Absurdly Driven looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek.
Should you have made the sudden switch to Sunday Night Football last night, because you thought Sean Spicer’s comedic timing was bit off, you might have seen something quite stunning.
If you bothered to watch the commercials, that is.
There was iconic brand Coca-Cola trying to plead that it simply isn’t the Coca-Cola that’s been selling you sweet, carbonated drinks for the last several decades.
No, no. This is new Coke.
Which is to be distinguished from New Coke.
Coke’s ad crows about its healthy, millennially-spirited persona, rather than its real thingness.
Well, stone the crows.
“We make more than our name suggests,” says the ad.
Well, yes. Because what your name suggests is drinks that several municipalities want to tax heavily, to discourage people from buying them.
And the thing about these taxes is that they appear to be working.
So what is Coca-Cola now?
Why, it’s an “organic tea company.” A “premium juice company,” too. No ordinary juice comes from Coca-Cola, apparently.
And then there’s the sheer upstanding righteousness of being a “coconut water company” as well.
You see, Coca-Cola’s more politically correct drinks are made “for every moment in every corner of the country.”
Yes, if you’re praying in church, enjoying gall bladder surgery or merely in flagrante delicto — whether you’re in Washington or Alabama — there’s a Coca-Cola product that’s perfect for that moment.
You can see why the company is doing it.
Perhaps you can also see that it’s fraught with tiny tinges of discomfort.
People buy coconut water, vitamin water and all those premium juices because they make them feel better about themselves.
They make them believe that they are doing the right thing, as they rise above the detritus of unhealthy living. And, of course, above the evil of big corporations.
They’re the equivalent of shopping at Whole Foods. Before Amazon bought it, that is.
Many, though, have no idea they’re drinking a Coca-Cola-owned product.
Revealing just how many healthy brands you might own may just put people off those very brands.
Then again, these large corporations are espying the people’s love for organic, body-positive brands and simply buying them up.
Why, only last week Nestlé bought Blue Bottle Coffee.
That’s a little like Donald Trump appointing Rachel Maddow to be his next spokeswoman.
Now, though, you must alter your view about Coke. It’s a healthy drinks company.
It’s glorious how the pursuit of money can make you fizz with wholesomeness.