In A First, Coca-Cola Cans Go Nameless

In a renewed bid to align itself with global harmony — something it has done on and off for decades — Coca-Cola has removed its name from cans of Coke in the Middle East to showcase what it says is an effort to “promote a world without labels and prejudices.”

While the cans don’t have the Coca-Cola name printed on them in the company’s usual style, they do have a label-sort of an anti-label. The message reads: “Labels are for cans not for people.”

The effort comes during the Muslim celebration of Ramadan, which began June 17 and ends July 17. Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic lunar calendar. Every day during this month, Muslims around the world spend the daylight hours fasting. The period is seen as time to purify the soul and practice self-sacrifice.



Coke believes that its Middle East effort is a good way to join the global conversation about abolishing prejudices and eliminating labels that might contribute to bias.

The so-called (but not really) label-less cans, created by McCann Worldgroup’s Dubai-based FP7/DXB, are said to be a first for the company. Coke says the project is part of a “social experiment” called “Remove the labels this Ramadan.” The core idea is to make a point about removing stereotypes and prejudices.

The cans’ release has been timed to Coca-Cola’s global campaign, “Let’s take an extra second,” where the brand invites the world to take an extra second and get to know people, and in so doing maybe diminish stereotypes and preconceptions.

This story has been updated.

7 comments about "In A First, Coca-Cola Cans Go Nameless".
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  1. Nicholas Schiavone from Nicholas P. Schiavone, LLC, July 6, 2015 at 10:08 p.m.

    These cans of Coca-Cola are NOT "Label-less"
    by any stretch of the imagination.
    Stop the nonsense.  Open your eyes.
    A picture is worth a 1,000 words.
    This Coke can ingeniously has the right 1,000 words
    on its label that make up a wonderful story
    customized to each and every Coke Drinker.
    Coke truly is the Real Thing when it come 
    to packaging & marketing.
    Would that the rest of us could do as well.
    At least, we can learn how now.
    Have a sip of Coke's working knowledge!!!

  2. Christopher Weakley from Virgo, July 7, 2015 at 2 p.m.

    Exactly what stereotypes and prejudices does Coke want to remove?

  3. Nicholas Schiavone from Nicholas P. Schiavone, LLC, July 7, 2015 at 10:13 p.m.

    You've porvided more questions than answers.
    Moreover, it seems that MAD and Coke Middle East are confused about what's really going on.
    Time to get this story straight on both sides of the fence.
    Onwards and upwards.

  4. Stephen McClellan from MediaPost, July 8, 2015 at 9 a.m.

    Nick, you're absolutely right, the cans aren't "label-less" at all. While they don't have the usual big bold Coca-Cola name printed on them, they certainly have a label and I've switched art and added new copy to make the story a little more complete anyway. I'm sure there are still unanswered questions but thank you for pointing out some of the obvious flaws. 

  5. Douglas Ferguson from College of Charleston, July 8, 2015 at 10:05 a.m.

    I might have been persuaded had Coke dropped its graphic design and font. This campaign screams "stunt" but that's just my opinion.

  6. Nicholas Schiavone from Nicholas P. Schiavone, LLC, July 8, 2015 at 5:55 p.m.

    Dear Stephen,
    I very much appreciate your thoughtful responsiveness to my questions and concerns, as we all try to wrap our heads around what seemed a bold packaging move, but may be the blinding glimpse of the obvious.
    Grateful for your journalistic enterprise & reader consideration,
    Nicholas P. Schiavone

  7. Nicholas Schiavone from Nicholas P. Schiavone, LLC, July 8, 2015 at 8:29 p.m.

    Dear Douglas,
    If "Coke dropped its graphic design and font"
    it would have no expression.
    The brand would become a commodity in a barrel.
    They are not daft!  You?
    There is a significant difference between a "stunt"
    and a carefully planned experiment that pushes the envelope.
    Hope the Spring semester is over and you take a break.
    Gravitas and The Grinch are too much with you.
    Nicholas P. Schiavone 

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