Coca-Cola Kid: A Failed Marketing Stunt
The game begins with the ‘Coca-Cola Kid’ (no real name given) at school. From inside his classroom he hears a noise in the hallway. He then rushes out of class to learn that his teacher has been abducted by a mysterious man. Distraught, he sets out to rescue her.
Let’s take a look at just a FEW of the crippling flaws this game had:
The first flaw we encounter in the game is the poor story line presented at the start. The purpose for the game was to market the Coca-Cola brand to children by dragging them into a ‘fun’ game that subliminally advertises Coca-Cola in a subtle but effective manner. The story line failed to draw in the audience’s attention, already failing to keep the player’s attention.
The graphics are sub-par and the focus is clearly on the brand and not the game itself. In many backgrounds of the game, the colour is practically nonexistent, save for the main character and the vivid red Coca-Cola signs and cans. While a novelty to see at first, this quickly becomes an eyesore and works to advertise AGAINST the brand it “advertises”.
It Was a Kids Game – With a ‘Dominatrix’ Last Boss
The ending of the story is highly sexual and is definitely not suited for its main demographic, “kids”. Upon reaching the final stretch of the journey and completing the final level, the player is greeted with the final boss: a flying dominatrix bent on whipping the protagonist (who is a child) into submission. Given the rather cartoony feel of the game, you would assume that the plot would be more lighthearted, like somebody trying to steal the secret formula for Coca-Cola. Instead, the story is propelled by a kidnapping and ends with a BDSM enthusiast. Somehow, this is not the end of it.
(Spoilers) The End Cut-scene… The Child is Suffocated by…
After conquering the final boss, the player is treated to a “cutscene”, in which the teacher is finally freed from whatever forces she was imprisoned by. Overwhelmed with happiness, she nearly kills the boy by suffocating him with her breasts. Although the event is slightly comical and is overall wholesome, the mere addition of her chest is unsettling after given the image of the final boss attempting to whip the protagonist, who is a CHILD.
It Was a Game Gear Exclusive
Arguably the worst fault of all concerning the Coca-Cola Kid is Sega’s choice to make it a Game Gear exclusive game. The Game Gear was Sega’s answer to Nintendo’s extremely popular Game Boy, claiming the system to be a technologically superior handheld to the Game Boy. The Game Gear was superior in processing power, but it inevitably lost due to its lacklustre battery life and large frame. Unfortunately, the device was a marketing flop, selling only 10 million copies and dooming the Coca-Cola Kid to a failed system.
Overall Coca Cola Kid, was a failed marketing stunt by Coca Cola Company. The game was dull, and unpolished and should have never been created in the first place. Paired with the horribly marketed Game Gear, Coca Cola kid was just another publicity stunt, that is not even worthy of being a SEGA title.