Lifestyle & Culture

Your [Adı] Here

September 26, 2014

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Coke2webI HAD JUST GOTTEN used to those odd cans of Coke at the supermarket that called out “BFF” and “Friend” and “Buddy” when I went off for a couple of weeks in Turkey. Somehow I wasn’t prepared to see bottles there emblazoned with “Canım,” which my friend Burcin told me means “Sweetie” or “My dear” or close enough. There were other titles and names as well; it turns out that the “name” campaign started out in Australia way back in 2011 and reached our shores only this past summer. (Better late than never? Coke printed the 250 most popular names on its cans; you can go online to see if yours is among them. “Nancy” is clearly old-fashioned and isn’t there.)

As odd a fit as I thought Turkey was for such a campaign (after all, its major beer is named Efes for the fabled Greek ruins of Ephesus–rather a grand allusion, don’t you think?), my fabulous translator/guide Orhan Sezener pointed out what I should have known: Since 2008, the CEO of Coca-Cola has been the rather hunky Muhtar Kent, a Turkish American born in New York, where his father was the Turkish consul-general. And after working at Coca-Cola for two decades, he hopscotched to CEO of (wait for it) Efes Beverage Group, returning after half a dozen years to his Coke home as top guy. Hmmm, wonder if “Honcho” is on any of the cans. And how do you say that in Turkish? (BTW, adı means “name.”)

–Nancy McKeon

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