Do you want to get rid of compulsive texting, tweeting and Facebooking? Coke has the solution to our manic obsession with smartphones. Coca-Cola has started advertising a product called the ‘Social Media Guard’, which is a giant, Coke-branded funnel, covering the face in order to contain oneself from obsessive use of cell phones. The online video says that the ‘Social Media Guard’ takes the ‘social’ out of media and puts it back into your life. Don’t be surprised if you see people flaunting this new accessory - the Coke-branded funnel.
Coke explained, “Did you know that the world spends four million years online every month? If you’re watching this video on your mobile phone, it’s time to put it down. Look around you, there is probably someone special you can share a real moment with. Enjoy it with an ice-cold Coke.”
The ad mocks people who spend time on their phones during a dinner date, parents who ignore their family while dining, people who share pictures of their meals, and kids who are busy watching cat videos on their phones and ignoring their actual pet cats. It urges people to spend time with family, friends, pets and enjoy the beauty of nature. So, is Coke’s ‘Social Media Guard’ going to become a nightmare for Zuckerberg, who spent $19 billion on buying WhatsApp?
Watch the ad here…
Harshil Karia, Co-founder & Online Strategist, FoxyMoron remarked, “I think the style of the commercial is very unlike Coke in its treatment and tonality. It tries to be cheeky and over intelligent. Everything Coke does usually brings a smile to your face because of its gooey happiness and ability to surprise you for being 'good smart'. This one is just a little predictable and to some extent, even lame.”
The curious irony is that the anti-social media video has gone viral on social media with over 19 lakh hits on YouTube. The activity has garnered mixed responses on Twitter with tweets such as “Coke’s Social Media Guard - lets you enjoy life again - Is it ironic if I post this on social media?”, “Coke’s ‘Social Media Guard’ encourages you to enjoy a real moment” and “Funny advert from Coke’s 'Social Media Guard' - just need a guard now to stop people from drinking Coca-Cola.”
However, Karia added, “I don’t think it’s an irony. That people are on social media all the time is also a point of conversation on social media. So it helps people say "Oh damn! That's like someone I know" and hence innately shareable. Anything that’s topical and well-made is bound to thrive on social media.”
Nestle Kit Kat also created a Free No-Wi-Fi Zone and within a radius of five meters, they blocked all signals so that people could escape e-mails, updates, and other digital distractions. The brand wanted people to take a break and enjoy a good old newspaper, genuine conversations while munching on a Kit Kat, of course.
Sachin Kumar, Senior Business Director, Maxus Interaction said, “I personally think that it is an interesting device as it fits in with their objective of driving the ‘Consumption of Coke over meals with family’. But I doubt the actual usage of the product.”
“Being social has become the basic need for this ‘always connected breed’. And for these people anything that has high social worth becomes important to fuel a conversation in the social space. And as a subject ‘Counter Points’ are always the favorite for this kind of audience to drive home a point and this is certainly making a counter point on our social behavior and we are creating more buzz about the brand in the social space. Also, it is human behavior that if something is forbidden or frowned upon, then we tend to do that thing even more,” he added.
It is a good strategy by Coke to get people closer but will this actually be a cure to people obsessed with their phones? People will probably try to peep through the funnel to catch the latest updates on their phone or create holes in the cone to access their device.
Though the disruptive innovator has once again taken the audience by surprise, but the social media addicts seem unaffected. They are still tweeting, texting and Facebook-ing.