When my sister and I were growing up, our parents were kind enough to take us to child-friendly museums and national parks and even Disney World so we could learn about the wider world beyond our suburb and also spin around in giant teacups. All these places had gift shops, and all these gift shops had mugs and keychains and magnets and miniature license plates and other souvenir tchotchkes with names on them. In theory, I really had no use for a mug or a keychain or especially a miniature license plate with my name on it. But every time, on every rack, the alphabetical list of names skipped from Adam to Alison (or more recently, from Aidan to Alice). It made me sad.
But now Coca-Cola has taken pity on those of us who don’t have names in the top 100. At least in Australia.
This is part of Coke’s Share a Coke campaign, which in past years put the most popular names on Coke bottles to make them more personal. “This year,” writes the website Freedays, “the names celebrate the diversity of the Aussie population, as well as some of our favourite nicknames, surnames and terms of endearment (think Legend, Princess, Champ, Bogan, Old mate, Cuz, The gals, The boys, Bro, Sis, Mum, Dad, BFF, Nanna, Pop and Santa!).... However, if your name is really unique you probably won’t find it on this list.”
And so the beverage company began this past January to install vending machines in shopping centers that custom print names on Coke cans! And the cans are even free (with the right QR code)! Oh, brave new world!
For now, the machines are in just three permanent locations in Sydney and one on the Gold Coast, although pop-ups are also circulating throughout Sydney and southeast Queensland. Customers are delighted, The Daily Mail reports, lining up for so they can have their names printed on Coke cans and bottles and commemorating the experience on social media. “That’s mad, I am coming down to get some,” wrote one commenter. Me too, social media dude, me too. Oh, wait, I can’t go anywhere. LOL.
Dear Coke, please bring these machines to Chicago very, very soon. Thank you. XO, someone who has never had a cheap personalized plastic souvenir and thinks a Coke can is much nicer. Yes, yes, I know you can order a custom bottle through the mail, but who doesn’t love instant gratification?