Share A Coke With…Reluctance (UPDATED)

It’s no secret that I enjoy the occasional caffeinated beverage. Actually, that’s not true. It would be more honest to say that I exist purely on a diet of caffeine, rage and the occasional Wispa. Either way, I am a big fan of the delightful, tooth-melting concoction that is Coca-Cola.

It’s also no secret that I loathe the human race. So imagine my dismay when I discovered the nefarious plot, launched by the Coca-Cola company, intended to make me… *spits* …mingle…with others. Having voiced my dismay over the “Share a Coke with…” campaign via the medium of Twitter, I was inspired by long time friend and total git, Silver_Rayven, to contact the Coca-Cola company and make my feelings known. I sent them this email…

Dear Mr Coca and/or Mrs Cola.

I am a massive fan of your product. Well, one of your products. I have never drank Diet Coke as I am given to understand by your informative television programming that it is only for women who are dedicated to stalking shirtless bodybuilders, but Coca-Cola is my favourite beverage/cleaner of copper coins and I consume, in all honestly, more than is most likely good for me.

Imagine my horror, therefore, when your recent promotional campaign demanded that I share this delicious beverage with other people! I try to avoid other people wherever possible, interacting with the purely on an “if-I-absolutely-MUST” basis. Now, sadly, I must mingle with the wretched species daily! Couple that with the reduction of my daily Coca-Cola intake as these buggers pinch half of it and I must say i’m utterly appalled and that’s not the worst of it!

Two days ago, my bottle demanded that I share with family. This WAS a 1.75 litre bottle, but I have a very large family. Once divided equally, we each had approximately 2 teaspoons of Coke. Of course, some of the family didn’t like Coke but I forced them to drink. It turned out that cousin Emily was actually allergic but i’m assured that the swelling will eventually go down and i’m sure that everyone understands I was just doing what the bottle told me.

The final straw came yesterday. I bought a bottle of Coke from the local shop, the last they had on the shelf. It said “Share A Coke With…Bethany”. I don’t know anyone called Bethany! After making sure there wasn’t a John or a Steve lurking behind the diet bottles, I ran around the streets for three hours, grabbing passing women and screaming “ARE YOU BETHANY? I HAVE SOMETHING FOR YOU!” into their faces. I was arrested and had a devil of a time explaining my situation to the police officers involved. Ultimately, I was released with a warning and having had my “Bethany bottle” confiscated. I purchased a replacement which demanded that I share with Michael, which happened to be the name of the nice officer who was escorting me home, so thank heaven for small mercies.

Something must be done to stop these terrible problems in the future! I must ask that you change the wording to “Share a Coke with…[NAME] (But only if you want to. You don’t have to share it if you’d rather not. After all, you paid for the Coke, not them.)”. That way, my fellow, sociopathic Coke drinkers will not feel pressured into doling out sips of their hard-earned refreshment.

If you absolutely insist on continuing in this campaign, you could at least offer some alternatives. You have the vague “Family” and “Friends” options, why not some of these…

“Share A Coke With…Reluctance”

“Share A Coke With…No Bugger”

“Share A Coke With…A Resigned Look And A Sigh”

“Share A Coke With…Yo Momma”

I look forward to hearing from you very soon.

Yours in despair,
Al Vimh

I can’t wait to hear what they say.

EDIT: 06/06/2013

I don’t have to wait because floaty beard love ’em, they’ve written back.

Dear Al Vimh,

Thank you for contacting us once again. (I assume they’re referring to my Coke Zone points fiasco)

We were sorry to learn of your disappointment with our Share a Coke campaign.

Our Share a Coke campaign is intended to be fun and playful and to encourage people to get involved with it. To start the campaign, we replaced our iconic Coca-Cola logo on some of our bottles with 150 of the most popular names in Great Britain.

However we do appreciate your comments; they have been shared with our marketing team.

Kind regards,

Consumer Information Centre
Coca-Cola Great Britain

Incredibly polite but I can’t help but feel that they’re not entering into the spirit of the thing…

Get points, trade points, wait…

My host body is a big fan of Coca-Cola and, for once, he and I are in full agreement.

Coke is a tasty beverage with plenty of caffeinated goodness to get you through the crap-awful day.

So imagine our delight when they launched the CokeZone reward scheme.

You enter the numbers from the bottles onto a website, save up your points and then you can exchange them for fantabulous rewards!

Well, that’s not quite how it works…

What actually happens is, you save up the points, select a reward, CokeZone take the aforementioned points away and then proceed to pack and post a big box of shiny sod all.

On the 14th of December 2010, having amassed a large amount of CokeZone points (due to the constant lack of any reward worth claiming) I decided what the hell and ordered a Coca-Cola branded, 2GB USB Memory Stick.

I have USB Memory Sticks, I don’t need another one, but this one has the Coca-Cola logo on it and could come in handy for backing up all those viagra e-mails and offers of Nigerian wealth so I figure, why the hell not?

I redeem 150 points for this USB stick, enter my address details, wait a day or two for the clunking, creaking website to process the information and then receive confirmation.

My USB Stick is on it’s way!

The question is, on it’s way to where?

By the end of December i’ve not received it but in a move which is entirely out of character, I give them a little longer due to the Christmas post and I say nothing.

January arrives, January goes, nothing.

February 1st and i’ve decided enough is most assuredly enough.

I enter a query on the CokeZone webform which says, simply enough:

I ordered a 2gb USB stick on the 14th of December 2010 and am yet to
receive it.

Please advise?


I also drop them a gentle nudge via Twitter and await response.

The @cokezone Twitterites get back to me fairly sharpish and assure me that I shall have a response by Friday 11th, if I don’t, i’m to let them know.

So I wait, I play a little X-Box, I join some hashtaggery on Twitter, I groan in dismay as the country collapses in on itself like a poorly built house of cards…

Friday 11th arrives and sure enough, there’s an e-mail from CokeZone

Wondering which far flung hellhole they’ve mistakenly shipped my USB Stick to, I open the e-mail and see this…

I’m sorry you didn’t receive your reward. We want to help, and will look into this further. We will get back to you within 5-7 business days.

So i’ve waited for this response which has in turn asked me to wait?

No deal.

I reply to the e-mail, tell them i’m most disgruntled or discombobulated or whatever other dis applies to the situation and await further response.

I wait until today, 16th February 2011.

They’ve had the 5 from their 5-7 day response estimate and I have had it up to…my hand is pointing to my forehead, ok?…up to here.

So, I reply once again:


I am still awaiting any news on this reward.

I think the time you have taken is absolutely ridiculous

Please reply promptly

Short, to the point and for me, remarkably restrained.

The day rolls on and then, as I enjoy yet another “Connection Interrupted” break from Black Ops, a hearty bing bong from my laptop announces the arrival of e-mail.

Eager to read news of my surely, soon to arrive USB stick, I open Outlook hurriedly and…ah.

Dear James,

Thanks for contacting Coke Zone. We’re glad you took the time to email us.

Most items are dispatched within 7-10 days. However, sometimes it can take 28 days for delivery. You can check the status of your order on ‘My Account’ page. We are researching the reward and will let you know our findings as soon as possible and will share your comments with the team and appropriate departments. Thank you for your feedback.

If you have any other questions, feel free to contact us again.



This will not do.

I sent the reply you are about to read and i’m looking forward to hearing back from them…

Dear Deborah

Perhaps, before sending out the bog standard auto response, you might take two minutes to ACTUALLY READ the history attached to this ticket number?

Some items might take 28 days? This particular item is at 60+ days and counting.

I could understand the delay if, for example, I lived at an Arctic science station, at the heart of the Amazon rainforest or in space.
In actual fact, I live in a fairly easy to locate village in the United Kingdom, hell, I gave you the address.

Have you ever seen a map? They’re amazing, you look at them and you can work out where stuff is.

I suggest you grab my USB stick and post it, send it by courier, strap it to a trained pigeon or fire it out of a catapult in the general direction of my home, whatever it takes to get it, along with the massive pile of free goodies which you’re sending to make up for the awful service, to my house as soon as possible.

Yours in eager anticipation,

UPDATE : 24th February 2011

Well, well, well…

Over the past couple of days I have resent my address (at the request of the @cokezone Twitterers, because the helpdesk guys struggle with e-mail and are still trying to work out how to open the big, monitor shaped envelope in which their mail has apparently been delivered…

I received this e-mail today, and I have changed Francis’ name to Frank, to protect the….ah crap, Francis it is then.

Dear James,

I wanted to let you know that the USB Stick and vouchers will be going out to you today or tomorrow. Please keep an eye out as they should be with you shortly.

We’re truly appreciative of your patience. Thanks for being a member of Coke Zone.

If you have any other questions, feel free to contact us again.



My reply is as follows:

Dear Francis

I will keep an eye out and, with luck, a following wind and the grace of a non-specific deity, soon I shall clutch to my bosom that most cherished of items, a Coca-Cola branded USB stick.

I have a blue USB stick now which I have been using, but it is as nought compared to the radiant beauty of your Coca-Cola sticks.

I have yet to tell Bluey (I call the blue stick Bluey) that he is being replaced, I hope he won’t take it too hard.

Perhaps it would be best if I took him out back and put a bullet in him, “Old Yeller” style.

Old Yeller was the name of my old Yellow USB stick.

Yours sincerely


UPDATED – 08th March 2011

I must, grudgingly, admit that Coca-Cola have sent me a fully functioning, 2gb USB stick and 2 x £5 HMV vouchers, at last.

So, I guess CokeZone and I are on good terms now right? Not quite.

Just a quibble, CokeZone, but get your ROGOF vouchers sorted, you’re screwing up my weekends…

Overly commercial? Pfft…

It’s time for number nine on my countdown, “10 Things I Hate About Yule” and it’s a doozy.

9. Christmas Adverts

Ok, the Coca Cola advert IS Christmas, I will accept that (despite the fact that i’m always secretly hoping that the truck will skid off the road and take out a few of those smug looking kids, but never mind that)
However, there have been some truly diabolical Christmas adverts over the years, which just make me want to punch the nearest Santa in the sack.
Here some of the worst offenders of 2010:

i) Waitrose – Delia Smith cooks some beef

Ok, first and foremost, don’t tell me how to cook beef at Christmas.
Some people might not like turkey, I don’t care, if they don’t want to eat turkey, the chances are they already know how to prepare their preferred alternative.
Secondly, it’s a commercial break, I don’t want a cookery show inbetween segments of whatever i’m watching which, considering the glut of them on the moron box these days, is likely to be a cookery show.
Last of all, Delia uses the term “shimmeringly hot”. Shimmeringly. Hot.
I swear to god Smith, I will Hansel & Gretel you in a heartbeat.

ii) John Lewis – Ellie Goulding winges and we see various morons

Am I seriously the only person who wants the kid at the end to get savaged by that dog?
I think I could cope with this advert, people wrapping presents, Christmas spirit, yadda yadda yadda.
But what the hell is with the Ellie Goulding song?
If you like Ellie Goulding, good for you, I hope they find a cure one day.
But like her or not, would a Christmas song have been so hard to come by for this ad?
I know people who wept when they saw this advert. WHY?! WHY?!?!
I can only imagine they were thinking about John Lewis’ prices…

iii) Coca Cola – Yup. The trucks.

Yes, in a twist worthy of Shyamalan, well, better than Shyamalan, i’ve come back round to the Coca Cola advert.
My issue with this advert has nothing to do with the advert itself, it’s the fact that everyone is whittering on about it on Facebook, Twitter, MySp…ok so no-one is on MySpace, but everywhere else.
Yes, it is a truly festive commercial.
Yes, it has become a Christmas tradition.
No, I do not care whether or not you’ve seen it yet.
Yes, I will come to your home and garotte you with your own fairy lights if you mention it again.

There are thousands of other adverts but i’ve got to go scan every channel for hours until I see those Coca-Cola trucks.

Back soon with number eight…