In Memoriam – Fanta Shokata (Web Commercials)

Not the product. I’ve never had the product.

No this entry is another trip in the wayback machine. Lets time travel to the much celebrated early days of the internet.

In the now maligned days of web1.0, the internet was a true weird ass nerd zone. Where there was still FUN in the depths of the internet. Remember fun? And plus…corporations weren’t exactly….present…. not in the same way they are now. If they were, they were usually doing something strange.

Enter this campaign. I fucking flat out cannot remember who found this thing. But somehow, it entered our transom.

There it is. In its full low res glory. It was a campaign for this type of Fanta that didn’t exist in the US. But their campaign was….completely nuts.

It had clips from these random ass Indian movies. I don’t even know what the fuck movies these were from. I don’t know how Coca-cola got the rights to it. I didn’t ask.

But it was effectively an early meme generator. You could add your own subtitles and make it about whatever (This is the only example I could find of something close to the end result). It wasn’t there to make fun of any kind of cultural difference, it was entirely about reacting to what was going on the screen. And making it about whatever was going on with your friends at the time.

We made shit about school, about our friends, whatever.

And it caught like fire in my friends group. There was a strong…god…6 months period of just nothing but Fanta Shokata clips back and forth.

I remember it was one of the very few internet things that made the transition from my senior year of high school into the freshman year of college. That was such a weird and pivotal time… the rise of Kazaa and AOL Instant Messenger. But there was Fanta Shokata holding out strong.

By definition, this wasn’t going to last for ever. I was hoping it would get the same reverence that some websites from the early internet did, but that is just a fools errand.

I went back a few years later, before I graduated college, and it was all gone already. And I suppose that is the temporary nature of the internet. Nothing lasts forever.

Especially not a flash website with subs of old bollywood movies.

It’s yet another thing that I am glad I was there for. Glad I was there before memes became about who can be the biggest piece of shit.

A simpler time of just making jokes about video games or pooping with your friends.

Hats off to you Coca-cola marketing department. Way to make some shit I remember 20+ years later. Well done.

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