Once upon a time in one of those New York offices, a group of advertising executives were figuring out a way to market a new soda. The name, although not too controversial was certain to raise just a few eyebrows, especially in the Bible Belt. Interestingly enough, the owner of the company (interesting he calls it De Monic Enterprises) made sure it had a distinct name for everyone to take notice. He called it Sin.
Now provocative names were nothing new when it came to titles on other products such as lingerie. Even the pop star Madonna published a book called Sex
, so these ad execs tapping fingers on desks, fiddling with their pens, scrolling on websites on the internet (even those they were warned NOT to look at), pondered what and how they would market this delicious but challenging product to the masses. Suddenly, they made a decision which they felt they had no choice but to go with.
They went ahead and marketed the brand anyway.
Within a matter of weeks, the advertising firm produced a gigantic blitz on all forms of media. Everyone in view of the commercials whether on regular television or the internet witnessed what they saw, although the producers of the commercials did their utmost best to convince everyone what they saw weren’t real. A group of young people at a party doing unlawful acts; smoking drugs, prostituting, hurting each other. The actions depicted in the commercials were horribly justified as the people on screen or on the web drank from the soda. In a way, they were enticing, attractive to the naked eye, and viewers for the most part could forgive what they watched with their own eyes. For example, here are a few slogans from the ads:
“Sin gets you into places you’ve never dreamed of!"
“Sin is cool!"
“Sin is not boring!"
“If you want to get ahead in the world, Sin is the way to go!"
“Sin is for the in-crowd homies!"
“Sin gives you the ability to be number one! Forget the rest because they’re not your friends anyway, a bunch of no good (expletive) haters who’s trying to get on your tip."
“Sin is so rad, dude! You should try it!” - Dude eyeing woman’s croutch taking a sip.
“Don’t worry about what the haters say, sin is in!” - young woman selling her body for her pimp while drinking from a can.
“Everybody drinks it, everybody.” - an athlete with wide eyes as he tilts his head back for a sip of his own.
Sin had become so popular, it outsold every soda on the market; Pepsi, Coke, no cola producer was left standing in Sin’s wake. It was the choice of political leaders, celebrities, even down to regular middle and lower class citizens. Sin had not only overtaken the market; everyone in the world enjoyed Sin.
Across the street, marketers of a different ad company proposed to counter with an alternative called Salvation. The challenge of marketing the brand was how to make it more appealing to the younger set. They came up with a strategy to present the lifestyle one can have by drinking their new, but safe product. One more wholesome, productive, and drama free. There were no wanton acts of degradation, no shock value involved, just pure unadulterated freshness in a can the second marketing company hoped to convey for its owner, Miss Ann Jelick. Unfortunately, the majority didn’t appreciate the taste of Salvation, opting to remain with their favorite drink instead. In fact, even the marketing company who produced the award-winning ads for Sin revealed a new set of commercials, which made fun of its competitor:
“Who cares about Salvation? Old, boring and it ain’t cool!”
“Nothing compares to Sin, not even a watery drink like Salvation! Sin has all the smooth aftertaste and more!”
“I wouldn’t be caught dead with Salvation! No way bruh, Sin is number one and it’ll always be that way!”
As one could expect, Sin continued its dominance in the marketplace while Salvation was nearly wiped out by the competition and would have disappeared altogether had it not been for one major flaw in Sin’s chemical composition. The ‘side effects’ weren’t noticeable at first due to the massive purchases worldwide. It appears De Monic Enterprises had lied - yes, lied
- about the content of sodium in their product. Although their labels said otherwise, the truth is that Sin had three times the regular amount of their competitors, added in with extra corn starch syrup to add to the ‘juicy’ flavor. Before too long, complaints of users with extraordinary amounts of high blood pressure, diabetes, and even fatalities were linked to Sin.
Due to public pressure, the makers of Sin and the advertising company faced their day in court. The advertising agency was found guilty in court with documents stating they knew the real illegal content in the soda, but somehow De Monic Enterprises was found not guilty of any of the charges. Sin as a soft drink ceased to exist after that, but the damage in the aftermath of users racking up high hospital bills, was done.
In the end, Salvation ended up the clear winner in the so-called ‘new cola wars’ but still found a negative stigma applied to the brand. In fact, former users of Sin still didn’t believe its competitor was the safer alternative, preferring the taste of Sin although it wasn’t around on the shelves any longer. In a ironic twist, the lead manager for the advertising company that helped to promote Sin, died. At his funeral, two of his assistants stood near the casket before it was lowered to the ground for good. One of the assistants turned to the other and using a familiar biblical quote said, “I guess it is true; the wages of Sin is death.” To which the other assistant nodded his head and replied, “But it made us rich, didn’t it?”