Progress, Of A Kind

By now, most of you have seen the Coca-Cola “diversity” commercial that aired during the Super Bowl. If you somehow have avoided it, here it is:

As to be expected, unfortunately, there was a bit of xenophobic, racist backlash against Coca Cola and the message their advertisement was sending. Now, it would be easy to argue against this vitriol by mentioning the immigrant (both willing and forced) history of this nation or the unquestionable ethnic and cultural diversity that it still continues to have. As well, one could state how such a diverse nation is a huge boon and the freedoms of being able to express one’s culture and language is the envy of other oppressed nations. Ultimately though, I am not too concerned about that or the spewed ignorance by people toward this commercial.

I am not saying that these reactions are insignificant or that they should not be addressed, but in reality these people are a small vocal minority (a tad of poetic justice, no?). Still, the main reason that I am not concerned is because Coca Cola decided to spend millions on making and showing this commercial during the biggest live event America produces knowing full well that these reactions were going to happen. They still showed it. Whatever your opinion of Coca Cola is, they are one of the largest corporations in the world. As such, it is not interested in making social changes, creating conversations, or promoting any specific ideologies. No, Coca Cola only cares about selling more Coke and Coke products.

Advertisements during the Super Bowl are the most expensive airtime you can purchase. Coca Cola has probably thousands of market researchers and analysts who decide which markets to address and how to best push their brand. What does this mean? Basically, that Coca Cola made a rational, money based decision to create and present their advertisement calculating that their potential new sales would outweigh/pace their potential losses. So, that signifies that there is enough of a market (people) that could be addressed with this ad that Coca Cola wanted to obtain that would outweigh the people that would be put off by it.

If an organization as big as Coca Cola is willing to bet on the people that like this type of commercial more than the ones who wouldn’t it probably means that the latter group is diminishing while the former is growing. This is essentially why I am not too concerned with the reactions of random internet citizens because they really are a shrinking minority that will hopefully one day be nonexistent.

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2 thoughts on “Progress, Of A Kind

  1. Did Coke market that to an audience that was diverse, tolerant, and international or to an audience that likes to think of itself as such? My concern is that the backlash to the “ignorant Americans” was just as vitriolic and passionate. If you abstract the message of both sides such that only the underlying value/motive/emotion remains, then the otherwise conflicting parties have a startlingly great deal in common. I tend to be skeptical of anyone who tells me he’s virtuous, tolerant, or free of prejudice. Those qualities are often apparent in the person’s actions, not their boasting of having such qualities.

    • I think most of the audience for the commercial falls under the category of “I don’t give a shit.” Which is where I believe most people fall under. They are neither the ‘ignorant Americans’ nor the ‘all encompassing liberals’ that media presents for the sake of ratings.

      Most people saw the commercial and thought;
      ‘Huh, could really go for a Coke right now. What?! All you got is Pepsi. Well fuck you then, this is America dammit land of the Coke!”

      But seriously I agree that anyone who spouts their accolades and accomplishments tend to be hiding something. Though I am not sure as to the common ground these two opposing sides might have.

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