Coca-Cola Middle East Removes Labels, Releases Video about Stereotypes

By Steve McLean 7/14/15 |

Screenshot from Coca-Cola Middle East video.
Coca-Cola Middle East has released a video to tackle societal prejudice and remove the labels put on people for the Muslim observance of Ramadan.

The almost three-minute clip, which has been viewed more than 12 million times on YouTube since July 4, opens by saying it takes seven seconds to build a prejudice based on someone’s appearance.

Its primary premise is placing six strangers around a table in the dark “to see each other in a different light” as they talk while being filmed with infrared cameras. Each man describes his interests before the lights are turned on and they see each other for the first time.

The man who plays in a heavy metal band who the others guess has piercings and “long hair that he ties in a pony tail” turns out to be an average looking guy in a shirt and suit jacket. Another who says he reads a lot of cognitive psychology and behavioural science books is described as a “nerd” by one of the others is a muscular man with facial tattoos. Laughs are exchanged, and one of the subjects admits he would avoid the tattooed man if he saw him on the street.

People expected the man interested in “Emirati heritage and Arabic language” to look very Arabic, but was a white man. Another who described himself as an extreme sports athlete turns out to be in a wheelchair.

Each person was then asked to reach under their chair, where there was a box with two cans that looked like they were from Coke but had no corporate branding, but instead said: “Labels are for cans not for people.”

The subjects continue their discussion and say that it’s obvious that people shouldn’t judge others by their looks or before getting to know them first to know who they really are.

Arabic writing appears on the screen before a can of Coke is shown and the video ends with the words “This Ramadan see without labels” written in English.

“Fighting prejudice is an ongoing global battle, which Coca-Cola Middle East is proud to help combat this Ramadan by reminding the public that labels are for cans not for people. By urging everyone to remove stereotypes we hope to spread happiness to the wider community,” Islam El Dessouky, IMC manager for Coca-Cola Middle East, said in a press statement.

Ramadan ends on July 17, but the sentiments expressed in this commendable Coke video should be acknowledged and adhered to forever.




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