I took my children into a large local supermarket recently and, like all large supermarkets everywhere, the establishment in question was preparing for Christmas. Subsequently, in the true festive tradition of the season, they have a large Coca-Cola truck in their foyer. Because that’s what Christmas is all about, isn’t it? Coca-Cola.
My girls asked me what the truck was there for and what exactly it has to do with the swift approaching yuletide. (For clarification, those weren’t their exact words, I’m just imagining that their vocabularies are stretching far beyond their meagre years.)
Anyway, I attempted to explain, and in doing so I realized that, aside from my entire Facebook newsfeed being inundated with joyous declarations that the ‘holidays are coming’ within milliseconds of the Coca-Cola advert appearing on our November screens, I have zero idea as to why it’s there. Other than, as my eldest cannily observed, ‘to make money’.
I have a vague recollection (one that I can’t be bothered to research even in the time it takes to Google) that Father Christmas being dressed in red had something to do with Coca-Cola, but this sounds like the stuff that advertising urban legend is made of. However, due to my having other things to do with my time, I shall more than likely never find out.
It’s always been a mystery to me that the people in the Christmas advert have mouths stuffed with glowing, pearlescent, gnashers, whilst popping open retro bottles of the brown stuff, and swigging it with festive abandon. In reality, surely, these would be toothless-wonders, all desperate to get their gummy chops on their sugary caffeine hit, spending the money they should splash at the dentist on travel expenses to see the Christmas Coca-Cola truck.
But then I suppose an advert full of rotten tooth stumps might not entice shoppers as much as one where everybody swigging the sugary version of a drink that can strip pennies, is lean, tanned, toothsome and toned.
That said, Christmas is the one time of the year when I’m not a fizzy drink Scrooge in our household. The other 50-odd weeks of the year and my children are resigned to water, milk, or at a rare push, juice, simply because I’m trying to preserve their innocent little toothypegs. I may see to it that Santa pops a tube of Colgate in their stockings this year to cope with the festive binge – if he’s not too busy collecting his royalties at Cola Headquarters.
First published in The Portsmouth News, Tuesday 1st December 2015
Image courtesy of http://www.newhealthadvisor.com