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?
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!"
Um, I have some questions pic.twitter.com/eokl4c9GfkJune 20, 2022
"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."
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.