You’ve certainly seen Coca-cola’s #shareacoke marketing gimmick of putting names on the side of its cans. I first noticed it on the way back from Southland when, sitting next to Sarah Lacy on our flight, my bottle of soda urged me to “Share a Diet Coke with Sarah.” That’s targeted marketing gold right there, Coke.
But now Coke has expanded the campaign to include family members and other social roles, and is spreading it across all of the company’s cola lines. Unfortunately, this seems to have lead Coca-cola into a gender minefield — the second most dangerous type of minefield, after an actual minefield.
Exhibit A: Two cans, I spotted side-by-side in a San Francisco store a little while ago.
Coca-cola has made no secret of the fact that Coke Zero was launched to target male consumers who want a diet drink but are (apparently) embarrassed to be seen holding Diet Coke, a beverage which has traditionally been targeted at women.
So, given the gender targeting of those two drinks, how does Coke think it can best reach female and male consumers? Like this, apparently…
Now, I should say, it’s entirely possibly that somewhere hidden away in a fridge across town, there’s a Coke Zero that accepts that boys might want to spend time with their mothers, or a Diet Coke that understands that girls maybe — just maybe — might also be gamers. I’ll send a Pando t-shirt to anyone who finds a can like that in the wild.
Meantime… huzzah, gender stereotypes!