#21 – Massive Cans

9 11 2009

Ever since energy drinks caught the bogan’s eye (bogan + more energy = more bogan) at about the turn of the century, the Coca-Cola company has wanted in. Brands like Red Bull and V had figured out how to reduce the can size by a third, put more caffeine in, and charge twice as much. This is commonly referred to as “marketing genius”. Due to their seemingly terrible understanding of the things that bogans like, Coca-Cola’s attempt to gain traction in this lucrative area failed again and again. First came “Lift Plus” in 2000, which was a spin-off of an established brand, put into a slim can. This didn’t sell well, so they decided to do the exact same thing a couple of years later, but call it “Sprite Recharge”. Unsurprisingly, the bogan remained unmoved. The company then launched “Burn” in 2003, a slim 250ml beverage with only moderate maxtremeness. Fail.

In 2007, evidence emerged that Coca-Cola’s inept marketing department was getting closer to understanding the bogan. Accompanied by a $15 million advertising campaign, they launched “Mother”. The can was covered in tribal tattoos, had an aggressive font, and the name of the product allowed the bogan to make endless jokes such as “I’ve got your mother in my mouth lol”. Despite these improving lures, the bogan did not like the taste, and there was still something missing. It failed.

The next product launch worked, even though they only repackaged the Mother brand. Why? They reverted the taste to one of their previous unsuccessful attempts, and kept the tattooed aggressive can design. They slightly upped the obnoxiousness of the rhetoric, including phrases such as “our lame legal guys made us warn you”, which appeals to the bogan’s desire to break all the rules of people who usually tell the bogan what it can and can not do. However, the thing that caused the success was the doubling of the can from a slender 250ml to a hulking 500ml. At the end of the day, the  bogan requires the widest TV, the loudest jet ski, and the biggest bicep. It will routinely overlook all other details of a product, and prioritise sheer size. Mother had become the energy drink that was clearly the most likely to help bogans win a fist fight, jump a dolphin on a Jet Ski, or successfully negotiate hordes of other bogans at DFO

Coca-Cola could then rest easy, knowing that there were thousands of bogans walking the streets fingering an oversized mother. Indeed, it has been so successful, that both V and Red Bull have launched larger cans to defend their market share. Speaking of massive cans, bogans love enormous breasts, too.

Visual proof that Coca-Cola’s understanding of the bogan has transitioned from “none” to “alarmingly acute” in just a few short years: