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Advice to Coca-Cola

Powerade at the Marine Corps Marathon!

June 10, 2005 | By | No Comments

When Jack and I trained for past marathons we floated Pepsi stock on the gallons of Gatorade we drank and spilled. Now, we’re training for the Marine Corps Marathon coming up in October and we won’t be drinking Pepsi products: it will be Coke’s Powerade for us.


Turns out everyone will be drinking Powerade! It’s the official drink of the race and, according to race HQ, “POWERade will be filling more than 180,000 cups across all 13 water points to aid runners in maintaining proper hydration.”

The water stations at a marathon are a sight to see . . . The Marine Corps Marathon has 30,000 runners participating — and they all need (a lot) to drink, and most don’t want to stop running, so every other mile there’s a major logistical effort involved in throwing hydration at the runners. Imagine 180,000 cups!


So hey: memo to Coca-Cola (maker of Powerade) — there’s time to roll out Camo-Ade in time for the Marine Corps Marathon!!

Major E. may still be thirsty. But if POWERade can get fluids to Washington, DC, Irag should not be far behind.

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Running with The Open Post at Mudville Gazette

06 Jun



Camo-Ade and Cammy Coke . . .on the Water Buffalo?

June 6, 2005 | By | 3 Comments

Here’s “Camo-Ade” from Waco Kid at Penguin Proletariat! Very cool.


In this weekend’s post, I challenged the executives at Coca-Cola to come up with a way to get some fluids to Major E., stationed at Camp Victory in Baghdad. Specifically, I told them they needed to start a “Camp Victory” campaign, package Powerade and Coke in camouflage, and start shipping it by the crate-load to Iraq. And a Coke dispenser on every water buffalo.

As we sat in the relative comfort of 90 degree heat all day yesterday, watching double-header little league baseball, I kept thinking two things:

First: What does 107 degrees inside a tank feel like? We had a hard time keeping the boys playing baseball hydrated at 90 degrees — one of my son’s teammates actually threw up. (Of course there was also the crushing lead their opponents had on them. . . )

Second: Can you imagine how fast a “Camo-Ade” or “Cammy Coke” would fly off the shelves here at home . . . particularly among the youth athlete market? Watching the Dude and his buddies running around yesterday, with moms and dads pushing fluids at them, I just kept thinking that whoever came up with a patriotic, cammy-packaged drink product wouldn’t be able to keep it stocked in the stores. Just the opinion of one mother whose son would eat broccoli if it came in cammy.

Over at Manuever Marketing, they note that this situation is perfect for a small upstart drink manufacturer. . .

Everyone wants to be a “Dogface” today. How do I know? The Wall Street Journal recently reported that respect for the military is now so high that the number of people faking military service with “unauthorized” use of military decorations has increased dramatically.

So issue them Cammy Coke instead!

Of course, it’s not too late for Pepsi. I think everything I wrote to Coke could work for Pepsi, too. Steve Robbins wrote to suggest the following for Pepsi:

I would suggest to my friend PepsiCo that the company will need to respond quickly, and it will have to go well beyond a few cases of soda! Personally, I would recommend a visit to the war zone by PepsiCo President and Chief Financial Officer, Indra Nooyi. As a first measure of contrition, she could deliver a plaque to him, bearing Major E’s question, and the official answer of the Board, with all appropriate signatures affixed.

Secondly, I believe she and PepsiCo should simultaneously announce the establishment of some form of philanthropic effort on behalf of those brave individuals who have been serving in this war on terror. An educational fund for the children of those soldiers would be one logical possibility, as Indra made her admittedly intemperate remarks at Columbia University.

I can hear the protests already: some will argue that multi-national drink manufacturers wrapping their products in the flag would be hypocritical. Perhaps.

But symbols matter. Our soldiers hear the controversy over the war. Take a minute to read this post by Ma Deuce Gunner, an M2 Gunner serving in Kirkuk, Iraq which ends, “And they say we are the bad guys.”

No, they are the good guys. And anything we can do to support them is a good thing.

See also: A great Scott Johnson Powerline response to a New York Times article on the Pepsi controversy.

A salute to MudvilleGazette’s Open Post

Memo to Neville Isdell, CEO, Coca-Cola: Major E. is Thirsty!

June 5, 2005 | By | 11 Comments

Hey, Coca-Cola: Carpe diem! Seize the Day! Your moment is now! I understand that you don’t want to make too unseemly a display of rejoicing at Pepsi’s self-immolation, but now is the time to act. I do hate to give away free consulting, but here’s what you need to be doing:

coke_ad.jpgnoticed, but your number one competitor has been in a bit of hot water lately. We’ve had a little something to say about the President of PepsiCo, Indra Nooyi’s ill-considered speech to Columbia Business School here at Reasoned Audacity.

But you really need to focus in on a story from Powerline (who first broke the Nooyi story) about Major E., an American soldier currently serving in Iraq and stationed at Camp Victory in Baghdad.

Major E. is thirsty. You may have heard: it’s hot over there. The temperature forecast for tomorrow is 107 degrees, and over 100 all week long. . . And he works in a tank.

And Major E. is boycotting Pepsi and Gatorade.

The Major wrote to Pepsi (from Powerline) telling them that he was boycotting their products because “I found Ms. Nooyi’s graduation comments offensive, not to mention off-base, because the central theme of her speech was that America is, in essence, “flipping off the world.”

The good Major asked for a response from Pepsi; what he got was standard boilerplate. Be sure to read an article Scott Johnson of Powerline just wrote for the Daily Standard that lays out a whole series of exchanges between Major E. and Pepsi. Here’s an excerpt from his most recent letter to Pepsi:

The question that I have asked since my first communication on this topic is whether PepsiCo agrees with the values that underlie Ms. Nooyi’s statement made as the president of PepsiCo, not as a private citizen, since she is the company’s president who made the remarks from a prepared text before a high-profile graduate school with media present. In regard to our relations with the rest of the world, does PepsiCo believe that America is “giving the finger,” or “lending a hand?”

This is the third time I have asked the question and though it seems quite straightforward, I have yet to receive an answer, only polite responses promising to “forward” my message.

But what really caught my attention — and should catch yours — is this excerpted letter from Major E. to Scott Johnson at Powerline, in which he describes a midnight tank patrol:

. . .The temperature stayed in the 80’s outside and hovered just over 100 degrees inside the tank. The combination of heat, helmet, and heavy protective gear meant that each time I sat down inside, sweat would begin to stream down my face within a minute or two. The rest of the patrol remained quiet, other than the odd rifle crack. . .

. . .Speaking of thirst, I am still dehydrated from the tank patrol. But since I have given up drinking Pepsi and Gatorade, hopefully only a temporary measure, I am stuck with Kuwait’s finest “Abraaj” bottled water, mixed with fruit punch.

Thank you for taking the time to read this, and for all of the support you and your readers give to the troops.

In Christ,

Major E.

Camp Victory

“Other than the odd rifle crack??!” Let me get this straight: This man is serving our country in 100 degree heat. . . in a tank thousands of miles from home . . . and he has to drink “Abraaj” water from Kuwait?

Hello? Coca-Cola?? I seem to recall that you, Coca-Cola, have competitive products for Pepsi and Gatorade. . .

Time to get in gear. Major E. is thirsty. Send him some Powerade and make it snappy!

Here’s the free advice. Get your marketing team working overnight to come up with a “Camp Victory” campaign. Redesign the Powerade labeling in a special collector’s edition camouflage version. Load the crates up on the plane and get them to Baghdad on the double.

And Mr. Isdell, if I were you, I’d hand the first one out of the crate to Major E. personally.

Get to work guys, it’s hot over there.

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BLEG: Hey you Photoshop hotshots — what would a Powerade in cammy look like? I’d love to see it!


Mudville, Open Post: thanks!