Coca-Cola is stripping all the labels off its cans in the Middle East to promote equality and discourage prejudice. The classic red cans are now simply emblazoned with the company’s iconic swirly white ribbon and a message that reads: “Labels are for cans, not for people.”
The limited-edition “no-label” cans are actually part of a Ramadan-themed campaign designed by Dubai-based advertising agency FP7/DXB. The campaign seeks to draws attention toward discrimination in the world and to also point out that while labeling cans is fine, labeling people is simply not OK.
“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 from its cans, in an effort to promote a world without labels and prejudices,” the company said in a statement.
This campaign is a part of Coke’s lofty global initiative “Let’s take an extra second,” which encourages people to take an extra second and get to know someone in order to get rid of stereotypes and preconceptions.
“In the Middle East, a region with over 200 nationalities and a larger number of labels dividing people, these Coca-Cola cans send a powerful and timeless message that a world without labels is a world without differences. And that we are all basically just the same – human,” the agency stated.
As part of the initiative, the soda giant and the advertising agency also teamed up for a social expermient by inviting a group of strangers to Iftar (breaking fast). The men were seated in a dark room where they talked about various subjects and discussed the things they had in common. However, once the lights turned on, the participants were shocked to find that their counterparts were completely different than what they imagined.
The experiment – though a little clichéd – sends out a simple yet powerful message: Don’t judge a book by its cover.
Watch the social experiment in the video posted below:
While this anti-label campaign is the polar opposite of Coca-Cola’s worldwide “Share A Coke” campaign – which is all about labeling – this Ramadan initiative does send out an important message. As many have pointed out, launching a similar campaign in other parts of the world may also be a good idea.
This isn't the first time Coke has played around with its labeling; last year, Diet Coke created 2 million bottles, each with its own one-of-a-kind design.