Truckers Cry Foul

Ad Age: Coke may think the monster truck-cum-pied piper in its Full Throttle spot plays the hero, but America’s truckers are calling it reckless and have begun a letter-writing campaign to Coke demanding the ad be changed or dropped.
The spot was created by Mother/New York.
fullthrottle-can.jpg
“Every year somebody in Madison Avenue gets lazy and does the old scary truck cliche. This year it was Coca-Cola,” said Mike Russell, VP-public affairs for the American Trucking Association. He cited a blaring air horn, a rearview mirror filled with a Peterbilt grill, a larger truck tailgating and forcing a smaller truck — adorned with rival Red Bull — off the main road and a driver yelling “Yahoo!” as the truck drives by.
“It’s taking every negative stereotype about the trucking industry and using it to sell a product,” continued Mr. Russell. “It totally ignores the trucking industry and the 3 million drivers who do their job safely every day. It’s the same as putting billboards on the sides of our truck and saying ‘Coke makes you ill. Drink Pepsi.’”
Since truckers have helped make energy drinks the hottest segment of the non-alcoholic beverage industry, the pushback is serious. Mr. Russell said he contacted Coke last week about the spot but got a “lukewarm” response as Coke claimed the truck was a hero and a pied piper.
“It’s more of a demolition derby with a truck leading it,” he added. “I fail to see how this sells Full Throttle.”

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About David Burn

Native Nebraskan seeking the perfect pale ale in the Pacific Northwest. Copywriter and brand strategist at Bonehook. Co-founder and editor of AdPulp. Contributor to The Content Strategist. Doer of the things written about herein.

  • http://www.americancopywriter.typepad.com American Copywriter

    Well, that’s it! I’m starting a letter writing campaign to Hollywood to get them to STOP making crappy movies that portray advertising people as self-centered, shallow, power-hungry, over-sexed know-it-alls. Wait that didn’t come out right…

  • Bob

    Ha! The cool part about Hollywood’s portrayal of ad folk is that we’re always great looking and bed beautiful people. The sad part is, it isn’t true. (If Bogusky replies with a “speak for yourself,” he’s a dead man.)

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