When I was growing up every kid in the neighborhood had a little plastic license plate on the back of their bicycle with their name on it--yes, I know, these days we don't put our children's names where all the world can see them, and I totally agree with that (but I digress). When I was going up everyone had the little license plate with their name--except me.
You could find the display with the name plates in most places, dime stores like Kresge's and Ben Franklin (I am old) the corner drugstore, the grocery store. If you went to an amusement park, you could find souvenirs--hats, keychains, cute little wall plaques with your name on them. Unless you were me.Or someone like me with a not so common name.
Now my name is not all that unusual. I had an aunt and a cousin with the same name. I was named after my aunty, she was my favorite person. Heck there is even a book in the Bible with our name. But, no little plastic license plate or souvenirs.
I told myself it was OK, they probably wouldn't have spelled it right anyway--most people misspell it 99% of the time--which I have always found more than a bit odd because of that aforementioned book in the Bible. But you know, when you are a little kid, not finding your name felt like a rejection of you. As a grownup I am well aware that it was not a rejection, but when I was 6 years old, it felt like every kid in my neighborhood counted more than me.
Now, when Coca-Cola started the campaign with the names on the bottles, we bought my son one right away. He has a nice classic name, mass produced whenever name items are sold. Truthfully, I didn't even look for my name, because I just assumed it wouldn't be there.
So, there I was in the grocery store and I rolled past the Coke display and what do I see out of the corner of my eye? A bottle of diet coke with my name on it. MY NAME--Spelled correctly and everything!! I tell you, I had a visceral reaction and I grabbed up that bottle and held it and looked at it in wonder. There was my name. After all these years, I had been mass produced.
So, of course I bought it. Which is a bit silly, because I don't drink diet coke. My son doesn't drink diet coke. But there is a bottle of Diet Coke in the fridge. it will probably stay there for a long time, I'll probably empty it out eventually--but that bottle with my name on it will go on a shelf to be admired. Because ESTHER is a good name, and because those Coca-cola people are really smart marketers. Touch us where it matters, in our very identity, and we will buy it--even if we don't drink it.
Well played Coca Cola, and THANKS from the little girl who even though she knew it wouldn't be there looked for her name on every personalized souvenir she came across.
Peace and Blessings,