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What's in a Name?

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Paul Taylor
Paul Taylor

In Coke Australia's latest marketing ploy they have decided to personalise their product by putting names on the labels. Not just the Coke name, no, but YOUR name. Whatever your name is, I'm pretty darn sure it's on a Coke bottle. You lucky son of a gun, you!

The TV ads for the new labels point out that everyone is different and unique. If you haven't seen the ads then just look at your friend's Facebook profile picture gallery because it looks like that. The tag line is to “Share a Coke with (insert name here).” Matt is the guy everyone wants to share a Coke with as the ad shows photos of this Matt character being all Matt like; sporty Matt, serious Matt, dumb Matt, ugly Matt, fat Matt, STD-riddled Matt, formal Matt in a suit sitting in what looks like a court room, possibly facing several criminal charges Matt, and of course hungover Matt since, as we all know, Coke is only good as part of a hangover cure.

Coke's marketing strategy here is pretty damn transparent, look at the most common baby names from the late 70's to early 90's, realise these people are the type who use social media and understand the whole Facebook profile picture gallery ad they've chucked together, then slap these common names on the bottle. Now you've got people holding personalised Coke bottles while posing for their next Facebook profile picture.

My name is not, as far as I can see, on a Coke bottle, however. Paul. Paul is my name. It's right up there at the top of this page. It's not an uncommon name. Some famous people share my name. Paul Newman, Paul Hogan, Paul McCartney, Paul Simon, Les Paul, Paul Gray from Slipknot who died recently. Paul, that alien who is the main character in that movie aptly titled Paul.

If my name was something zany and crazy and one-off like Hussain or Sidique or Habib or Osman or Sandeep or Reginald or Jesus or Allah or Sigourney then I could completely understand that making a label for me and me only would be expensive, considering the amount of bottles sporting my name would vastly outnumber the amount of mes out there. The final result would be shelves upon shelves of Hussain bottles sitting alone begging to be shared, thus applying unnecessary pressure on myself to purchase them all, drink them all, then have to go to hospital, probably and dentist, definitely.

Coke have made it their mission, by omission, to leave me out of this Coke party. I have never taken anything more personally than this in my life ever before. A whole nation of 22 million people (minus all us Pauls out there) sitting around sharing Cokes with each other and what am I to do? Just sit and watch from the sidelines sipping my Pepsi like some freaking loser!? Am I to sit and suffer a must-contemplate-suicide-to-make-pain-go-away-now-ouch-it-hurts-my-head-to-breathe-in-softly sort of hangover without Coke just because my name isn't on the bottle?! What if I go to the Bunnings sausage sizzle on a Saturday morning and ask for a Coke from the local Scout group running said sausage sizzle but get declined because the name on the bottle is Adrian and my license actually says Paul?!

So, there's no Paul but there is a Trent (Who?), a Zoe (I thought that was an extinct bird), an Aazad (No shit), Callum (Sounds like Gollum) and Marcus (like mucus?). So thank you, Coke. You have single handedly lost me as a customer and all the other Pauls out there who I can safely speak on behalf of. I'm going to buy some pet fish and name them all after drink brands. There'll be a Pepsi, a Kirks, a Bundaburg Ginger Beer, a Schweppes and a Red Bull. So, take that, Coke, you bastards!  

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