Coca-Cola Middle East invited six strangers to an Iftar, an evening “breakfast,” when Muslims end their daily Ramadan fast at sunset, as part of the company’s “Remove Labels” campaign. The six strangers met in the dark. Their surprise at the appearances of the strangers they had been enjoying a meal with — once the lights came on — was priceless. Coca-Cola’s campaign video is another gem from the company’s marketing team, inspiring others to really reflect. The “Remove Labels” campaign is part of Coca-Cola’s more expansive “Let’s take an extra second” campaign.
Coca-Cola Middle East explained the premise of the Iftar in the dark on its YouTube page.
“It takes just seven seconds to build a prejudice based on someone’s appearance. This Ramadan, Coke invited six strangers to an Iftar in the dark. See what they discovered and how it changed the way they see the world.”
Shared on July 4, the Coca-Cola “Remove the Labels This Ramadan” video has already been viewed over five million times. GoingViralPosts featured the Coca-Cola video, and it was widely praised.
“It’s no secret that human beings base much of our judgements on looks. How a person looks is usually the first thing we notice about them, but what happens if you meet someone without seeing them? That’s what Coca-Cola wanted to try when it placed 6 strangers in a dark room and had them meet for the first time in total darkness. Remove labels this Ramadan.”
Huffington Post claims that clothing and posture are the biggest factors people use to judge another person upon first meeting. Within the first seven seconds of meeting someone, according to Coca-Cola, most of us form an opinion. Allowing these strangers to meet in the dark meant that they had to use something besides appearance to form a first impression.
“In the Middle East, a region with over 200 nationalities and a larger number of labels dividing people, these Coca-Cola cans send a powerful and timeless message that a world without labels is a world without differences,” the company said in a statement. “And that we are all basically just the same — human.”
Taking the campaign one step further, Coca-Cola has removed its cursive, iconic logo from the labels of all cans in Middle Eastern countries during Ramadan, according to Review Journal. The campaign aims to raise awareness about stereotyping habits. Coca-Cola says the campaign is in honor of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan and replacing the company’s logo is the message, “Labels are for cans, not people.”