The Coca-Cola Co. said it altered a Full Throttle commercial, scheduled to air Sunday, Feb. 5 during the Super Bowl, after the ATA and others in the trucking industry expressed concern about the spot.
In the original version of the ad online at the Full Throttle website earlier this week, a tractor-trailer with the Full Throttle logo drives through a residential neighborhood, luring excited men from their homes. The big rig’s followers form a motley procession of sometimes destructive vehicles, including a tank that crashes through a house. A Red Bull driver in a much smaller truck sees the Full Throttle truck looming in his rear-view mirror and pulls off the road in a hurry.
Coca-Cola told the ATA Friday, Feb. 3 that the final version of the ad, which will air on television only once, will differ from the original cut. Coca-Cola says it removed the rear-view mirror view of the tailgating truck and scenes of an unbelted “cowboy” driver who seemed to enjoy forcing the smaller vehicle off the road.
Bill Graves, ATA president and chief executive officer, says the trucking industry appreciates the last-minute changes, so that “Coca-Cola showcases its great product in a manner that does not do so at the expense of our industry image.” Every Coca-Cola product depends on truckers to reach its customers, Graves pointed out. “The industry has just completed its safest year ever in setting a record low large truck fatality rate,” Graves says.
Calls to Coca-Cola were not returned.