Posted by: Jeremiah Graves | December 2, 2011

People Make Me Sad

I’m an avid Coke drinker. It’s been my favorite soda since I was a kid.

Given that Coke is the top-selling soda in America and Diet Coke is the new number two ahead of Pepsi, I’m not alone on the Coca-Cola bandwagon.

As such, I assume I’m also not alone in knowing that each year Coke rolls out a holiday-themed design for their cans that includes either Santa, snowflakes or the iconic Coca-Cola polar bears.

This year they took it a step further by switching the can’s color from the traditional “Coca-Cola red” to a snow-white design featuring the polar bears.

Coke says this year’s campaign is part of a partnership with the World Wildlife Fund to highlight global warming’s threat to polar bears’ Arctic habitat. Coke is contributing up to $3 million to conservation efforts.

“The white can resonated with us because it was bold, attention-grabbing” and “reinforced” the campaign theme, says Scott Williamson, a spokesman for the beverage company.

Apparently—despite issuing special cans EVERY HOLIDAY SEASON since, well, forever—this proved to be a serious issue for a metric butt-ton of people who were too lazy to pay any attention to not only what they were buying, but also what they were sticking in their faces.

Here are some quotes from the Daily Mail:

“I purchased three six-packs because I thought they were diet,” said Gail O’Donnell of Danvers, Massachusetts..

“I drank one and wondered why it tasted so good. I didn’t look at the can. … I am a diabetic and can only drink diet sodas. They need to make it so it is not confused.”

“PEOPLE! Don’t be a victim,” wrote one consumer on Twitter, warning that mixing up Coke and Diet Coke is ‘a SHOCK to the palate!’

Those are people who were legitimately quoted by newspapers and websites, here’s a smattering of various comments pulled from various webpages covering the story:

“I donate a sizable amount to charity every year. If Coke wants to support a worthwhile cause, that’s okay. But who reads cans while shopping? This is just the marketing department trying to justify its existence.”

“I shouldn’t have to read or think when I buy things.”

“I bought ten cases of the wrong Coke when it was on sale. That’s going to make me fat. Coke is trying to rip us off.”

“Changing the cans is stupid and helping the bears is dumb. These are not fluffy little pets. They are bears. I am sure they have faced warming trends in the past and will do so again in the future. If you get close enough to a polar bear, it will kill you.”

“I’m diabetic and have to pay very close attention to what I eat and drink, so this is dangerous.”

“White can Coke tastes different from red can Coke.”

“I was with someone who opened up a diet coke the other day and then made a funny face when it didn’t taste right…it was a regular coke in a white can!”

“I don’t want to read things before I drink them.”

That’s right, people were purchasing regular Coke instead of Diet Coke—sometimes in bulk—without realizing what was going on.

Not only that, these same people who—based on their pissing and moaning—are either on very strict diets or very health conscious, didn’t actually take a second to stop and look at what they were ingesting.

The Diet Coke and regular Coca-Cola cans are clearly different from one another. One says—in gigantic letters—Coca-Cola and the other says—in equally gigantic letters—Diet Coke.

The outcry from the lazy masses was enough that Coke has discontinued making the white cans and will roll out a red version starting today. The company even issued a “fact sheet” so that consumers can tell the difference.

I’m not going to lie, I seriously fear for these people. What kind of danger must these assclowns be in on a daily basis if they can’t take two seconds to pay attention to what they’re purchasing and ingesting?

I have no doubt that half of these people would drink motor oil if it were still in a silver can instead of plastic bottles.

I assume most of these people accidentally made pies filled with kidney beans or creamed corn instead of cherry pie filling over Thanksgiving giving because they sure as hell couldn’t be bothered to read the labels on the cans in their cupboard.

These are the type of people who see a “Danger Keep Out” sign and go ahead and meander right on into the cobra pit at the zoo.

Sometimes people make me sad.



  1. Oh, sweet Jebus. I don’t know which quote to take more offense at so I’ll just be perplexed by them all. Wait, I lie, seriously a person doesn’t want to “read or think while buying food?” Considering what kind of crap they probably eat, I think mixing up coke and diet coke is the least of their worries


    • I know, it is absolutely insane that people who don’t take the time to pay any attention to what they’re paying for and eventually putting in their body want to turn around and blame Coke for some sort of insidious trickery?!

      …and what would be Coke’s end-game in this whole thing?! Get people to drink the better tasting beverage?!



  2. White Coke makes me feel good. Red coke makes me feel like blood drinking. Thinking is hard.


  3. A part of my soul died when I read about this today. I hate people.


  4. hahaha I can’t believe the person that said I shouldn’t have read or think when I’m buying things! ha people are seriously ridiculous. I honestly had to check mine to see if it was diet at first, but when I realized it wasn’t I didn’t care. Starbucks changes their cups this time of year, why can’t Coke?


    • I know, right?

      It’s scary how little responsibility people want to take for what they do.


  5. Funny and sad at the same time.


  6. […] rely on visual information or cues, whether it’s infographics, data visualizations, or food packaging, instead of reading what’s in front of them. As the saying goes, if you can’t fight […]


  7. Ok, as a person who almost made this mistake myself, I think this is a little harsh. When someone is feeling a little shaky and grabbing for some caffeine, I think you need to give them a little leeway that their brain isn’t always in functioning order… That being said, I don’t think Coke had any nefarious intent and I think if people want to get up in arms about something, there are bigger fish to fry…


    • I’ll offer plenty-o-leeway for the “I’m in dire need of caffeine and didn’t notice the difference” crowd…it’s the “I don’t want to think or read when I purchase things” crowd that has got me all uppity over the whole thing.


  8. As I diabetic, this can actually be dangerous. Take an instance of low blood sugar, and crawling into the kitchen for sugar, not able to think straight. THis is a potentially deadly mixup, if your house contains both diet and regular cans.


    • I totally understand that argument. There are plenty of valid reasons why mixing them up is bad news bears.

      The issue I have is with the people who think all of the blame falls on the folks at Coke because they didn’t want to take the time or effort to read the label or pay attention to what they’re putting in their bodies. If you’re going to ingest something, I can’t help but think you should at least take a second to double-check what it is first, especially if you DO have some sort of health issue.


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