Middle Eastern countries have gone through a serious tolerance drought lately, and Coca-Cola wants to change that by going label-free with its packaging. During Ramadan, (the Muslim holiday), new label-free cans will be available featuring no more than the classic ribbon in white over red. No logo, no label, no prejudices, (metaphorically speaking).
The message “Labels are for cans, not for people” will also be printed on the back of the cans. In addition to that, a company video was made to soften the overall impact of the message.
In the video, six men share their lives and tastes in a pitch black room. After each of them, others are expected to tell their pre-conceptions about their looks — only to be proven wrong, obviously. In the end, they all rejoice in the unexpected misconceptions. Classic Coca-Cola.
Of course, the company video doesn’t specifically address Muslim people but, given the location and dates chosen to make this gesture, the message is pretty clear. The new packaging might not mean the end of a lifelong war and identity crisis, (certainly won’t), but it might very well be a small step. Brands are slowly becoming the beacons of change, and whether that’s right or wrong, it’s yet to be seen.
As Coca-Cola itself said:
“One of the world’s most well-known labels has removed its own label, off its cans, in an effort to promote a world without labels and prejudices.”
This new packaging, although limited in time and space, is as powerful as any other initiative. People might stray from pacifism when pushed, but consumerism and known goods are much more apt to be accepted. Replace all sticks and stones with cans, and maybe then will there be peace to be talked.