Two TV ad spots caught my attention last night while watching (in agony, I must stress) the American Idol finale. Both are about that staple of a fridge drink (besides beer, o'course), Coca-cola.

Now, we all know how catchy Coke ads are; how easy they embed in the subconscious and coax us to reach for a can, like Pavlov's bell on his mutt. No need for a shrink to vouch this, just ask yourself: Why do we find Polar bears cute albeit dangerously big and carnivorous? Because they drink Coke on TV. Why do we sing on hilltops with friends eventhough it sounds ridiculously cheesy? Because thousands did, singing something like 'I'd buy the world a Coke' on TV. Ah, the impact of the corporate push on pop culture: public consumerism. I'll ditch the itch of writing a blog about the economics behind pop soda and stick with deconstructing the two Coke ads I mentioned catching on primetime TV last night.

First ad was about a pretty girl and a dorky guy sitting on opposite ends of a bench in some gentrified neighborhood (Brooklyn, perhaps). It starts with the guy mimicking a Nokia ringtone, much to the girl's chagrin. The guy, who passes off as a struggling performing artist, finally reaches for and twists open a Coke in lieu of a mobile phone from his duffel bag and says 'Hello?' The girl, who passes off as a snotty (but pretty) brat, finally slips an 'I-don't-believe-this' type of smile from the obnoxious antics of the guy. Then the mood shifts into a serious state with the guy handing over the Coke to the girl, dropping cooly the line: 'It's for you.' Aawww!(watch it here)

I bet if it were a real situation, the guy would earn points for creativity and probably the girl's phone number, too. Of course, by now, using the same pick up line would end up in a dud like using the all-too-worn-out 'Gee, I lost my number, can I have yours?'

The next ad was about the recently-launched Coca-Cola Blāk. Now this ad is definitely for a different, more mature (adult contemporary, perhaps) audience/market. But my curiousity was stirred, I must say. So I googled it up and found a Coca-cola company press release describing the product as follows:

Coca-Cola Blāk is an invigorating and stimulating blend that has a perfect balance of the effervescent taste sensation of Coca-Cola and natural flavors, with real coffee."

Now much has been said about the side-effects of drinking soda, particularly because of its caffeine content. Caffeine, of course, is a stimulant popularly found in coffee. As a stimulant, it makes the heart work overtime that may take effect up to six hours depending on amount of intake. For an average coffee, dig this: it takes about sixty cups a day to provide a fatal dose. So combining Coke and coffee would perhaps result to more than what an Energizer bunny could handle, yeah? An instant solution for an instant heart attack, maybe. I wouldn't know, I haven't tasted one. But I'd dare not. Which makes me think what the f**k those guys at Coca-cola were thinking?!?! They haven't even addressed the outstanding popular belief pertaining to Coke having corrosive properties — that if you drop a grimy coin into it, in two minutes the coin will be sparkling clean.

And what's up with the name 'Blāk'? They probably thought if chocolates have 'dark', and cervesa has 'negra', then they'd have 'black' for soda? C'mon! Let's hope, in the age of political correctness, the African-Americans wouldn't feel a pinch of slight.

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