As storylines go, it couldn’t be more contrived. A young woman from Saudi Arabia, allowed to drive at last by a recent decree, accepts the key from her father and charges jerkily out of the block. But no sooner does her father hand her a bottle of Coca-Cola to drink deeply from than she gains confidence and drives smoothly.
The attempt to link the brand to a positive societal change is all but blatant, as the punchline – “Change has a taste” – shows. But responses on social media were mixd. One person tweeted that the ad “made her cry like a baby”, while another appreciated the effort to depict a positive story. But not everyone was as generous:
People also had a moment of déjà vu when they saw the ad, recalling the fiasco that Pepsi’s attempt to ride a street protest had led to.