Viral Now: Shed the labels, says Coke

By Saumya Tewari , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Digital | July 09, 2015
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Coke urges people to remove labels this Ramadan and promotes equality through an innovative product packaging, which carries no logo, specially designed for the Middle East market.

There are many occasions when we judge people based on their clothes, occupation and ethnicity. Judging someone, it seems, is the easiest thing to do. Coca-Cola's new campaign for Ramadan dwells on this insight.

'It takes seven seconds to build a prejudice based on someone's appearance', the video says. It then shows six strangers from diverse backgrounds sitting in a pitch dark room being asked to guess each others' appearances on the basis of how they talk. When the lights are turned on, the men are shocked at what they see.

Each of the participants spoke about their hobbies, what interests and drives them. Their interests were as diverse as their backgrounds - from cooking, heavy metal music to extreme adventure sports. They discussed everything, vaguely forming a picture of what the others will look like.

Once the lights were turned out, all of them were shocked to discover how the reality was starkly different from their assumptions or the "labels" they gave each other in their heads.

One of the participants candidly admitted that, given a choice, he wouldn't have spoken to one of the group members because of his appearance. They were later asked to pull out a small box from under their chairs which had a Coca-Cola can, but, mind you, without the Coke signature logo or any label except the brand ribbon. The cans bore a message - 'Labels are for cans, not for people', giving out a powerful message in a subtle way.

"It changes your mind, your perspective, your heart," one of the participants said.

The video, posted on the company's Middle East YouTube channel on July 4, has garnered over one million views.

Dubai-based agency FP7/DXB, part of McCann Worldgroup, created special cans for the month of Ramadan that featured only the iconic Coca-Cola ribbon and the message, 'Labels are for cans, not for people'.

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