Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Coke: Mixed Message, Mixed Response

The following is a snarky commentary to recent events. All events portrayed in this article are true and factual, however the conclusions that are drawn are the author’s own and, though probably correct, are impossible to verify.


Coke made headlines during the Super Bowl for having an ad that touched on two hot button issues with conservatives.

First, the song "America The Beautiful" was sung in a variety of languages, celebrating our country's diverse ethnic makeup.

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Several loud moth bigots took to twitter and other social media outlets condemning Coke and quoting Theodore Roosevelt who had called for English to be proclaimed our national language. (It wasn't, still isn't, but that is a topic for another day, possibly on another blog.)

Some fun examples:

"Nice to see that coke likes to sing an AMERICAN song in the terrorist's language. Way to go coke. You can leave America," tweeted @tylerwyckoff24.

@BornUnderReagan tweeted: “Dear Coke, Your commercial is a slap to the faces of my Italian and Finnish ancestors who came here & learned English. #AmericaIsBeautiful”

“WTF? @CocaCola has America the Beautiful being sung in different languages in a #SuperBowl commercial? We speak ENGLISH here, IDIOTS” tweeted user @iResistAll.

@RealTrueCon said: “#Characters in these Cola commercials, from Mexicans to Indians, learn to #SpeakAmerican already! Or better don’t be in em.”

Anyway, amid the outpouring of vitriol for Coke's audacity to show a variety of Americans, the inclusion of a gay couple, with a daughter no less, also touched off another flurry of hate with Fox news pundit Allen West saying we are clearly on the road to perdition among other things.

Gay rights organization GLAAD praised the ad, calling it "a step forward for the advertising industry."
But before you raise your can of Coke in a salute to the company’s liberal agenda and LGBT inclusion consider that Coke is also still a sponsor for the Sochi Olympics despite Russia’s notoriously horrible anti-gay laws and attitudes.

In fact, Olympic Security officials wear a Coke logo on their uniforms. Those same security officials are getting far less attention than they deserve for jumping and arresting a Russian gay rights activist who was simply holding a small rainbow flag as the Olympic flame went by on the road.

A boycott against Coke was called for a few months back… but as is often the case with boycotts, not much happened. (although there was a delightful anti Coke demonstration in Times Square)

But boycotts aside, the PR for Coke has been less than stellar lately. At least until the big game when Coke became the poser corporation for all things multicultural / nontraditional family.

Progressive step towards acceptance for those under the LGBT umbrella?


Brilliant PR tactic to shift attention?

You bettcha.

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