Dear Coca-Cola

Dear Coca-Cola:

Please take a minute to review your situation. I realize that it must seem important to keep up with the Joneses (and I mean that figuratively; I don’t seriously believe the Jones Soda company is any significant threat to you), but REALLY. There are now so many different Coca-Cola products on the market (the latest being Coca-Cola Blak, which by the way tastes like a badly mixed Kahlua and Coke) that it is getting nearly impossible to walk into a convenience store and exit carrying a Coke and a pack of cigarettes. Not that it’s your business about the cigarettes, but …

I should think that your experience with “New” Coke (and admit it, you blew it there and in some tizzy over celebrity endorsements for Pepsi you listened to somebody who probably should have been committed and “changed” the Coke formula) would have taught you something. Keeping up with the Joneses did not help you there — and in fact, probably started Michael Jackson’s downward spiral thanks to his endorsement of your competitor’s product. Stick to what you’re good at. Stick to what works. Plain Coke works. Real Coke drinkers (who are your audience anyway) drink it. And isn’t that what you want, anyway? A devoted power base for whom if asked “Is Pepsi OK?” will say “Hell, no.” and drink tap water before substituting anything for a Coke. Those real Coke drinkers don’t need lime, cherry or vanilla varieties. Most of ’em don’t need Diet, Caffeine Free, Caffeine Free Diet, etc. either. Haven’t you noticed? Like the substance that used to be an ingredient in your formula, what you have is STILL pretty damned addictive. So don’t mess with it; don’t gussy it up, don’t change the packaging, the formula or the varieties. They’re simply not necessary. And here’s why:

Coca-Cola, not any other brand of carbonate beverage, is asked for nationwide. When someone requests a soda, soft drink, soda pop, a cold drink or a pop, chances are they mean Coca-Cola. Hell, sometimes ANY kind of soft drink is referred to as a “Coke”. Perhaps that’s because with the exception of Big Shot Rootbeer (which is only available in and around the New Orleans area anyway), and perhaps Verner’s Ginger Ale (likewise geographically limited, albeit to the Midwest rather than Midsouth) Coca-Cola is the most consistently satisfying carbonated beverage ever created. It also, with the aforementioned Big Shot Rootbeer again excepted, is the most logical, statistically preferable additive to any number of alcohol based cocktails. Who asks for an “Rum and RC” or “Jack and Pepsi”? A Bacardi and Tab? Get real.

So think about it, Coca-Cola. Focus on what you’re good at, and forget the short-term, fancy-pants fads and those “Coke drinkers” who think Coke isn’t good enough as is. They are NOT Coke drinkers.

Sincerely,
A Lifelong Coca-Cola Drinker (except for that short stretch of years, when due to the proximity of the Pepsi bottling plant to my grandmother’s house in rural Ohio, I was forced to swill things like Teem).

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