Coca-Cola “Heist”

Dating back to the days (or early nights) when children’s books were read to us, we’re accustomed to the narrative genre in which small creatures band together to accomplish a task that seems at first too large for them. This Super Bowl spot for Coca-Cola (via Wieden+Kennedy) gives it a go with a mini-saga in which ladybugs, grasshoppers, horned beetles, bees, dragonflies, etc., join forces to hijack some oblivious human’s bottle of Coke. In real life, some of these species may well eat one another. But here, they’re all pulling together – tearing down the silos, so to speak, that have kept the insect world from achieving its full potential, or at least that have kept bugs from stealing, opening and drinking Cokes. Best moment, to my taste: when the guy reaches for his bottle and finds it’s actually a flock of butterflies who have gathered in formation to simulate the bottle’s appearance, such that he’d suspect nothing while the real bottle was being spirited away. Given the current vogue for regarding man as despoiler of the natural world, some people will be rubbed the wrong way by a vignette in which the innocent fauna are yearning after this mass-produced, man-made product. For such nay-sayers, this will come across as an ecological form of “Coca-Cola imperialism.” But my hunch is that a Venn diagram showing those folks, the Super Bowl audience and cola drinkers would yield little overlap in any case. Amid the din of Super Sunday, many more viewers will be grateful for a spot that arrests their attention by dint of charm rather than in-your-face theatrics. –Mark Dolliver