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Coca-Cola gave millennials a ‘GIF maker’—guess what happened next

When will corporations learn?


Luke Winkie

Internet Culture

Posted on Jan 27, 2016   Updated on May 27, 2021, 7:38 am CDT

Let me propose a new principle of the Internet universe. I call it 4Chan’s Law. It goes something like this: If a massive conglomerate attempts to engender millennial goodwill through ridiculously transparent “cool” marketing campaigns, like, say, “create your own GIFs to show how much you love the taste of ice-cold Coca-Cola!” a bunch of lizard-brain kids will hijack it as quickly as possible.

This story is as old as time, and yet it continues to happen. Here, I’ll prove it to you with a quick quiz: The Coca-Cola Company did indeed recently release a “GIF-maker” with the instructions to “GIF the feeling” that Coca-Cola gives you. How did this pan out?

  1. People around the world happily paid tribute to Coca-Cola with their own user-generated ingenuity.
  2. Coca-Cola stock increased 4.6 percent and everyone got huge bonuses.
  3. Everyone forgot about that hole in the ozone layer.
  4. People immediately buried the Coca-Cola GIF-maker for the chintzy, out-of-touch artifice it is—managing to circumvent the software’s rejection of terms like “poop,” “dick,” and “capitalism.”

Seriously, how ill-conceived was this? I don’t expect much from a company like Coca-Cola, but a fucking GIF-maker? Nothing good has ever come from someone using the word “Tumblr” in a boardroom meeting. 

I’m glad we have a cynical task force ready and willing to savage these cloying marketing ploys, but my god, in 2016 you’d think that people would understand that you need to actually comprehend a community before you try to pander to it. The polar bears are good enough. Stop embarrassing us.

Photo via Asta Adamonyte/Flickr

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*First Published: Jan 27, 2016, 3:16 pm CST