Shadow Net Series 14: What’s the Worst That Could Happen?

Remembering that one time Coca-Cola used the pornographic, “2 Girls One Cup” to sell Dr. Pepper like total fucking morons.

So lets role play the worst day of your career, shall we? It’s late July 2010 and you’re some high level marketing executive for Coca-Cola who has recently given an ad campaign the green light.

The ad campaign directed by an online advertising agency, Lean Mean Fighting Machine, is for one of your most popular soda brands, Dr. Pepper and is focused primarily in the United Kingdom. Following a history of edgy and controversial ads, Dr. Pepper has successfully marketed itself to a new generation of soda drinkers with dry and irreverent humor commercials.

Everything seemed copacetic until one morning you, a high ranking marketing ace, get a call from your boss asking why a 14 year old girl from Glasgow, Scotland was trying to look up the incredibly NSFW shock video, “2 Girls One Cup” after interacting with one of your ads.

These ladies are not sharing a string of spaghetti

Even in the year 2010 – three years after the release of one of the most notorious viral videos the world has ever seen it’s hard to overstate how bad of a look this would be for just about any and every company in the world. But for readers who have somehow never seen the video I will leave a Wikipedia link to its explanation:

The video is so obscene. I’m not posting a direct link to it. You can look it up yourself on your own time. It’s pretty fucking bad.

So the social media campaign was simple enough- operating under the tagline, “Whats the worst that could happen?” To qualify to enter a contest for €1000 you would let Dr. Pepper randomly pick a Facebook status that would be posted on your profile. Innocent enough, really. Most status updates were harmless and silly.

But when a 14 year old Scottish girl entered the contest she was given the status, “I watched ‘2 Girls One Cup’ and was hungry afterwards”. Being a child that grew up in an apparently sane and safe home this kid has no idea what the hell Dr. Pepper was talking about. So…. she looked it up.

Luckily, her family computer had an adult content filter on it and her life and faith in humanity wasn’t ruined immediately upon seeing the video like mine was. But when her mother asked her why she had tried to look up this video and she explained it was because of a Dr. Pepper contest – you’d have to imagine heads were going to roll.

If you find yourself asking this, it’s usually worse than you think

Ultimately, Coca-Cola apologized profusely and even offered to send the ladies to London for a concert and a night on the town but the family declined. As for the ad Agency, they lost the Coca-Cola account shortly afterwards. And I imagine a couple of other peeps got canned on the Coke side as well.

As for the actresses from the movie itself – both Brazilian Adult film stars that go by the names Karla and Latifa are still going strong – working for the same studio – making the same shit.

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