In November, Coca Cola rolled out a new, seasonal white can in conjunction with its fundraising for the World Wildlife Fund and the Arctic Home Project. I thought it was a bit early for Christmas cans, but as it turns out, others had objections to.
The general outcry, though, was not against the polar-bear-themed cans’ pre-holiday arrival. According to an article from the Wall Street Journal, consumers rallied against the perceived change in taste. The confusion between the white Coca Cola cans and silver Diet Coke cans. The sacrilege of changing the red color of the can at all.
My gut reaction is that people need to relax. Slow down. Look at the product you’re buying so the similar colors of white and silver don’t confuse you. Embrace change. Try new things. Adapt. On the other hand, it sounds strangely familiar to the outcry against “New Coke” in the 1980s, when Coke backtracked and reintroduced “Classic Coke” to comply with consumer demands.
Not surprisingly, Coke is backtracking on the white cans, too — or so it seems. The WSJ article reports that Coke will start shipping new red seasonal cans, and “now says red cans will be in the majority by Christmas and that there likely won’t be any white cans on store shelves by the time February rolls around.”
Despite the color change, the cause still stands: Coke is still partnering with WWF and the Arctic Home Project, matching consumer donations through March 15, 2012, up to $1 million. So maybe the polar bears will be OK after all.