Coke. Red Around The World
Subject: Coke Beijing Ad Campaign
From: Frank Christopoulos Sr Marketing, Coke China div
Date: Mon, 14 May 2008, 18:27:43
To: Mark Hall, ARG Media Services
We received the poster art for our new China market slogan, "Red Around the World". We have some serious concerns about it. There appears to be a communication problem between our offices. This isn't uncommon with international connections, so we don't fault you. Basically, our biggest issue is, well there's a subtlety issue. It isn't a very subtle graphic. In fact it seems a little satirical, almost subversive. If you weren't the same maverick ad firm that rehabilitated Exxon and propped up Halliburton, I would say you were fucking with us. But you are, so I'm not.
While it is true that our "Red Around The World" campaign is only being used within China, we still do not want to catch heat for preying on the nationalistic fervor of the Chinese government or its people. Publicly we want to assert that "red" can mean all sorts of things, like "good" and "happy". Privately, we know the inferences that can be made, and thought we made it clear in our conference calls, we wished those inferences to be present, but inferred. Unfortunately, what you delivered to us, is way too much. Too over the top. We believe we stressed subtlety, and restraint.
In closing, if you could please add the Coke trademark "swoosh" on Mao's sleeve. Then it should be cool.
cc: Xiăo Zhāng, People's Information Minister
larger one here.
[PS: Google it. I ain't making this shit up. Red Around the Fucking World.]