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For Ramadan, Coca-Cola Eschews Labels and Asks Us to Do the Same

Soda company’s new campaign encourages us all to look past first impressions.

image via youtube screen capture

For the last several weeks, and continuing until July 17th, Muslims around the world have been celebrating the holiday of Ramadan, during which observant practitioners traditionally fast during daylight hours, eating and drinking only after dark. To mark the occasion, Coca-Cola has temporarily removed its iconic signature from pop cans sold across the Middle East, replacing its familiar calligraphic name with a simple message of open-minded tolerance.


The campaign, simply entitled “Remove labels this Ramadan,” was created by Coke’s Middle Eastern branch, in partnership with FP7/DXB and Memac Ogilvy. To introduce the brandless cans, Coke invited a group of men, strangers all, to a lights-out meal. There, each guest shared a little about themselves, while the others speculated as to what the speaker looked like. Then the lights came on to reveal both the faces of those seated around the table, as well as the limited edition cans.

A Coke statement published to Campaign India explains:

In a time when equality and abolishing prejudices is a hot topic for discussion around the world, how does one of the leading brands like Coca-Cola join in the conversation? In the Middle East, during the month of Ramadan, one of the world’s most well known labels has removed its own label, off its cans, in an effort to promote a world without labels and prejudices

Business Insider points out that this effort is likely part of Coca-Cola’s global “Let’s take an extra second” campaign, in which people are challenged to overcome their knee-jerk assumptions and look past the outward appearances of those they might otherwise dismiss.

Admittedly, a major conglomerate removing its name from a still instantly recognizable product is not, in and of itself, an earth-shakingly progressive move. Still, it’s a subtle—and ultimately, powerful—reminder for each of us to keep an open mind, and look beyond our preconceptions when it comes to how we treat others.

[via business insider]

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