Coca-Cola campaign drops the ball with controversial name can

The contraversial can in question. Image: Twitter/@ManyikeInno

The contraversial can in question. Image: Twitter/@ManyikeInno

A Twitter user discovered a can of Coca-Cola reading ‘Share a Coke with Xitombo’, which translates to a slang word used for female genitalia.

Coca-Cola South Africa’s ‘Share a Coke with…’ campaign has proved to be hugely successful for their brand.

First launched in 2014 in the US, it has since reached South African shores, and has proved to be quite a talking point.

It started with ordinary names, moving to ordinary surnames, and towards the end of last year, began emphasising names that ordinary South Africans may not have heard before, in an attempt to break stereotypes, and make authentic South African names more recognisable.

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The campaign created a prominent social media presence for the company, with consumers being encouraged to hashtag #ShareaCoke.

The brand proved that engaging with consumers on a more personal level was a very profitable approach, and also solidified the company’s aim to be adaptable by using technological platforms to further boost sales, says Investopedia.

This sounds like a solid campaign, but one South African Twitter user will dispute this, after discovering a can of Coca-Cola reading ‘Share a Coke with Xitombo’, which translates to a local word used to refer to female genitalia.

(Hint: Another word for a cat)

In reaction to the alleged mishap, people who speak Xitsonga felt disrespected and insulted, demanding that the company’s brand manager apologise and provide clarity on the use of the word.

It is not known where or when the Coca-Cola can in question was purchased, and attempts to reach Coca-Cola South Africa for comment have so far been unsuccessful.

Updates will follow as communication from the company is received.

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