Blog  »  Coke is happy you're a racist

Coke is happy you're a racist

February 3, 2014
Writing

When 30 seconds of advertising costs about $4 million, you’d better bet Coca-Cola’s minute-long Super Bowl commercial was well thought out. The ad simply featured “America the Beautiful,” sung in different languages by people of different colors.

That’s it.

And yet, this ad might be the most deviously effective commercial of the night. Why?

First, we were forced to remember that there are still a significant number of idiots like these out there:

And the more ignorant, comically misled ones (let’s think about this for a second):

Then, after having exposed our less seemly cultural elements, the #fuckcoke hashtag was taken over by people speaking out against racism, battling oppression, and fighting the good fight—to support Coke!

The reaction on all sides was incredibly vitriolic, and entirely predictable.

The commercial itself was benign: a well-produced nod to our country’s multiculturalism, and unassailable in the PR world. And yet, airing it during one of America’s lowest-common cultural denominators, it was inevitably going to stir up some rather vocal morons. And, just as inevitably, the more level-headed majority would undoubtedly call back against these obscenities.

Who could have predicted that? Well, anyone worth their salt in marketing (you probably caught wind of the recent racist backlash against Cheerios).

By anticipating the public reaction, Coke was able to take a one-minute commercial and turn themselves into freedom-fighters and cultural trailblazers, spitting in the face of intolerance! Standing firm against all odds! Helping us to realize the true nature of our American Creed!

Genius.

The best marketers in the world know that the game has changed. Victories are not won in the brief television spot, but in the conversation afterwards. Millions of dollars to control the airwaves are wasted if you’re not controlling people’s ideas.

As I tweeted during the heat of the discussion:

Everyone bashing the commercial, everyone bashing the racist response, everyone supporting Coke, and (lets not kid ourselves) everyone writing analytical blog posts about Coke’s marketing strategy, are playing right into their hands.

But you know what? After a long day of battling bigotry and corporate manipulation, I could sure go for a nice, refreshing Coca-Cola.

They’re the best.

Comments

John Michael on

well thought out, and well written. way to point out the big picture puppeteers in this situation. big advertising is one of the largest threats to free minds in the world, its important to understand it's manipulative mechanics. I'd love to boycott Coca Cola just for messing with America's head but Mexican Coke in a glass bottle just tastes so damn good. way to keep us on our toes

Richard on

The ad was intentionally provocative, which means coke was intentionally manipulating people's emotions. If you felt good or bad about the ad then you were had. Either way you were used and coke further added to the divisiveness of the country.

David Powell on

Coke added to the divisiveness of the country? Think not,This country has always been divided along racial and ethnic lines. Willing to bet most of the negative comments came from people in former Confederate states. "Can't fix stupid"!

Anthony C on

I wonder if most Native Americans are so smitten with with this nation's "diversity"? Because, like with almost any perspective of what's right, wrong, racist, etc., it all depends on where you put your finger down in the timeline of history.

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