Bloke CokePosted: July 18, 2008
As though my early-morning commute isn’t frustating enough as it is, I found myself this morning confronted with a scene designed to fry the brain of any feminist. Especially this feminist, who had not yet had her tea.
Remember the not-quite-there advertising campaign by Coca Cola for their genius scheme, Coke Zero? The way that even though there didn’t seem to be much hype, suddenly it was there and everybody knew they were meant to call it “Bloke Coke”. Because real men wouldn’t be seen dead holding a bottle of diet coke (which is for girls, because only girls would diet!), but nevertheless need a brand of coke that has no calories. For body-building purposes, naturally.
Well, this morning the not-quite-there advertising suddenly turned in-your-face.
A big cool-bin full of bottles of Coke Zero. A big, burly, masculine black man in promotional uniform. And….
A young, tall, slim, big-breasted blonde woman wearing a tight, form-fitting promotional T-shirt, tight black hotpants and, as the icing on the cake, knee high white socks.
What. The. Fuck?
At quarter to eight in the fucking morning? I don’t want to have to think about all the ways in which that kind of advertising is wrong, not before eight in the morning and especially not before I’ve had my breakfast!
I’m guessing the not-so-subtle message behind it is that, by drinking Bloke Coke, you too could become a big, burly, masculine black man, with a hot blonde woman as your sidekick. Not that there’s a whole heap of pornographic stereotypes about “blacks on blondes” or anything. Not that there’s that lovely racial stereotype about black men having huge cocks. No, I bet the good people at Coca-Cola never had those thoughts cross their minds, as they sent out that particular team.
Oh, and the thought about how a hot, big-breasted blonde woman in hotpants would look as she bent over a conveniently sized bin to get more free samples…. yeah, I bet that never crossed their minds either.
It must’ve just been my filthy mind that leapt to those kinds of conclusions.
And don’t even get me started on the way she was offering all the men the coke by shifting her posture to look up at them, calling them all “sir” whilst in knee-highs….
Yep, sex sells. Especially thin, female, big-breasted, blonde, submissive sex.
That woman? I don’t know how she felt about what she was doing, and I’m not going to speculate. I could see that she was making the effort, though. Making an impression. Fair enough; it’s a job, it must pay. There’s always the satisfaction of doing a job well.
I just wish it wasn’t this way. Wish that it wasn’t all about Teh Sex. And worse, that it’s so…. male-orientated. That sounds daft, but what I mean is – that Coke Zero was being linked inextricably to sex. The kind of sex that’s advertised as good sex – for men. Really good sex. But only for men.
And it’s always that way.
If food is advertised for men, it’s packaged in a way that links it to good, male-dominant, heterosexual sex. Socially approved hunger, both for food and sex. All tied up in a fizzy drink, or a beer, or whatever.
Whereas, if food is advertised for women, it’s packaged in a way that links it to the fall of Eve*. It’s always, always about the sin of it all. Chocolate. Sweets. Naughtiness. Knowing you shouldn’t. Knowing you will. It’s about submitting. About surrendering control. About not being able to help yourself.
It’s no wonder we’ve got so many hang-ups about food. And sex. The two just link. All the time. And that’s not what I wanted to think about before I’d even started my day.
Of course, I wasn’t the demographic that Coke was targetting. So I was safe from being accosted, and walked past, unnoticed, and bought a chocolate croissant instead. And I didn’t link it to sex, not even a little bit. The crumbs would get everywhere.
*Also, I object to the phrase “the fall”. I rather think she jumped.