Coca-Cola released two attention grabbing Christmas ads, one of which has been taken down while the other is enjoying heightened support.
The first of the Coca-Cola ads was heavily criticized as being insensitive to the culture of the group it present. Furthermore, it was labeled as racist. Since December 1st the ad has been taken down from Coca-Cola’s YouTube channel. If you’re curious about the Coca-Cola ad you can still check it out online on third party sites. The fuss came around when the content of the Coca-Cola ad depicted the Totontepec Villa de Morelos community of Oaxaca, Mexico.
A group of young white people comes into the community with Coca-Cola and a Christmas tree. Both health groups and indigenous right groups criticized the Coca-Cola ad for being racist as well as insensitive. The indigenous community has been fighting spiking obesity rates for years now. Low awareness of the dangers of sugary drinks and their introduction to the indigenous community has led to a spike in obesity rates.
Nonetheless, according to Coca-Cola statements, the Christmas ad was misinterpreted. Within the apology message, the following statement could be seen:
“We deeply regret that the message has been misinterpreted when our intention was the exact opposite of the criticism received”.
The campaign for the Coca-Cola ad for Christmas was accompanied by the #AbreTuCorazon. The Christmas ad begins by stating that 81.6 percent of Mexicans feel that they are marginalized due to speaking another language. Thus the ad would have been an invitation for joining hands under the Coca-Cola banner, promoting acceptance and understanding of the other. The Christmas tree even lights up with the message Stand Together.
Yet for indigenous right advocates, the Christmas ad was a forceful introduction of consumerist practices in the indigenous community. According to Elvira Pablo, lawyer for indigenous rights, the Coca-Cola ad would have reinforced stereotypes rather than dismantling them. Others called the Christmas ad another colonialist attempt to brand Mexico.
We started this piece by announcing that Coca-Cola released two attention grabbing Christmas ads. The second of the Christmas ads, released in Denmark is more engaging and enjoys more support. One particular point: it contains a message which only 4.5 percent of the world’s population.
More specifically, the Christmas ad is targeted at color blind people. According to the Colour Blind Awareness NGO, an estimated 4.5 percent of the global population is color blind. At first glance, the Coca-Cola Christmas ad contains images of circles in different colours. For color blind people, the circles spell out the word LIFE. While a commercial for the new Coca-Cola Life beverage, the ad engages a small percentage of the global population as well.
Photo Credits: Wikimedia
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