By the time I was perhaps 7, I knew that approaching the rack of personalized license plates at the gift shop with even the tiniest shred of hope was a mistake. There would be no Mary Beth on there, only Mary, Tiffany, Jessica, Heather and other common names. That feeling of hopelessness is spreading now in various corners of the globe with Coca-Cola’s new campaign touting personalized soda bottles.
Funnily enough, NPR brings to mind the exact same experience I had in its discussion of the recent backlash in some countries, which just goes to show how common that feeling of exclusion was (and is) for anyone with an uncommon name.
Turns out Coca-Cola’s “Share A Coke” marketing promo, where common first names are printed on soda labels, is prompting questions from many uncommonly-named people around the world.
“What about my name?” writes a Cinnamon on Coca-Cola’s Faceebok page. “Will you be having a Melanie bottle out soon please?” asks Melanie.
Elsewhere, others are feeling the sting — including, reports the Washington Post, consumers upset about the exclusion of popular Arabic names like Mohammed in Israel.
Elsewhere, in Sweden, Mohammed isn’t an uncommon name — however, Coca-Cola says members of the Muslim community don’t want that name included on commercial products, a Coca-Cola rep said.
Because Coca-Cola is likely aiming at say, 20-year-olds, you’re in luck if you’re named Michael, Christopher, Matthew, Jessica, Ashley, and Sarah, all top names from 1993.
I won’t even dare to dream. And neither should any of you celebrity children you there because goodness knows names like Stanton and Pepper aren’t showing up on those bottles anytime soon.