March 8, 2007

message in a bottle

Beginning in the Super Bowl and continuing in American Idol and other places, Coca-Cola ran a commercial saluting black history last month. Some web surfing shows that it wasn't universally liked, with some accusing Coke of pandering while others accused Coke of being too PC. Most reaction, however, was generally positive. I personally thought it was nicely done. But what I liked most was the use of the iconic bottle as a timepiece, along with the simple, clean typography. No wild type animation or overdone imagery needed. The same restraint was used with the audio - no voiceover or historical sound snippets or sound effects. Bravo. And extra kudos to them for not falling into the trap of the black history cliche of African-inspired patterns done in a palette of black, brown, yellow, and orange. Ugh. I do wish they had found something between 1963 and 2007 to highlight - 40 years is a long time to skip - and seems to almost become an unintended secondary message. Nonetheless, nice work by ad agency Wieden+Kennedy of Portland. Proof that simplicity can be powerful.

  • Coca-Cola Black History commercial
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