Coca Cola has been around since 1886 since it was first created has been one of the most over-marketed pieces of crap in Western culture. They change slogans every year or so. Or maybe twice a year. I don’t know and can’t keep up. All that registers is that every time I look up at the billboard, there is a different slogan next to the bottle.
Now, over a hundred and twenty-four years it has grown to become one of the most recognizable brands in the world. But though you recognize the brand, you don’t remember the slogan because, first of all, it changes so frequently, and secondly, it is often too dumb for you to want it to stay in your head.

Coca Cola’s marketing campaigns score triumphs in the science of advertising: that they can spend so much energy and enthusiasm to put out a message that amounts to absolute vapidity, that they can yell so loudly and so long and say nothing at all, that is one triumph.
That they can repeat the process every year with a whole new bunch of pointless sparkles of verbiage, to dazzle you with flashes that don’t actually show you anything, is another.

My conclusion is that the purpose of all the slogans, the airbrushed models, the animated maridadi etc is simply to draw your attention to the fact that Coke exists.  People will try to convince you that it’s about “positioning” and “brand placement” and “market strategy” and “message” but I hope such people noticed that I know when Coca Cola was invented. This suggests that I wasn’t born yesterday.

Let’s look at some slogans from Coke over the years.

In 1982 it was: Coke Is It:

What does that mean?



Coke is it? Is what? It. Coke? Yeah. So it’s Coke. Yeah. Of all the circular, non-statements ever made. Shit. You will have to be DJ Biggy Ben to beat that.

Or you could just be the 2003 Slogan Real. This was a rehash of the 1969 slogan, Coke is The Real Thing.

What Does It Mean?

That Coke is the genuine concoction of syrups and flavours and carbonated water and sugar and caramel and phosphoric acid, as opposed to the other concoction of syrups and flavours and carbonated water and sugar and caramel and phosphoric acid which is inauthentic.
Always Coca Cola is the slogan from 1993

What does it mean?

A flat-out lie. It is not always Coca Cola. There are plenty of times when it is not Coca Cola at all, and for some people on this planet, especially the poor in Kampala and those who prefer Mountain Dew, it is NEVER Coca Cola

The current one is Open Happiness.

What does it mean?
Really. I liked it better when you were pretending to make statements but not actually saying anything. Here you go out on the most audacious limb of all. Philosophy, religion, common sense are all laughing at you. YOU cannot bottle happiness, so it only follows, by logic that you cannot therefore open a bottle containing it.
This is where Coke slogans cross over from being benignly stupid to being offensive. I am annoyed. There is no happiness in any Coke bottle. The thing doesn’t even have any alcohol content in it!
If you want to open happiness, open Johnny.
Open happiness