Sunday, 23 June 2013

Coca-Cola: Resurfacing the feelings of exclusion and upset…

I made my own named coke bottle! 

Coca-Cola has branded their bottles with the 150, which apparently is now 250, most popular names in Great Britain. I am sure all the Johns, Sarahs, Gurpreets, Emmanuels, etc out there are having a swell time looking for the bottle with their name on it. Sounds so fun! For me it is not so fun – there isn’t a bottle with my name on it.

For people like me, who have only ever personally come across one other person in their whole 21 years of living with the same name as them, it just causes us to re-experience the feelings of exclusion and upset we had as a child. I was always so jealous of all my friends with their personalised mug or key-ring; they could all find countless products with their name on it. My cousin Tash even had a black headband with her name on it that she wore every day for ages. I didn’t have one. Social exclusion much? These feelings of exclusion and upset have resurfaced by Coca-Cola’s new marketing campaign. They are just not considerate of people with unique names. I can’t search the shelves for hours on end to find a bottle with my name on it like Harry, Amy, Amandeep and Kofi can. I just have to drink a bottle with any old name on it.

There has only ever been one other time in my life were I have found a ready-made product with my name on it. It was a bracelet. I found it at a jewellery stall at Chokhi Dhani (family translation: Crazy Village), Jaipur, Rajasthan, India. I made my dad buy it for me. I was 20. It made me so happy. It filled that gap in my heart from my childhood. I wore it every day, until I lost it. It was a sad day, I had so much love for that bracelet. Perfect example of why people like me have so much more appreciation to give to a coke bottle than Josh, Ben and Rachel have.

So yeah, I don’t like Coca-Cola’s new marketing campaign. But will I change my name? No. Because, although 9/10 people can’t say my name properly and it isn’t on a coke bottle, it is unique. I don’t need the first letter of my surname said after my name so I know people are talking to me (I believe I went to school with a Robyn O). I don’t even need the ‘ita’ in my name. I like to think that I am like Beyoncé and Adele – I don’t need a surname to define me. 

No comments:

Post a Comment