If you haven’t yet experienced the “Labels are for cans, not for people” campaign, prepare to witness a brilliant idea. In an effort to promote intercultural respect and awareness, Coca-Cola has recently launched a new marketing campaign in which the text labels have been removed from their soft drink cans in order to further the metaphor that we should not judge one another based upon superficial ideas.
The campaign has been launched to coincide with Ramadan, and for many individuals, the timing could not have been better. In light of the numerous recent attacks instigated by terrorists around the world, the idea of Muslim is now being skewed into a warped hybrid of extremism and violence.
For many Muslims, the idea of the “Labels are for cans” campaign reflects the beliefs they have held for many years. When viewing the people who judge them and their own community, many Muslims are forcing themselves to understand just how alluring prejudice and ignorance can become for someone who is not at all invested in understanding the truth.
Fizzy drink labels have, at many points in history, reflected the spirit of the times, and this new campaign spearheaded by the creative geniuses at Coca-Cola is no different. In a video piece produced to accompany the campaign, a seemingly disparate group of individuals discusses their problems, hopes and dreams in complete darkness with one another, after which the lights come on and they see each other for the first time. Their surprise is palpable as each is forced to reconcile the empathy they feel for one another with the visual stereotypes they are now confronting.
As the old saying goes, “one should never judge a book by its cover”. Although Coca-Cola is adamant about perpetuating this message with their massive global consumer base, it will be quite interesting to observe whether or not this new campaign has any real effect on the prejudices undermining our social fabric on a near daily basis.
However, if one company was able to positively affect and influence socio-cultural norms, Coca-Cola would definitely be the one to do it. Here’s hoping for a brighter future with Coca-Cola taking the helm.