I love advertising, but…

Someone once told me that if people around, mostly your family and friends, don’t know our passion, then you probably don’t have one. If that analogy is true, then everyone that knows me would tell you about my undying love for advertising, I love advertising man, love it with all that I am and I know I am lucky to be working in an industry where you have to come up with a new creative idea every single day. When cynics and nay-sayers said that advertising is a fraud and that everyone in advertising is an alcoholic and a drug addict or that everyone is a failed writer who is now using their talent to sell soap or toothpaste, I was the loudest person shouting “bullshit”. However, I do think we can do better in other areas, like we can stop making ads about taxi drivers and Gogos, that’s boring quite frankly, don’t get me wrong, we are putting out great work, I mean what King James did with Bell’s ‘The Reader’ ad was all sorts of bananas, and so was that #RainbowNation activation that FCB did. I am just saying we could do bigger and better things like what Ogilvy & Mather did last week in Indianapolis at a college basketball final, debuting the first ever drinkable billboard.


I know…that’s a cool idea, right? Imagine a 26 by 36-foot billboard which dispensed Coke Zero through 4,500 feet of straw. And according to my good friends at the agency, that was just one aspect of the brand’s ‘drinkable’ campaign, next it’s mall kiosks, a concert, and drinkable flyers. Apparently the campaign is based on the simple insight that many people think they know the taste of Coke Zero, but they actually don’t. I hate that I didn’t think this first but, I must admit that this is an innovative approach to removing barriers and making it ridiculously easy for those who are open to try Coke Zero to enjoy it in fun and unique ways. For the first time a campaign delivered a product directly to consumers from a billboard. I can imagine jubilant creative at O & M high-fiving each other every day for the next 10 years, there is nothing more thrilling than being the first, and being the one to show the world what a kick-ass idea is. We in South Africa can do it too, and we sure will, but first we might have to move away from the taxi-driver-Gogo narrative.

Peep the making below of The Coke Zero Drinkable Billboard.