It’s a classic sugary-sweet love story. Boy meets girl. They fall for each other. He gets cold feet. They get drunk together one last time, and end up living happily ever after.
Replace the humans with bottles of soda, and you have the rough premise of a new U.K. and Ireland ad from Coca-Cola celebrating second chances. A bottle of the company’s namesake cola and a bottle of its orange soda Fanta end up rekindling their romance with each new meeting—thanks to recycling.
The tale borders on nonsensical. The bubbly dialogue, packed with puns about intrinsically mundane inanimate objects “bottling it” (British for chickening out) and getting “trolleyed” (drunk) together, is painfully cutesy, and strains under the weight of its own ridiculous metaphor. But the production itself—a stop motion featuring characters, props and a set all meticulously crafted from recycled plastic bottles—is nifty enough to carry the whole thing.
A making-of video is arguably more engaging than the ad itself, featuring execs from Coke and Ogilvy Berlin. Watching the production team cut up bottles and shape them into components from the ad is fun, even despite the usual dose of self-congratulatory glee. And the company’s claim that it’s planning to increase the amount of recycled plastic in its bottles to 50 percent (by 2020) adds the illusion, at least, of substance to the message.
That should probably be taken with a grain of sugar, though. It was an increase from a prior commitment of 40 percent, and made amid pressure from environmental activists, who are still not satisfied—which may speak to why the brand is hitting this message at this time.
Plus, it’s way less simple, and ingeniously practical, than Ogilvy China’s DIY bottle-transformation cap kit from a few years back—at least, assuming you have more use for a baby rattle than little plastic flowers.