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This Coca-Cola poster raises many, many questions

Coca-Cola is undisputedly an iconic brand. The fierce logo, instantly recognisable font, ever-so-particular colour palette – and, of course, that '90s Diet Coke ad. But the beverage giant just masterminded a campaign that's left many creatives scratching their heads in bewilderment. We're with them on this.

The furore focuses on a poster advertising a Zero Sugar version of Cherry Coke, which raises an abundance of puzzling questions with its choice of words. It seems Coca-Cola has missed the mark on this one (which won't make it onto our poster designs roundup). Can you spot the problem?

Coca Cola

"That's a lot of words for zero words" (Image credit: via Vikki Ross on Twitter)

Copywriter Vikki Ross posted the confusing poster (above) on Twitter (opens in new tab), simply commenting: "Um. I have some questions". With a campaign title of 'Zero Words', the wordplay should be immediately obvious, and pretty witty, right? Well, no, actually, as it turns out. It seems the problem is in the application, as the resulting Twitter thread exploded with creatives picking the poster apart. As one reply stated, "That’s a lot of words for zero words!" 

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"Why did you write anything if you have zero words? Why did you cross it out? Why didn't you try to find words that’d be work? Why did you put ZERO SUGAR at the top when it’s on the label?" asked Ross.

All valid questions, we agree. Replies ranged from wondering how it got through planning, suggestions of how it could have been done better and, our personal favourite: "It’s like people who think they can get away with telling a bad joke by saying, “I was going to say (they say bad joke) but decided not to."

Coca-Cola Zero Sugar

Those graphics make our heads hurt (Image credit: via Vikki Ross on Twitter)

We're also massively distracted by the uneven placement of the graphics on each side of the bottle. As far as we understand, the campaign is aiming to get Gen Z-ers to use digital stickers on social media, which explains the random placement. But without context, it looks like lazy design that sends our need for balance into overdrive. 

So, it's a 'must try harder' for Coca-Cola on this one. We recommend they  pay attention to this week's standout campaign – a genius billboard, which uses its natural surroundings to fill in exquisite detail as the sun sets over the sea. 

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Georgia Coggan is currently Creative Bloq's Acting Deputy Editor. Georgia started her freelance career working for CB in 2018, and since then has worked across the site on news, ecom, SEO content... basically anything and everything. Now covering the Dep Ed role for three months, Georgia is a slave to the style guide, a logo geek and loves all things London Underground (its branding history, and not at rush hour).