I’m going to do something here nobody else has done anywhere else on the Internet… talk about Coca-Cola’s Super Bowl ad.
I’m of course employing a bit of sarcasm. (Also something no one has ever done on the Internet.) A quick Google News search indicates more than 84,000 unique articles referencing Coca-Cola and the Super Bowl. For a sense of scale, perennial advertiser Bud Light appears to have about 17,800 stories about the Belgian-owned beer flavored water.
If you haven’t heard any of the discussion lately AND missed the big game… in exchange for your sharing the price of real estate under that rock, I’ll sum up. It’s America the Beautiful, sung first in English then transitioning into Spanish and, umm, other assorted languages.
When I watched it at the time, my only impression was that they came back to English for America, America, God shed his grace on thee, and went back to Marklar for the other verses. I assumed they probably did this to deflect some possible criticism.
In the week since, some people out there are absolutely having kittens over the ad. I first learned about the vitriolic extent of the reaction by seeing some stories that amounted to “Ha ha, look at those crazy conservatives all worked up over the Coke ad because they secretly hate foreigners.” I went around to some of the articles hoping to find a more nuanced case against the ad… perhaps something I’d missed. But no, it pretty much was just “English!! Because… ‘Murrica!”
To be fair, as with most of these types of dust-ups the pendulum swung too far the other way. I saw people posting to Facebook pictures of Michele Bachmann with a quote “If English was good enough for Jesus to write the Bible it’s good enough for me.” Which, of course, she never said — but people eager to smugly prove their superior intellect were duped because it matched what they wanted to believe.
Here’s my thing though… the ad was genius. Not because it drew a connection between the most globally recognized and distributed product in the world and, ummm, globalization. The Coca-Cola ad was genius because it was just exactly controversial enough.
It’s a week out, and is Fox News rolling in experts to break down Demaryius Thomas’s route running? Is Ann Coulter speculating whether future drafts will emulate Russell Wilson-esque quarterback profiles? No… it’s hours upon hours of “Let’s watch that Coca-Cola ad again and discuss it some more.”
It’s (admittedly a much milder) reincarnation of what happened after the Janet Jackson / “nipplegate” halftime show insanity. However, unlike that mess ten years ago, the FCC won’t have a damned thing to say about Coke choosing to toss in a little Esperanto. It was just controversial enough to draw eyeballs.
An of the 84,000 articles, I’d wager none of them say “That ad with America the Beautiful, I don’t even remember what it was for…” That was the late 90s tradition of Super Bowl ads. “Oh, I loved the one with the guy herding the cats. That was my favorite commercial! I don’t remember what it was for, but the commercial was great!!!”
No, this is 84,000 published conversations about Coca-Cola.
Well played, Coke. Hell, you outplayed Denver anyway.
Remember how Denver was in the Super Bowl that had that Coke ad?