Bear witness to the confounding Coca-Cola ad that tries to appeal to esports fans, MMO gamers, and world peace

    
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What do esports events, MMO gaming, and soda have in common? If you said “Maybe you drink the soda while participating in the other two activities,” congratulations, you’re a normal human being and not the kind of wild-eyed minds behind this truly confusing Coca-Cola advertisement.

Allow us to describe the video to gird your brain before hitting the play button: The spot shows off a crowded esports event where players are engaged in combat in a game that looks near enough to World of Warcraft without actually being World of Warcraft. We focus in on one particular orc player who is running through the battlefield on a tear before being knocked down, prompting the player to grab a bottle of Coke and knock it back. This, apparently, prompts some latent early memory in the orc character, empowering him to rise up and toss his weapon aside (because that’s a skill in this fictitious game apparently) after seeing the devastation of the digital battlefield. Others join suit, the crowd is awed into near teary-eyed silence, and in-game unity is apparently achieved. All because one dude slammed some soda.

This baffling advertisement is apparently part of a wider promotional campaign that promises people are “a few days away from discovering an amazing experience which will be full of surprises.” This “experience” will involve a digital code hunt that offers up prizes like Twitch bits and celebrity gaming sessions.

As one might expect, the advertisement isn’t really going over well, as people spear the campaign for its tone-deafness to gamers and its baffling attempt to link esports gaming to greater unity and world peace. Other folks have pointed out that Activision-Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick has been on the board of directors for the Coca-Cola Company for the better part of the last decade, so the allusions to WoW seem unlikely to be accidental.

Strap yourselves in for the madness of this ad and actually read some of the comments of the video for once; normally that’s bad practice for anything YouTube, but I promise that there are some genuine gems in there.

sources: YouTube and Coca-Cola website via Wowhead, Philstar Global. Cheers, Bruno.
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Dug From The Earth

How did Coke know what direction WoW was going in long before even Blizzard did?

Amazing.

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Jim Bergevin Jr

That’s one of the worst I’ve ever seen.

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Tom De Laet

Honestly the game looks more like a raid autobattle then wow.

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Dug From The Earth

Then their legal team did a good job looking over the production

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mike foster

As someone who engages with this kind of work professionally I can tell you that one thing I have learned for CERTAIN is that there are many many talented creative agencies that have zero clue how to engage with people who play games.

The kinds of pitches I have seen would truly boggle the mind, but mostly it comes from not understanding the audience. There’s a big opportunity out there for creatives who know how to speak authentically to players, either on in-house creative teams or at digital agencies working to serve them.

It’s wild to see world-class, award-winning creative houses just absolutely whiff because they can’t get their heads around why people play games and what they mean to the player.

EmberStar
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EmberStar

Not assuming gamers are some strange alien race who are incapable of rational thought might be a good place for them to start, then… ( >n< )

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Ben Willows

An age old problem with the marketing industry as a whole when you think about the products with poorly translated names or names given without consultation from someone that speaks the language that have been launched in foreign nations. Always good for a laugh.

EmberStar
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EmberStar

This feels more like episodes of TV shows where they *also* portray gamers as some kind of weird alien culture, and the writers make bizarro world assumptions either from an astounding lack of knowledge or an actual desire to mock that group. Like the CSI episode where they interacted with Second Life, or the NCIS episode where McGee exclaims “Wait, I know you! You have the high score in every MMO on the Internet!”

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Adam Russell

Havent had a coke in years.

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PanagiotisLial1

If anything the fact it appears on every stream loadup or refresh(if stream froze, happens fairly often last couple months on twitch) and is unskippable makes me hate already and while one person is nothing, what it does convince me is to avoid using coca-cola company products. If many feel same way then their campaign will be a fail as it will cause a negative reaction and it probably does annoy most of us after the first 5 times it shows up

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Bryan Correll

Silly Coke, everyone knows real gamers drink Mt. Dew and Red Bull.

Also 0.34: Holy Infinity War rip-off Orcman.

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Cole Gardner

This commerical was terrible.

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Nibbana

And for a counterpoint, see this terrific video from Greenpeace about Coca-Cola (and other fast moving consumer goods companies that drive demand for single use plastic and related carbon pollution). Companies that make poison wrapped in pollution spend a lot on greenwashing, and general washing, to improve their image. But they can’t really escape who they are and what they sell.

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Paragon Lost

Woah, that was a painfully bad comercial. I wonder if they’ll use it as a teaching lesson in some university course in the near future.