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Ovation: Coca Cola Included A Gay Family In Their Super Bowl Advertisement.

02/03/2014

SuperBowl2014AdsMy friends and I usually joke that the commercials and the snacks are the best part of a Super Bowl party.  This year it was no joke.  The game was far from exciting and the commercials weren’t even all that great.  Many of them had been released early online or via social media and the others just weren’t all that remarkable.  There was one commercial, however, that was a Super Bowl first.

In the second quarter of Super Bowl XLVIII, Coca Cola became the first advertiser to show a gay family in an ad during America’s biggest televised sports event.  The short scene appeared as one of many in a sweeping ad that celebrates America’s collection of diverse creeds, codes and individuals.  Two male partners and their daughter are seen roller-skating while a chorus of children sing “America the Beautiful”.

Many are praising the spot as a step forward for the advertising industry and I agree.  Particularly for Coke as the company’s marketing efforts have been under fire of late.  A social marketing campaign that allowed customers to give each other digital bottles of coke with words written on them, for example, recently backfired after the site wouldn’t allow users to put the word “gay” on the bottles.  Word of the peculiar censoring spread quickly and the campaign was quietly ended.

The company has also been criticized for sponsoring the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics because the host country, Russia, passed a law in 2013 banning the distribution of propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations to minors which, essentially, outlaws any endorsement of LGBT rights.

After the Super Bowl commercial aired, Sarah Kate Ellis, President and CEO of GLAAD released the following statement.

“Coca-Cola has demonstrated to corporate America that being LGBT-inclusive is good business, but as the world turns its attention to Sochi for the 2014 Winter Olympics, it’s time for sponsors of the Olympics like Coca-Cola to show the whole world how beautiful LGBT families are.” – Sarah Kate Ellis, President and CEO of GLAAD.

While the appearance of the two men and their daughter lasts only seconds during the actual commercial, it was seen by tens of millions of viewers during the Super Bowl broadcast, it was presented very matter-of-factly, was in no way controversial and allowed Coca Cola an opportunity to remind us all that it would like to teach the world to sing in perfect harmony.

Did you even notice the gay couple and their daughter in the commercial?  Or were you busy enjoying the snacks … the best part of Super Bowl XLVIII?

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6 Comments
  1. I saw The Gays and liked it, but what i noticed right off was that some of “America” was sung in languages other than English, and I imagine that pissed off a lot of Conservatives who want English as the “official” language of the US.

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  2. The whole commercial was cool. I loved the diversity in America theme. That is America. I am sure Bob’s comments above will be proven true from some source. If you were not a Seahawks fan, the game was awful. I stopped watching after the second half kick-off was returned for a TD, so I missed many commercials.

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    • I, too, love the theme of diversity. It seems that far too many among us have forgotten our “melting pot” origins and the message found at the base of the Statue of Liberty that has greeted untold numbers of immigrants:

      “Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
      With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
      Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
      A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
      Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name,
      Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
      Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
      The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
      “Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
      With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
      Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
      The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
      Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
      I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

      Actually, you may not have missed as many commercials as you think. It seemed to me that many had already been made available online prior to the game.

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      • Thanks for the Statue of Liberty message. I think you can use some of this language when you counter someone who does not value diversity. I love the “wretched refuse” line.

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  3. thedogs'mother permalink

    Didn’t watch the Coke commercial. Not a fan of drink this sugar laden drink and experience life, love and happiness ads. Glad they included two dads and one daughter.
    Now. Give me a horse and puppy ad any day of the week! (But don’t touch beer either… otoh,
    the gnomes had Rainier beer for their Super Bowl party.)

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