AdTurds Bad Adverts – Badverts

13Nov/180

Diet Coke Mango Advert: Superbad, SuperAnnoying, SuperStupid

Diet Coke Mango Advert

"It's good, no?" asks the worst man in the world, in this Diet Coke Mango advert for something called Diet Coke Exotic Mango, evidently part of Coca-Cola's efforts to remain relevant to a new generation of absolute dickheads.

No. It's not good. As is well established, Diet Coke tastes like petrol with a spoonful of Sucralose in it. I asked some followers of AdTurds what they thought it tasted like.

"Like what would come out of a ferret if you squeezed it too tightly," read one that caught my eye.

"Like the smell of the pedal bin when the bag needs changing," is another gruesome mental sensation.

The relationship between Diet Coke Mango and an actual mango is, I'd suggest, akin to the similarities between said fruit and a photocopy of a toddler's drawing of a mango.

And yet Coca-Cola is desperate for us to hail these new flavours as if they are the emperor's new low-calorie vegetable-based carbonated liquid. And to help, they've deployed what might be the most wilfully stupid ad campaign since Boris Johnson posed in front of a double-decker bus.

The reason is fairly clear: Coke, spooked by diversification in the market is chasing the youth quid. And when I say 'youth', I mean 'idiot'. At least, that's the only possible conclusion from this genuinely wounding set of Diet Coke adverts, that are barely one step above 'goo-goo, ga-ga' baby speak.

"I like Diet Coke, it's supergood," begins this new Diet Coke Mango advert. This is the second advert in this series that has used the 'super' prefix like a 50-year-old Dad wearing Adidas in the belief it makes him younger.

You can almost hear a room full of people staring at a report of words that 16-year-olds use and figuring out how they can work them into their ads, like a toddler whacking a jigsaw piece into the wrong slot.

He's 'totally into this,' he tells us, after a big swig of the Exotic Mango drink (listed ingredients do not include mango). This is another repeat, after the young lady in the first Diet Coke ad told us that the drink 'is delicious'.

Diet Coke Mango Advert

Now I'm all for keeping things simple in advertising, but if your actors actually have to protest that your drink is really, really, good it smacks a little of desperation.

He's into aerial yoga and DIY furniture. This is just pitiful, like some try-hard bell-end trying to impress a girl by listing 'zany' things they like. Coke says they're targeting younger people who are 'unapologetic' about doing the things they like in these Diet Coke Mango adverts. There's another word for doing things, just because you want to, especially if you're unapologetic about it: 'cunt'.

"Maybe you're into friends who leave voicemails," adds the man, in what sounds like some bizarre attempt at communicating in a secret code, before adding "I know I am!" with a slightly knowing look, again as if the audience is supposed to be in on this apparent double entendre.

"You've just got to like what you like - and I like Diet Coke," is the pay-off to the sequence of baffling logical dead ends.

I've heard of 'no hard sell', but this is 'no sell'. It actually leads me to ponder whether someone has taken up my theory of how most advertising works: the message is totally unimportant; the coverage is what matters. Would it matter what he said? If you chuck tens of millions of quids at TV companies, social networks and print, would it matter what you wrote?

Diet Coke Mango Advert

Maybe Coca-Cola decided to find out. Or maybe they focus-grouped what vlog-loving, gibberish-tweeting, LOLing teenagers talk like and it happened to be as bereft of meaning as if they had just written down a load of old shite for a man wearing a 90s denim jacket to say anyway.

And maybe the people who took receipt of that research, having read its findings, realised that the game was up.

That it had all been for nothing and that humanity was on the downward slope of a bell curve, skiing gleefully towards Idiocracy like a farmer voting for Brexit.

If the rise of Millennials has coined the term 'dawn of the dumb', this Diet Coke Mango advert is their simpleton soundtrack.

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22Mar/180

Diet Coke Advert 2018: Yurt, Athleisure and A Gaping Abyss

Diet Coke advert 2018

Well, well, well. A new Diet Coke advert. Like a Tory party broadcast or a Nigel Farage Question Time appearance, a new Diet Coke advert is to be greeted in much the same way as an unloved season. Tedious, inevitable - though more likely to make your guts explode.

I have a longstanding beef with Diet Coke, because their adverts are some of the worst ever devised. First there was the advert starring Duffy that not only killed Duffy's career stone-dead, it finished of Keith Duffy too, just for good measure - and he had nothing to do with it.

Second, the Diet Coke frotters, fingering their ringpulls when they spray their sticky stuff all over a man.

Now, a confession. I drink Diet Coke. I started drinking it with a vengeance when I quit smoking - it's the caffeine hit I guess - and haven't really weaned myself off it. And I can safely say that it's fucking horrible.

Diet Coke tastes like poison, in much the same way that smoking does. It's reminiscent of chemicals and something that vaguely resembles sugar. I drink Diet Coke because in some fucked-up psychological manner I associate the nicotine hit I still crave with whatever Diet Coke is doing to my synapses. And that's it.

So the claim that Diet Coke 'is delicious' lies somewhere on the honesty scale between Russia's denials that it has stockpiles of chemical weapons and any claim disputing the actual fact that Piers Morgan is a snivelling little cunt.

Secondly, the lady in this advert claims Diet Coke 'makes me feel good'. That's because it's full of chemicals that make your brain briefly go haywire. It's certainly bad for your teeth, worse than even full-fat soft drinks according to some authoritative reports, so it's no surprise that Coca-Cola's adverts don't even try to make the suggestion that Diet Coke is good for you in any objective way.

Diet Coke advert yurt

We then get the utterly baffling "You know what else makes me feel good? Athleisure!"

I like to imagine the young lady in question has a lisp, and she's actually saying 'ass-leisure'. I'll leave it for you to decide what that might entail.

Also I'm not sure why this apparently-British lady is using the American pronunciation 'lee-zure'. It's 'lejuh' - to rhyme with pleasure, like in 'leisure centre'. A small point perhaps, but another facet of this utterly horrible advert that seems determined to send precision-guided shooting pains through my head.

"Because it's comfy casual." Even Holly Willoughby couldn't be this simperingly vacant if you boiled her for 24 hours, collected the resulting residue and injected it into Nigella Lawson. Plus, what the fuck are you talking about?

Look, if you preface a statement with 'look' you're signalling that you're about to tell it like it is; to set the record straight. You might preface a sentence such as "It's not good news," or "We need to talk" with a 'look". Here we get some verbal incontinence about drinking pop and wearing lycra.

Next we hear that life is short. Which leads me to wonder whether this Diet Coke advert is simply trying to prepare us for the oncoming apocalypse? This is, surely, how the news will be broadcast to us anyway? Not with a stern-faced, gravel-voiced news anchorman, but by Clare Balding on a comfy sofa or a Reggie Yates documentary.

I don't want to live in a yurt, thanks, neither do I want to run a marathon (a side-note, if you use the prefix 'super' to create any word not already in the dictionary, I super-hate you).

But why is a drink that used to be extolled for its health benefits being advertised by a woman telling us to indulge ourselves, as if it's a Krispy Kreme donut injected wit Ket? Leaving aside the fact that, should I want to indulge myself, I'll be plumping for whiskey, fags, cocaine and a huge German prostitute, it's unutterably pitiful that a can of Diet Coke could be considered by anyone some sort of guilt-inducing gastronomic sin.

Unless that guilt is induced by the mountains of plastic waste Coca-Cola is responsible for - or for muscling in and drying up wells around the world, of course.

Diet coke advert athleisure

Bear with me, I'm nearly finished.

"If you want a Diet Coke, have a Diet Coke."

That's it? That's the pay-off to this sequence of dissonant Millennial brain-shart? Is this what William Shakespeare died for? Is that what a medium-sized Colombian cocaine-harvest produced? 'Have a Diet Coke - because you can'?

Rest in your grave Emmeline Pankhurst; sleep tight Stephen Hawking; dream fitfully Nelson Mandela - mankind has got it covered. We've had a long talk about it and we've decided that we've come up with the answer to life, the universe... everything. And the answer is... 'if you want a Diet Coke, have a Diet Coke.'

That's the sum total of human endeavour, right there. That's what 200,000 years of evolution, the renaissance and industrial revolution brought us. We've decided to hand over the reins of humanity to the Diet Coke demographic, with their athleisure and 'yurt it up'. We're superhappy with the results and we think the future's in safe hands.


Back in the 70s, ensconced in Berlin, David Bowie and Brian Eno refined a technique for creating music called Oblique Strategies. The idea is to encourage lateral thinking, often by doing something that might appear nonsensical or resulting in an apparent non-sequitur. In our short history such techniques have been used to create some of the finest art in history.

But in this Diet Coke advert, filled with meaningless, unconnected phrases that still manage to come off as deeply affected and hatefully hip, what appears to be a similar dynamic has birthed perhaps the most obnoxiously dumb 30 seconds in existence.

More nauseating than Trump boasting of grabbing women by their parts; more smug than Piers Morgan announcing he has won the Euromillions rollover; more thoroughly awful than Nigel Farage laughing while doing a shit in your bath, the Diet Coke advert is a Soho/Manhattan nightmare of vacant stupidity that literally has no meaning. You are trapped in it and there is no escape. Welcome to 2018. Welcome to the rest of your life.

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