Coca-Cola has been one of the most recognizable brands for over 100 years, sizable brands for over 100 years, with plenty of diverse ad campaigns to go along with it. From the "Teach the World to Sing" ad, to the "Mean Joe Greene" commercial, to the Coca-Cola Happiness Machine — Coca-Cola has dominated the consumer scene. 

The "Share a Coke" ad, a crazy popular campaign that began in 2014, was the company's answer to finding a personalized keychain in a gift shop.     

My Experience with "Share a Coke"

When the personalized bottles first came out, I, like everyone else, tried fruitlessly to find my name on a bottle of my favorite soft drink. I had always grown up able to find some sort of knick-knack with "Shannon" emblazoned on the side, so why was it so difficult with a bottle of Coca-Cola?

My sister Maeve, on the other hand, has never been able to find a personalized item like this, no matter how hard she's tried. In the earliest days of the "Share a Coke" campaign, it would be almost like I was playing a joke on her. "Oh, I found three 'Alex' bottles, but still no Maeve!"

I never really thought about what kind of implications laid behind these bottles and the names on them. And to be honest, there's a reason why I never gave it much thought — my sister and I are white.

The Common Question: "So What?"

As I've grown up and had the good fortune to meet so many people who are well-versed in black, Hispanic, and Asian culture (just to name a few), I've realized that you can't separate consumerism and white privilege a lot of the time. And these Coca-Cola bottles are no different.

So while I can't find a "Maeve" or "Shannon" on these bottles, shouldn't I also be concerned that I can't find one for my friend "Lekha" on any bottles either? How big of a problem is this lack of bottle diversity, and does it extend to other parts of the Coca-Cola corporation?

Does Coca-Cola Really Value Diversity?

As it turns out, Coca-Cola is pretty great at maintaining diversity and protocols to improve diversity in the workplace, helping it to be named one of the best places for Latinas to work in 2010. Additionally, two out of Coca-Cola's five executives are minorities. 

However, that hasn't stopped the company from getting slapped with lawsuits over racial bias and discrimination in the past. And though the company had a great step forward with their 2017 Super Bowl ad, has anyone seen it circulating around since February? Diversity doesn't stop once halftime is over.

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Mackenzie Patel

Nevertheless, even though the Super Bowl ad was great, the company's other ads have come under fire in the past. In 2015, a commercial from the Mexican branch of the Coca-Cola corporation had to be pulled from the air, as it was deemed racist for depicting a group of white teenagers gracing an indigenous village with soda.

Right. Because soda fixes erasure of native culture and language. So, while companies might be great at helping minorities behind the scenes, they often falter in the public eye. Just ask Kendall Jenner and her Pepsi campaign.

There doesn't seem to be much information on the supposed lack of diversity in names on these bottles. From some research in writing this article, no one has really come out and attacked Coca-Cola for not having their name. However, sometimes silence is the most telling.

Yes, Coca-Cola has recently put out more bottles with first and last names available, but if you're still out of luck even with all of these new options, the only resource Coca-Cola has to offer you is the option to buy a bunch of personalized bottles with your name on it.

Where to Go From Here

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Lauren Thiersch

At the end of the day, the diversity needs to be most prominent where the customers are. When you're buying a drink from the "Share a Coke" campaign, you're not thinking about the CEOs or employees of minority descent. You're wondering where your name is, and how you can relate to the product.

So, while Coca-Cola does very well with diversity behind the scenes, they need to make a more concerted effort to put that diversity up front for the masses. I would love to "Share a Coke," but my parents always taught me to share with everyone.