As millions of Americans, and more around the world, were transfixed by the Senate committee testimony by Dr. Christine Blasey Ford and Judge Brett Kavanaugh, only one brand managed some very prominent–almost certainly unintentional–product placement.
As Dr. Ford gave her emotional testimony, a large bottle of Coke sat on the desk in front of her.
She began her testimony with a call for some caffeine, and a senator asked if she’d like a Coke, but she initially got her fix from an anonymous cup of coffee.
That was soon replaced, though, by a bottle with an unmistakable red and white label.
It’s not the first time a brand has unintentionally found itself at the center of a controversial news event. The murder of O.J. Simpson’s wife and Simpson’s subsequent trial became synonymous with brands and products like Ford’s Bronco, Isotoner gloves, Bruno Magli shoes, and whatever mug Judge Lance Ito had on his desk any given day. A spokesperson for Bruno Magli told The New York Times at the time, ”It’s certainly not the best way to get the name out there. But it’s effective. Now we have a bigger audience of people who know about our shoes.”
The last time the country was transfixed by a sexual assault or harassment allegation during a Supreme Court confirmation hearing was in 1991 when Anita Hill testified against Judge Clarence Thomas. In that testimony there was a very specific story about a pubic hair on a soda can.
Just guess which brand that was.
Coca-Cola has not yet responded to a request for comment.