Big as ...

According to my sources this Coke can was made as part of the “Share a Coke” promotion at the Bondi Junction Westfield sometime in October last year. It turned up on Facebook last night.

For many people in Darwin and the Top End “budju” is a word in common use, particularly among those of us who’ve been here for a while. Budju is part of the Top End Aboriginal vernacular lexicon. I’ve not found it included in any printed dictionary.

There are two main senses – meanings – for budju. In the more commonly used general sense it describes an attractive woman. In the historical and more particular sense it is used to refer to a specific part of a woman’s anatomy.

Budju is a word I would normally only use among close male friends and only rarely if women were present, and then they would have to be women that I knew well.

Its not hard to find out why we should be cautious with budju – here is the definition from The Urban Dictionary.

1. budju: Originally an Aboriginal translation for ‘vagina‘ the words meaning has evolved and can be used as social term to classify a good looking person. Geographically localised to Northern Territory Australia. “Man!! Sheryl is a budju eh?“; “That chick is one sik budju” or “I have an itchy budju.”

And this is from The Online Slang Dictionary (note different spelling).

bujuGood looking person (Australian Aboriginal Slang) Derived from an Australian Aboriginal language it was also used as another word for vagina.

He/She is a real Buju.

See more words with the same meaning: vulva (‘vagina‘), female genitalia.

I’m curious about what checking, if any, was done before “Budju” ended up plastered along the side of a Coke can, but then again, if the deal was done at the Bondi Junction Westfield …

The “Share a Coke” campaign was, according industry source Australian FoodNews:

…a world-first Australian experiment, Coca-Cola is replacing the “Coke” branding with one of 150 of Australia’s most popular personal first names for its next summer marketing campaign. The company has allocated 268 million bottles and cans for personalisation. The campaign will include the use of Youtube and Facebook, encouraging people to promote the personalised bottles and broadcast their own names via SMS for display on a major advertising sign in Sydney’s King’s Cross. The heavy emphasis in this campaign on technology and social media is clearly targeted at young consumers and will be watched closely by the Coca-Cola headquarters in the US.

By mid-November Coke realised it was onto a good thing and extended the campaign. This is from Australian FoodNews again:

Coca-Cola South Pacific’s Marketing Director, Lucie Austin said, “The response from consumers and their interactions with the campaign has far exceeded our expectations. We’ve received a tremendous amount of requests for specific names to be included in the campaign, so we’re asking them to nominate names and vote.”

Ms Austin said Coca-Cola had gained a 20 per cent increase in Facebook fans since the launch of the campaign, and generated 28,000 Facebook posts about the campaign to date.

Coca-Cola will post the final shortlist for public vote from 6 – 14 December 2011. The final 50 names will be announced in mid-December before going into production. Consumers can expect to see the selected names on retailer shelves in January 2012.

Ms Austin reckoned that Coke was:

 “ … using the power of the first name in a playful and social way to remind people of those in their lives they may have lost touch with or have yet to connect with,” said Lucie Austin, marketing director, Coca-cola South Pacific. “We’ve put names on Coca-Cola bottles so consumers will have fun finding their friends’ and family members’ names and then enjoy sharing a Coke together.”

According to The Inspiration Room, the “Share a Coke” campaign was developed by:

Ogilvy Sydney and Naked Communications, with digital/social media handled by Wunderman, media handled by IKON. Point of sale work was done at Fuel. Activations were handled by Urban. Promotions were by Momentum. PR was by One Green Bean.

The “Share a Coke” promotion was a big gig for Ogilvy & Mather of Sydney, winning them a Bronze Direct Lion and a Bronze Outdoor Lion at the 2012 Cannes Lions “Festival of Creativity“.

Coke could have no complaints. In May 2012 Monash University’s Presto blog reported comments by Lauren Thompson, Communications Manager for Coca-Cola South Pacific that:

“62,208 virtual Coke’s were created, of which 56,211 were shared. This generated 1,719,227 newsfeed impressions”. Thompson also explained that there had been a 92 per cent increase in posts to the Facebook page.”

Getting a friend’s name plastered on a tin of the sickly sweet syrup was easy:

Simply get down to a participating Westfield shopping centre and the friendly Coke team will put your name on a 200ml Coke can – for real! Limit of one can per person, while stocks last.

Conditions apply, see below.

The conditions were straightforward, but included the admonishment that Coke would not:

 … print a name that is illegal, obscene, derogatory, threatening, violent, scandalous, inflammatory, discriminatory (on any grounds), or would give rise to or encourage conduct which is inappropriate or illegal or which is otherwise unfit to be printed.

I don’t reckon that putting Budju on the side of a Coke can is “illegal, obscene, derogatory, threatening, violent, scandalous, inflammatory, discriminatory, or would give rise to or encourage conduct which is inappropriate or illegal,” but it may be in poor taste and may be “otherwise unfit to be printed.”

So what next?

If it is OK to print “budju” on a can we look forward to cans with “Cunt“, “Tits“, “Balls” or “Penis” similarly emblazoned on the side?

No? I thought not …