What Happened to Free Coke?

By Matt Van Hoven 

Being that it’s 96 degrees in Manhattan, and 103 in my 5th floor apartment, I thought it’d be nice to venture out for an ice cold cola beverage. While at the corner bodega here in sunny Harlem, I grabbed a refreshing Coca-Cola, headed to the counter and paid the really, really uncomfortable looking cashier.

As I sapped on the rum-free bev, I peeked under the cap hoping to see “You Won a Free Coke” imprinted therein. It had been years since the last time I’d cared enough to look, but thought, “What the hell.”


But instead of words, I found a series of jumbled letters; a code if you will.

I will. More after the jump.

Interested in what this code could possibly mean, I headed home to my laptop. I’m familiar with the code concept but until today had never fallen for the gimmick. I mean it’s the worst ploy to get people to a Web site, and when it comes to Coke, a really shitty execution of the method.

That’s because in order to even determine what the code meant, I had to register with Coke. Why the hell would anyone do this?

In my case, I was awarded three points. Three friggen points for the obligatory 7 minutes of registering. I had long finished the coke by the time I wrapped the whole thing up, and I am still a little pissed that I gave them my information. Give an inch…

I remember the days when looking under a bottle cap meant the possibility of winning a free 20 oz. Now you have to redeem 8 codes to get a free soda. And the points, well they’re supposed to add up so you can get free shit, most (if not all) of which has the Coca-Cola logo emblazoned somewhere.

Unfortunately, I won’t be heading back to the bodega for a Coke any time soon, or the Web site for that matter. I will likely grab an icy cold Bug Light (they sell 22 ouncers for $1.50), from which I will receive a mild buzz. Shoot, it’s only 3:30. Well at 5 p.m., I’m outty.

It’s too hot for this crap. Thanks for wasting my time, you cola hocking bastards.