62 Feeding the American Disease

Randy Garfield

The prompt for this assignment was this: “Is this commercial about capitalism?”.


Where would we be without Coke?! Sun-kissed afternoons in the park, a bike-ride in the city carrying a hazardous amount of balloons (but, to each their own), the wonderment of being a cowboy in the moonlit desert- none of these would be as enjoyable without the bubbly, sugary refreshment of a Coca-Cola. And did anyone notice how good looking all of these young, fit people are? I wonder how many of these actors drink Coke. This commercial is subliminal mind-manipulation at it’s finest.

This commercial absolutely promotes capitalism. First and foremost, it’s a commercial from an independent (albeit publicly held) corporation. This fact automatically puts it under the umbrella of capitalism.

Coca Cola is the largest producer of soft drinks in the US. They’ve made their fortune hooking people on caffeine, sugar and a unique taste one can’t really put their finger on. I can attest to the addictive properties of Coke products. To name a few addicts: my mother (since recovered), our Fearless Leader, Donald J Trump, and golf legend, John Daly (watch an interview with him, your jaw will be on the floor). I, myself have a serious sugar addiction, and at one time had a serious caffeine addiction, so being an eligible candidate, I can see why Coke is so successful.

Another reason Coke is so successful is the incessant drive for us to buy buy buy. For most, it’s incredibly gratifying to buy something; to be an active participant in capitalism. These are foundational arguments for Coke’s role in capitalism, (we haven’t even dove into the commercial yet) but they shouldn’t be overlooked. A for-profit company wouldn’t exist if not for capitalism. Soda would’t even exist if not for capitalism. Ever hear of water? Plymouth has a natural spring spurting water 24/7, available to anyone with a ride and a receptacle. Every time someone uses that spring, they give the Capitalist Agenda a little slap in the face.

To focus more directly on the commercial it’s self, I want to go back to the blatant lie it perpetuates: that their customer base is active, progressive young people. As a generation, we’ve woken up, and these kids in the commercial aren’t fooling us. We know that Coke is incredibly unhealthy. Sure, we all indulge sometimes, but by and large, Coke’s demographic are those less aware and more susceptible to a uniquely American disease: obesity.

Soft drinks and lack of exercise are two of the biggest reasons for obesity. A “free country” has it’s costs. If Coke were to tell the truth in their portrayal of their customer base, the commercial would take place in McDonald’s, minivans, couches and unskilled 9-5 job sites. Coke and Capitalism have a mutually beneficial relationship that, when paired together, create a parasitic relationship for Americankind.

I just want to end by saying that, “A coke for we,” sounds incredibly stupid. Look, I’m no grammatical angel, but the fact that, “A coke for we,” was a line in the commercial makes me cringe. Maybe it’s just a pet peeve. Does anyone else feel me? I get the sentiment, I get the idea, but don’t deal in incorrect grammar, Coke. I know they know it’s incorrect, but I still don’t like it.


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The Student Theorist: An Open Handbook of Collective College Theory Copyright © 2018 by Randy Garfield is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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