Woody Bendle has guest authored several rants on the Brainzooming blog, so I figured I’d take a run at one myself.


Photo via: http://www.thedieline.com/

A Creative Thinking Rant

A Fast Company article this week from John Brownlee whines excessively about a design change on Coca-Cola cans and the perceived lack of creative thinking behind it. Coca-Cola has apparently redesigned its cans so ice cubes depicted on the can change color to indicate when the contents are adequately chilled.

The article complains about the move as a needless design change others have already done that presents no practical benefits for Coca-Cola drinkers – other than for those “people without hands” who want a cold Coke.

These types of articles are so annoying – and so lacking in creative thinking, ironically.  They seem primarily written to:

  • Ride a current news wave – since Coke will be publicizing the change, driving interest
  • Gain SEO impact – by catching people searching on Coke
  • Provide a high-visibility gathering place for other creative thinking whiners – since it seems people love nothing more than piling on to a needlessly contrarian article, especially on a major website


Temperature Sensitive Coca-Cola Ice Cube Cans Are Okay

As an avid drinker of pop (as we call it here in the Midwest) although not a frequent Diet Coke drinker, I can name at least five situations where this feature delivers a benefit:

  1. Someone else placed a can of pop in the fridge, and you can do a visual check on whether it’s chilled.
  2. A can may feel cold, but the contents are warmer than you’d imagine or prefer.
  3. A can was just put into an ice chest at a public event, and you can tell in advance if they try to sell it to you while it’s still warm.
  4. A can is in an ice chest and you don’t want to have to get your hands sopping wet only to discover the pop isn’t chilled yet.
  5. You have one of those expensive fridges with glass doors, and you save energy by not opening the door to check whether the can is cold.

All but number 5 have taken place for me in the past several weeks. Number 3 was especially frustrating since I paid a buck for a warm Diet Coke straight from an ice chest at an event.

So yes, there ARE reasons why this design change delivers a benefit.

Just maybe writers who specialize at complaining about someone else’s perceived lack of creative thinking would do well to spend a few moments doing their own creative thinking to come up with some ideas that are more winning than whining. – Mike Brown


If you enjoyed this article, subscribe to the free Brainzooming blog email updates.


Learn all about how Mike Brown’s social media strategy development workshops can boost your organization’s success!

If you enjoyed this post, make sure you subscribe to my RSS feed!

Mike Brown

Founder of The Brainzooming Group, and an expert on strategy, creativity, and innovation. Mike is a frequent speaker on innovation, strategic thinking, and social media.

More Posts - Website

Follow Me:
TwitterFacebookLinkedInPinterestGoogle Plus

3 Responses to “Creative Thinking Rant: Temperature Sensitive Coca-Cola Ice Cube Cans Are Okay”

  1. Bradley Woody Bendle says:

    Attaboy MIke! Good to see you getting your Rant-On this morning!

  2. Mike Brown says:

    This is from Michael Irvin who agreed to let me share it here as a comment:


    Great article by the way. I have another take on it however. It’s a gimmick. Plain and simple. Just like New Coke in the eighties. It’s advertising smoke and mirrors. Most people are for one or the other when it comes to products. They are Ford or Chevy, Pepsi or Coke, Macy’s or Dillard’s and the list goes on. Gimmick’s such as sales, giveaways, contests, rebrands (yes I said it) and the like will temporarily bring attention to a product but eventually we go back to what we know and like.

    Coke has been using gimmick’s for over a hundred years to bring attention to it’s brand. It’s nothing to whine about and as gimmick’s go they can or can’t be very creative. P.T. Barnum was the master of gimmick’s and most were very creative. Ten per cent off on a non-existent product just to get you in the door is not very creative and borders on fraud. In other words anything we do in marketing to Manipulate the consumer into trying our products is a gimmick. It just is.

    To truly be a marketing genius we need to use our creative juices to figure out ways to inform the consumer as to WHY our product is better than theirs and WHY the consumer should buy it. We also need to convey WHY we are in business. It’s the WHY that usually remains unanswered in our society as to the reason a company exists in the first place. A good book on the topic would be “The Responsible Company” written by Patagonia’s founder, Yvon Chouinard and Vincent Stanley. Patagonia understands the WHY factor and lives and breathes it much to it’s own success.

    Mike thanks for stimulating my mind. I love it when you bring up topics that triggers my passion. Keep up the good work.

    Your Buddy,


    Michael Irvin Big Idea Guy

    Creative Project Manager
    Graphic Design and Illustration
    HBIGIC (Head Big Idea Guy in Charge)