Videos/Audio used in the mashup:
The Original Ad:
The original Coca Cola ad, to celebrate the company’s 125th anniversary, is an example of the use of advertisement not to necessarily sell a product, but a lifestyle. When looking at the ad, one notices that there is more focus on the family, which occupies a larger portion of the space than the drink represented by the glasses and the bottle. The company, therefore, intends to draw attention to the happy nuclear family and establish a link between this old fashioned vision of the family and the drink.
The vintage style of the ad also aims to insert Coca Cola in the history, tradition and culture of the consumers. Its position and value in the latter’s lives becomes unquestionable. It creates positive association in the imagination of the consumer making him/her less likely to investigate their business practices.
The wording of the ad “Celebrate 125 years with Coca Cola” aims to turn the consumer into a partner of this culture, giving the impression that his/her contribution is entrenched and valued within the company’s culture. Overall, the advertisement harps on the traditional imagery of the perfect family and community while subtly inserting the company’s logo within this image.
The use of the parents and the kids in the ad is also a direct reply to all the dietary warnings associated with the product and the proven health risks. While many campaigns have encouraged parents to boycott the beverage, the company fights back by having their product shared by a healthy-looking family.
The Jammed Version: (for a bigger picture size, please click here)
While the ad could be jammed in many different ways to destruct the variety of messages it conveys, I chose to mainly focus on the use of the advertisement to create a flawless cover to the company’s business practices and to portray the consumer’s partnership positively. The jamming aimed to slightly modify the ad in an attempt to capture the consumer’s attention and invite them to look at it critically instead of subconsciously receiving the company’s message.
The jamming intends to allure the consumer to research Coca Cola’s human right violations that take place at their plants overseas. One of the most known examples of such practices is the company’s war against labour unions and its use of inhumane methods to crush them. In Colombia for example, paramilitary groups were employed by Coca Cola to systematically intimidate, torture and kill any union leaders or members to discourage the workers from joining them.
When jamming the ad, I decided to build on the eerie look of obedience on the characters’ faces (notice their uneasy side-looks) on the original ad. It seemed as if there was something unsettling behind the scenes, therefore, I decided to add the silhouette of a mercenary within their line of vision. It represents the armed groups used to intimidate workers at the company’s overseas plants and the forceful advertising culture that seems to mandate the product on the consumers in their public spaces, regardless of their wishes.
My goal was to also show what it really means for the consumer to be complicit in the company’s practices. By immersing oneself in the company’s culture, the consumer is not obtaining the publicized perfect lifestyle, but is becoming a partner in Coca Cola’s human rights violations. The blood drops on the cups, bottle and the characters aims destroy the innocence of the consumers portrayed in the ad and reveal the true nature of the product.
Finally, the last step was to add a well known sentence trade marked by the company “Taste the Feeling” to create a sense of irony between the company’s claims and its violations. Additionally, “Celebrate 125 years with Coca Cola” was altered to “Celebrate human rights violations with Coca Cola” to help the consumers understand the purpose of the jamming.