I’m not a big Coke drinker. In fact, I try to avoid it when I can, which is not easy when you’re married to a Texan. But regardless, I saw Coca-Cola’s “America The Beautiful” Ad last night and I couldn’t help but say something.
Obviously, there is a benefit to brands being controversial and many brands have chose to discuss RACE as part of a growing trend to use controversy to get eyeballs on their ads. But even so, I’m glad to see brands like Coca-Cola and Cheerios using race in positive discussions, rather than negative ones.
We need this kind of imagery. America needs it, because “diversity” is still seen as an oddity here. People who’ve been here for generations are still seen as “foreigners” and that’s just not acceptable anymore.
Brands doing it wrong.
Brands like Kraft have not been so kind with their controversial ads. In 2012, they attacked biracial identity with their “Mel the Milkbite” character and their Greek Yiayia ads for their brand Athenos. I haven’t bought anything from Kraft in over a year, and I can guarantee you - I never will.
Brands doing it right.
I’ve been a fan of Cheerios ever since they put out their ad with an interracial family last year, but since then, they’ve even taken it a step further. Showing us what an interracial family looks like from the inside. I can’t thank them enough for that. The power of ads like these truly is priceless, because it allows people who don’t get to see inside our world, the opportunity of realizing that we’re actually just like them.
Our lives are not “so different”. We’re not “so different”.
Coca-Cola is showing us more of the same too. And who knows, maybe seeing Cheerios’ success in standing by diversity has given other brands cause to take notice.
In the Coca-Cola ad I couldn’t help but notice the inclusion of so many different cultures and lifestyles. They really put a lot of thought into this and it shows. For that, I thank them. Because investing in diversity isn’t about being “PC” and appeasing the masses. It’s really about understanding each other and realizing that we’re all in this together.
As someone who knows just how much imagery in ads can affect our evolving psyches, I am really very hopeful that ads like this can expand our minds and allow us to see the truths that we didn’t even know were there.
Having a big brand defend the beauty of a woman in hijab, or a girl speaking Spanish, a same sex couple rollerskating with their daughter or a mixed race couple having breakfast together is a big deal.
Because what they’re saying is that we’re all different AND we’re all beautiful. The very things that make us different ARE what make us beautiful. And I think that is a powerful message to share.
It’s a transformational message…for all of us.