A fatal mistake Coke made in the Middle East! Can you spot it?

Posted on April 24th, 2009 by Jim

Oh dear, one of the best known brands in the world, normally get’s their advertising spot on:

YouTube Preview Image

The duffy one ‘ worked’ but this doesn’t here in Dubai – Any idea why?

Take a good look before you ‘read the rest of this entry’ for the answer!


ANSWER: The rest of the world read left to right.

Arabic readers go for right to left so look at the advert and you’ll see why it just doesn’t work here in Dubai!

Comments welcomed, Cheers!

31 Responses to “A fatal mistake Coke made in the Middle East! Can you spot it?”

  1. RYK says:

    hahaha, just like the Chinese Butcher who was advised by KPMG to offer Halal Pork :)

    • Jim says:

      Are you serious?

      That actually happened?

      • RYK says:

        ofcourse, after all Mckinsey predicted in 1995 that the total world market for cell phones would not exceed 5 million users.

        In Jan 2008: That the finance crisis would be over in 3 months.

        In Jun 2003: That Bush would never attack Iraq.

        In 1990: That the Internet would only be used by universities.

        You gotta luv the management consultancies!

        • Jim says:

          The ones you pay to tell you the time on your watch when we’re not looking….

          Their days are numbered, time is ticking away…

  2. Haha that is funny.
    I have a school mate which is a refugee from Afganistan (from the Russian war, not the current one) and I always find it funny when he writes something: he uses normal characters and writes in English, but his hand moves from right to left, he starts writing the word from end to front.

  3. Miss Birdi says:

    That doesn’t make sense because when they can read Latin letter and understand the English words, they’ll know to read it from left to right, I mean it’s not like they’ve never seen English before. I learned Hebrew for my studies which is written from right to left, and I don’t try to read it backwards. I think the greater problem would be that the people wouldn’t be able to read the English at all, but in that case they should just put Arabic writing in the ad instead of English.

  4. Gareth in Thailand says:

    Who gives a fek, I’ve just avout had it with Arabs, sex mad igborant tossers can’t keep their hands to themselves and then get upset after I punch them and offer them ‘real jihad’ after they touch my wife up at a family based swimming pool/water park when I’m with her.
    About time they got theirs and we stopped pandering to the fat useless w@nkers.
    Not the first time either.

    • Lib says:

      You didn’t really punch them did you?

      • Jim says:

        @ Gareth in Thailand!

        Ouch – a bit of a generalization eh Gareth? I know some Gentlemen ‘arabs’ here in Dubai.
        What next? Disliking men?

        • Gareth in Thailand says:

          Really? My experience is this is not an exception and more the norm, hence my stating ‘its not the first time either’.
          Whilst there are areas where it is ‘playtime’ in Thailand these clearly aren’t Tescos, Carefour, The Marriot, a waterpark that is family oriented and has about 70% of its customers around the age of 10 (we were there with my friends kids), etc.
          As for your last statement I fail to see how you came up with this or how relevant it is.
          Take your I love Dubai specs off, most of the ones I see are shithouses plain and simple.

          • Jim says:

            It’s not my ‘love Dubai specs’ as locals only account for 10% of the population max – just that every nation has good, bad and in between -surely a one off can’t lead to a generalisation of a nation?

  5. The really doesn’t say what coke wanted it too – just the opposite! Very humourous. Thanks for sharing!

  6. I didn’t say what I meant to say either. I meant to say “The ADVERT doesn’t say…

  7. vrtulobjeq says:

    Without meaning to be disrespectful and unless it was aimed at the Christian community or Westerners who live there, I didn’t see one towel head in the video ?

  8. Bob says:

    Lol, too funny, good catch.

  9. Judith Van Helsing says:

    Hi Jim,

    Sorry cannot believe that is a genuine Coke advert.

    They would never advertise using a generic term such as ‘cola’.

    You would only ever see Coca-Cola using this their full name, or their trade marked Coke secondary brand name.

    • Jim says:

      As far as I’m aware it’s the ‘real thing’!

      • Judith Van Helsing says:

        Sorry Jim, it’s not.

        Cola is generic terminology. And there are plenty of cola brands:

        RC Cola
        Virgin Cola
        Cott Cola
        Adria Cola
        American Cola
        Alter Cola
        Cuba Cola
        Fritz Cola
        Afri Cola
        Barr Cola
        And many, many more…

        All of them are Colas and I don’t think a marketing executive would last very long in any cola production company if he put an advert out for his brand and just called it Cola.

        When did you last see an advert that said, Drink Tea, Drink Coffee, Eat Breakfast Cereals, Eat Chocolate, Drive Cars, A chocolate covered nougat bar with a soft caramel topping a day helps you work rest and play……?

        No you did’nt…. unless it was in some comedic vein or other.

        Coca-Cola is one of, if not the most respected brand marketing companies in the world today, there is absolutely no way they would ever advertise ‘cola’ without using their brand names alongside the word.

        Even the color red in picture does not identify it as Coke, many of the brands mentioned above are also red.

        I think the ‘advert’ presents an interesting brain teaser as to why it would/wouldn’t work. But as shown using the word cola, it is either a corruption of a real ad, or just a brain teaser someone has dreamed up, likely the latter.

  10. uncle cyril says:

    i WAS HOPING THAT in line with the ‘hilarious’ self mocking, happy go lucky attitude of the arabic world the ad would be a woman who had dared to speak to a man other than her ‘owner’ or ‘husband’ and was being stoned to death by a group of crazed medieval loons with coke cans.

    alas it was not to be

  11. I don’t know if it was my computer playing up, but that girl singing had a very deep voice – ? goood looking tranny!

  12. Lib says:

    Sheesh, I despise Duffy!

    She was the second biggest *really really rude word* at V last year.

    Calvin Harris being the first.

  13. But, since the lettering’s in English, not Arabic, meaning it’s directed toward an English-speaking audience, wouldn’t they read it left to right?

  14. Nina says:

    Haha! Used this in my International Marketing paper sometimes back – lesson learnt – effective marketing goes with understanding the diversity of culture!!

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