Coke Takes Over Tongue Ad Space

Coke Zero has a new advertising campaign in Brazil.  They’re taking advantage of the propensity for piercing by offering free tongue studs adorned with the Coke Zero logo.  Delicious.  Piercing shops in Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Porto Alegre and Salvador provide complimentary piercing by stud adorned with the Coke Zero logo.  In return, pictures are taken and published on Google Picasa.  There’s even a TV spot featuring talking tongues and eyeballs. 

What will this campaign accomplish?  So far, lots and lots of buzz.  Ideas this outlandish get lots of attention.  But as one of the most recognizable brands in the world, does Coke really need to align with tongue piercing to get noticed?  Tongue studs aren’t really meant to be seen anyway.  Maybe Coke thinks people will want to show off their newly pierced tongues, but I’m not sure what kind of exposure, beyond the publicity, this gets for Coke.  Are people with lots of pocket change the ones who allow metal rods to be driven through their tongues?  I don’t know.  I also wonder if this won’t do more for increasing tongue piercing than cola sales.  Parents will love Coke for that. 

Coca-Cola has always appealed to a wide audience. It’s become a symbol of America and the American dream.  Coke is associated with freedom, glamour and prosperity.  Coke is it – remember?  Life tastes good.  Has piercing has gone mainstream enough to make this a good choice for the brand?  Or is Coke straying too far from what it knows with too many different products under the Coke brand umbrella?

Besides, what’s the market for Coke Zero?  This is a no sugar, no calorie beverage.  You’d think they’d be after an older crowd.  Maybe not.  Maybe they’re going for the weight-obsessed adolescent girls who also think tongue piercing will get them the right kind of attention.  Let’s just hope those girls aren’t bulimic too.  That might make for a nasty infection around that pretty Coke Zero stud.