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Coke tries to sell Hopenhagen in bottle

Copenhagen and Coke the Bottle of Hope
For a few brief seconds, the Yes Men merry pranksters unmasked climate summit sponsor Coca-Cola for the environmental villain it is. Coca-Cola had been among the organizers to brand the Hopenhagen campaign, a custom fit for their slogan Bottle of Hope. Coke then saturated the conference with posters intent to distill the Hopenhagen spirit into their bottle.

Doesn’t the limited satisfaction of drinking a soda come from the advertising theme? The condensation on the bottle, the sound it makes as the pressure is released, plus the images of the latest ads, define the product’s refreshment factor. In Copenhagen, Coke was promoting the elation to come from fighting for the planet, which could then be evoked to make an irresistible elixir.

Incidentally, the slogan presumably refers to an honorable scheme to manufacture bottles from sustainable materials.

What marketer could have been better placed to capitalize on the ephemeral essence of Copenhagen’s aspirations? Less sophisticated admen would have insisted on Cokenhagen. Household products would have required the unsubtle “Soapenhagen” proposed by Clean Coal.

hopenhagen pastoralThis is a detail from one of Coca-Cola’s posters by artist Andrew Bannecker for Bernstein and Andriulli. It’s a idyllic agricultural scene emerging like smoke from a genie’s bottle, in this case a Bottle of Hope we recognize as Coke’s. All of this beneath a banner proclaiming it “Hopenhagen.”

I am particularly unamused by the brick farm silo in the familiar shape of a coke bottle. What do you suppose Coke sees as its role in such a dreamy, by the caterpillar’s presence, organic, pastoral scene?

I suppose there’s some consolation that as COP15 tanks, Coke’s Bottles of Hope will taste false. Disappointment will be a pause that doesn’t refresh at all. Perhaps a perception of bitterness will wean consumers from the phoniness of too sweet. Coke’s bottled Hopenhagen will come with a foreboding aftertaste.

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