section of Coke Law I go to the World of Coke about once every 5 years. I used to have a dancing Coca-Cola can. It was awesome. I buy cans from a “coke machine” not a soda machine, not a pop machine, a COKE machine, and sometimes I’ll get a Cherry Coke, or ever a Sprite, but it’s still a coke machine.
So you can believe me when I say that I love Coke. But especially the original, the Coca-Cola Classic. And especially the original Coca-Cola Classic at CHRISTMAS!
I mean the polar bears? Awww!
Anyway, so I was kind of excited when I saw these new Coke cans out for Christmastime. I really like the design, it’s very cool, it’s very different, and it’s very striking. I really wanted to like it.
But I don’t. I hate it. It’s awful.
Have you ever read Malcolm Gladwell’s Blink? You haven’t? Don’t worry, I’ll explain it.
Yes, this is related.
There’s a lot of things that are covered in Blink (get thee to the library and read it, it’s super interesting), but one is about the war between Coke and Pepsi. Back when people actually cared to debate which one is better (Coke, clearly) they were doing blind taste tests. And Pepsi was winning. But, as Gladwell explains in his book, no one drinks Coke with a blindfold on. You drink Coke without a blindfold and you can see the can. And it’s red, not white.
It’s not just about taste, it’s about experience, and drinking from that white can is just… different. And so, because of me, but also lots of people who agree with me, they are pulling the white can. Which is good, because I’d rather drink Pepsi than Coke from a white can.
The lessons: Don’t change time-honored pieces of Americana and expect to get away with it. Taste is about more than taste. And if Malcolm Gladwell is going to write an entire chapter about your million dollar corporation, you should really read it and take it to heart.
Do you like the white Coke cans?