Coca-Cola’s In-Flight Napkins: Creepy or Brilliant?
Coca-Cola and Delta Air Lines in the US were caught in somewhat of a sticky situation earlier this year when what they thought was a brilliant publicity initiative, backfired. If you used the airline during January, you’ve probably seen the much-talked-about napkins and if you liked it, we hope you kept it as a souvenir, because you’re unlikely to come across anything like it ever again.
Coke’s in-flight napkins encouraged travelers to mingle a bit
Independent reported that the Diet Coke napkins travelers received during their Delta flight encouraged them to kick it old school by exchanging numbers with their plane crush. The one side of the napkin read: “Because you’re on a plane full of interesting people and hey… you never know.” At the back, there was a space where you could write down your name and number, with the words “Be a little old school. Write down your number and give it to your plane crush. You never know…”
Travelers shared their thoughts on social media
While some thought it was funny, many posted pictures of the napkin on social media, slamming Coke and Delta for the message on it, saying it is “creepy” and that the last thing anyone on a plane wants is the number of someone who has been gawking at them for hours.
Hey @Delta and @CocaCola These napkins are creepy AF. Pretty sure no one appreciated unsolicited phone numbers in the ‘good old days’ and they sure as heck don’t want the number of someone who has been gawking at them on a plane for hours today. Not a good look. pic.twitter.com/PJAiurFRMh
— ducksauz (@ducksauz) January 21, 2019
Another traveler tweeted that they thought the napkins were unintentionally creepy.
— Mike J (@MJJoe) February 1, 2019
Some people seemed to have made judgments without even reading the back *sigh*.
— Doctor Mike, PhD (@BolognaFarts) January 16, 2019
Other travelers thought that the napkins were hilarious and a brilliant idea. One Twitter user tweeted that they thought it was a pretty funny initiative.
— Terry Pendergist (@tigerterryp) January 16, 2019
Another tweeted that they were sorry that most people weren’t finding the humor they should in the “cute napkins”, saying that humanity has become a nation of complainers, adding that they’ll probably just have to write their name and number on a Delta Sky magazine in the future.
I would like to apologize to @delta and @DietCoke that people couldn’t find the humor in your cute napkins. We truly have become a nation of complainers. I guess I’ll just have to write my name/number on a ripped out page of Delta Sky magazine. https://t.co/Q6FzjC2BLf
— I Am Kevin K (@i_am_kevin_k) February 7, 2019
Others thought that the idea was pretty brilliant.
— Ben Starling III (@benstarling3) February 1, 2019
One traveler said that they found the napkins hilarious and loved the whole thing.
— Rebecca Rutherford (@JmpseatTherpist) February 7, 2019
Then there were those who gave it to everyone straight.
If someone on your @delta plane hands you a @dietcoke napkin and you don’t want it, just accept the complement and leave it. Also, if you don’t want to give someone your number, don’t. It’s that simple. But instead, y’all go crying on twitter about it. Grow up.
— Dende (@Guru_Of_Gay) February 9, 2019
Coca-Cola and Delta both apologized for the napkins
Some of the social media feedback was pretty hilarious, but because of all the negative feedback, Delta apologized to its customers and promised to remove the napkins from all its flights. A spokesperson for Delta told Insider that rotating Coke products regularly is part of the airline’s partnership with Coca-Cola, but that they seemed to have missed the mark this time.
A spokesperson for Coca-Cola also apologized, saying that they have started to remove the offending items and are replacing them with other designs. They also extended their apologies to anyone they might have offended.
Was it really worth all the fuss?
Were these napkins really offensive or are people just way too sensitive these days? We get it, you might not want the number of someone who has been stealing looks at you for an entire flight, but no one is forcing you to actually use the number on the napkin. And what if you were sort of eyeing that person too? It could have been the start of a beautiful relationship and an awesome story to tell your grandkids one day.
Neither Coca-Cola nor Delta was trying to offend anyone, they seemed to have thought that it was a fun, out-of-the-box initiative that some might enjoy – and there were those who did. It’s just sad that the negative commentary got all the attention, instead of the positive feedback, which there seems to have been plenty of. Perhaps this is a sign that a lot of us have started to take life so seriously that we no longer see the humor in the small things. Maybe that’s a trait many of us can work on. We don’t always have to be super serious – it’s always a good idea to leave room for some fun and a good laugh, even when you think something is absolutely ridiculous.
What do you think? Were these napkins creepy or brilliant? Let us know in the comments!