Coke Is No Zero on Cultural Sensitivity

Coke Zero scored scored a connection with me via a new spot that’s Made In Canada, For Canada, About Canada, Using Canadian Talent & Icons.

Terrific work showing HUGE cultural sensitivity.

Coke? A brand from Atlanta? Isn’t that the only city ever to have two shots at having an NHL team, but blew it both times?

Yes, but Atlanta-based Coke has a Canadian office that’s empowered to Think Local.

So…a silly, self-important 3 minute long ‘ode’ to The Game that hits the mesh.

Watch it!

You won’t be alone (already almost 800,000 views on youtube).

The voiceover is Canadian.

The cops are played by a pair of loud, larger-than-life grandstanding Canuck sportscasters.

The central subject – hockey- is quintessentially Canuck.

The coach is a longstanding Canuck actor.

The player at the center, a ‘Kevin Wheeler’, is played by Jordan Eberle, veteran of many Canadian junior/ pro national squads- an icon of patriotism.

Even the story elements are locally inspired:

  • the stereotypical Hockey Mom SUV/ Minivan;
  • the helpful neighbour  (Canucks know ‘it takes a village to raise a hockey player’);
  • the mention of annoying thump of hockey shots against garage doors at all hours;
  • phrases like ‘One-Timer’ shot; or ‘being undressed’ for being beaten defensively
  • mention of the inevitable inconsequential Round Robin tournament games.


Whoever wrote this spot understood Canada and, particularly, life in a hockey family.

This spot could ONLY have been conceived of and written in Canada.

It would probably fall flat elsewhere. But for me, it’s a game winner, and I bet for many other Canadians, too.

A great example of: “if I have to explain it to you, you’re not the intended audience anyway!”

LOVE this spot- kudos to Coke for such a fine example of: ‘Go Global, Think Local’.

Steven Litt