The Real Thing

According to Interbrand, the world’s leading brand consultant, the world’s most valuable brand now is Apple, not Coca-Cola. Imagine that little guy somewhere down the chain of command that is going to get the blame. Regardless the size of the corporation, someone always has to be the scapegoat.


Hello, Coca-Cola Marketing Department.

No, I don’t know how it happened, boss. Coke was number one for over a decade. Everyone loves a Coke. “It’s the real thing.” We made that slogan up ourselves, right here in the marketing department.

And now we’ve been displaced, reduced to a mere number six of the best-known brands in the world. It is downright humiliating. But most of the top 10 are technology firms. It is hard to compete with technology when they have the newest and greatest stuff first because they invent it.

No, I’m not trying to make excuses, boss, just trying to explain. You say the new iPhone sold millions already, huh? Well, consider the fact that the iPhone costs $1000 up and a 12 pack of Coke costs $3.99. If you look at it that way, we are selling a lot more than they are to earn a profit.

They are now selling iPhones like hotcakes in China? Well, we market all over the world too, but we are primarily an American company. Coke provides a little bit of home wherever you are in the world.

“I’d like to teach the world to sing in perfect harmony, I’d like to buy the world a coke and keep it company.”

Okay, so they went by financial profits and influence of the product on people, not units sold.

Yes, the song is an oldie, but still a goody. Quit living in the past, huh? You are right, boss. We need to come up with something new and innovative, something that everyone wants, something more seductive than an iPhone. Great idea, but what?

We tried “New Coke.” Boy, was that a bummer. Three months and we had to bring back the old formula. People get mad when you mess with the Real Thing, but they seem to love it when Apple messes with the iPhone.

And don’t forget we came up with Coke Zero. It probably comes out of the same faucet as Diet Coke, but what does it matter? People like it. And there is Cherry Coke, and Vanilla Coke, and Lemon-Lime Coke and Caffeine-Free Coke.

Marketing didn’t come up with those? That was Research and Development?

Well, what about we change the color of the can from red to silver? Quit screaming in the phone. I was just joking… sort of.

Yes, I saw the New York Times, USA Today, and CNN. You don’t have to remind me. Apple first, Coca-Cola sixth. But remember, we were first for years. Doesn’t that count for anything? It doesn’t huh?

Well, we can get right on it, boss. We have come with some with some great ideas already. There is the iPhone app with the spinning coke bottle; it’s like playing spin the bottle. It brings out the social aspect of having a coke. And there is the Magic Coke Bottle app that is like the Magic 8 Ball. You shake and it answers your question. It’s a hoot.

Been done before? Not innovative? Well, I expect we will be coming up with something else for a better iTunes app any day now. You don’t like iTunes apps? You don’t want Apple to be successful because of our apps? Well, at the rate we are going, I’d say there isn’t much chance of that. Ha, ha, ha….

You are not laughing?

Well, at least we beat out Pepsi. Don’t say that word in front of you? Quit screaming! You have to put up a front and pretend not to mind that we sunk to number six.

Just remember, if it wasn’t for marketing, we would still be selling coke syrup out of a pharmacy. Marketing! That’s what made us what we are.

I really need to get off this iPhone now and get to work.

Yes, I have an iPhone? Don’t you? Doesn’t everyone?


That’s gratitude for you.

Copyright 2013 Sheila Moss
Updated 2022

About Sheila Moss

My stories are about daily life and the funny things that happen to all of us. My columns have been published in numerous newspapers, magazines, anthologies, and websites.
This entry was posted in Humor, Technology, Work Humor and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to The Real Thing

  1. Maggie says:



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