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January 24, 2010

Coke’s Olympic Spirit: War is It!

I just saw this at the movies last night and, while I’m still pissed that commercials have invaded the theatre in the first place, I found the spot, itself, unsettling. (And it’s not just because so many BAGreaders are Canadian.)

Playing on the notion that the world community exist to tear itself to pieces, Coke not only imagines it’s own little world war, but in staging a frolicking, if also violent insurrection in the Olympic Village, it plays on concerns over Olympic security, such as were realized in the Munich massacre at the ‘72 games.

But then, in the midst of all the world’s troubles, there is always one place to turn. And wonders of wonders — and who would have guessed — it’s the corporation machine.

(8:25 pm PST — revised for clarity)

  • DennisQ

    I’d like to teach the world to sing
    In perfect harmony
    I’d like to buy the world a Coke
    And keep it company
    This week we learned that corporations – which are fictional persons – have the same free speech rights as real persons. Significantly, no corporation has any political obligations at all. Corporations exist to make money, and if they do anything merely out of social good will, the officers are subject to a shareholders’ lawsuit. And the conservative majority on the Supreme Court would be the first to endorse such lawsuits.
    Corporations are legally required to be indifferent to the political consequences of their actions. That certainly distinguishes them from flesh-and-blood people. It’s really empty to grant them the same rights as actual people.
    Another story reported on this week is that educated people voted for Coakley, and less-educated people fell for Brown’s line about his truck – and the philosophy of life it symbolizes. Putting the two stories together, Supreme Court conservatives are in effect mandating that future elections maximize the appeal to voters’ basest emotions. Elections have always done that, but this is the first time pandering to ignorance has officially been endorsed. And by so-called conservatives, to boot!
    It’s going to take a while before the damage is undone. Corporations are obliged to behave in one way only – to increase shareholder value. They’re not good citizens; they’re not any kind of citizen. But the Supreme Court gives them freedom of speech to undermine and subvert our political institutions. They must think our political institutions are as invulnerable as people once thought the physical environment. Let’s hope it doesn’t take another Silent Spring before we realize how mindlessly destructive corporations have to be.

  • chachabowl

    I saw this Coke ad before a showing of “Invictus,” but what got me ticked off was an ad before that for the National Guard that depicted their mission as a shoot ‘em up video game on steroids, accompanied by over-the-top choral/martial music. It was the Bush administration that took what was basically a domestic branch of the armed services (that would do emergency work following natural disasters, among other things) and WalMartize them into a poor man’s army of foreign occupation. The men and women in the National Guard deserve better.

  • jtfromBC

    A real Coca-Cola war without happiness

  • eddiberto

    I don’t even drink coke, but I thought it was a pretty clever ad. Sometimes I am blown away by the insight that I see in this blogs’ posts, other times I’m equally blown away at how cynical and silly the points of view are. I guess what I’m saying is, sometimes a snowball fight is just a snowball fight-even if it comes from a multibillion dollar conglomerate.

  • Derek Thorpe

    a snowball fight is never ‘just’ a snowball fight in advertising. There are may smart people manipulating you with every frame. They’re doing it just for your entertainment.
    If you’re reading here you all ready know that.

  • thomas

    I want my corporate entertainment untainted by corporate values!

  • Bigbalagan

    I totally agree about commercials in movie houses (drives me bonkers!—what I used to love about movie houses is that the only commercials were bits of other movies) and about “Coke” as the answer. But I read the commercial more as an example of “proud tower”, in which a relatively meaningless event “snowballs” into global conflict. From another angle, if this is the worst kind of fight that the global community of younger people can get into, then there might be hope for the future. These are just some of the messages one can read here…

  • Bill

    It’s not just corporate selfishness that’s winning out here in our culture. Up until the final seconds of the ad, I fully expected the pop-drinker to be heading to the Coke machine because “I’d like to buy the world a Coke”; his generosity would stop the snowball fight, bring harmony, etc. Alas, he was only in it for himself.

  • Pamela

    Did you not see the mischievous grins on the faces of the snowballers? I saw isolated groups changed by an accident into a heterogeneous frolic. They were suddenly interacting, playing, having fun! Frankly, the guy heading for the soda machine was marginally relevant.
    That said, let me come sit on the I Hate Theatre Commercials bench. Also the I Hate Corporate Hegemony bench. Is there one of those?

  • Duke

    Hate commercials in the multiplex. Hate them. Love BAGnewsNotes. BUT… when you get your panties in a bunch over a snowball fight, you sound ridiculous. Chillax.

  • akamat

    I would love nothing more than to see Coke and Pepsi fail as businesses.
    I know it will never happen, but it needs to. They steal our water,
    they pollute other countries and they have no value what so ever, in
    fact they make us fat and stupid. I hate them. I hate that everywhere
    you go you are ask if you’d like coke to drink. NO I DO NOT WANT FREAKING COKE TO
    DRINK!!! [Sigh]

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