Coca-Cola’s America Is Beautiful Ad: Why Liberals Should Be Upset

Jill Filipovic, Guardian (London), February 3, 2014

My favorite Super Bowl commercial last night was Coca-Cola’s #AmericaIsBeautiful. The spot, shot with an Instragram-filter aesthetic, featured a multi-lingual rendition of “America the Beautiful” sung by children and illustrated with a diversity of New Americana scenes: a cowboy riding his horse, kids at the movies, teenagers on surfboards at dawn and breakdancing at dusk, headscarf-wearing young women buying food from a cart in Chinatown, two men in yarmulkes looking upon the newly-built Freedom Tower, a same-sex couple roller skating and hugging their daughter. I admit it, I teared up a bit. And I braced myself for the predictable right-wing outrage.

But perhaps those of us who care about inequality and racism should be angry, too. Coca-Cola’s diversity ad wasn’t purposed just to celebrate the reality of a multi-ethnic America. It was to sell soda to rapidly-expanding but vulnerable populations, even if that means contributing to serious health problems, exploiting divides in class and education, and exacerbating racial inequality.

The genius of the Coca-Cola company is that they made the racial aspect of soda marketing work in their favor with this ad. Conservative indignation came immediately, and Twitter exploded with objections to the spot. “We speak ENGLISH here, IDIOTS” pretty much sums up the complaints.

{snip}

Coca-Cola knew exactly what it was doing with this commercial. It knew it would inflame white conservatives, but, more importantly, it knew the commercial would align Coke with Latinos and other quickly-growing groups in the United States. So Coke expands its market share and promotes its product while endorsing a vision of a diverse, multi-cultural America. What’s the harm?

Unfortunately, the harm lands squarely on the bodies of kids and families with few resources. Educated, affluent white Americans are drinking less soda than they were a few years ago, and soft drink makers now rely largely on “heavy users“–those who drink several sodas every day–to keep their businesses booming. Heavy users tend to be in lower-income areas–places New Orleans, Louisiana and Rome, Georgia. Coke is trying to expand that model. Long dominant in Latin America–that region is Coke’s second-largest market–the company has been trying to capture the Latino market in the United States through target marketing.

That is, of course, how businesses operate. But Coca-Cola’s model depends on consumers who drink significantly more soda than average–a habit that comes with a series of serious health consequences–and on targeting children, who will (ideally) be life-long Coke drinkers.

Expanding populations mean new consumers. American soda companies expanded abroad decades ago, and Coke has been especially aggressive at marketing its products to lower-income consumers who have enough extra cash to spend on a sugary indulgence. A crisis of conscience at his role in expanding Coke into impoverished Brazilian favelas caused one Coca-Cola executive to try and reign in the company’s practices; he was fired for his efforts. Coke has long been successful in Mexico, where it operates its largest independent bottling plant. That country is not only the second-highest soda consumer in the world, right behind the United States, but now has the world’s highest obesity rates (sinking the US to number two). In response to serious public health issues driven by soda consumption, Mexico recently implemented a plan to tax soda. Soda companies have launched a large-scale offensive against both the tax and any criticisms of soda.

In the United States, efforts at securing more “heavy users” are especially pernicious when directed at Latino communities. One in four Latino households in the US is food insecure, compared to one in 10 white households. Of the top 10 US counties with the highest rates of food insecurity, nine are predominantly Latino. Malnutrition rates are twice as high among Hispanic children as non-Hispanic children in the United States.

Hispanic children are also more likely to be overweight or obese. Nearly 12% of Hispanic adults have diagnosed diabetes–by comparison, only 7% of non-Hispanic white Americans have diagnosed diabetes. Within Mexican-American and Puerto Rican populations, diabetes rates climb above 13%. African Americans, also target “heavy user” consumers for soda companies, have diabetes rates that hover around 12%. Perhaps most disturbingly, younger Latinos face higher rates of developing diabetes than any other group: Latina girls born in 2000 have a more than 50% chance of developing the disease in their lifetime.

Marketing to low-income and of-color populations works. In one study focused on New York City, researchers found that the proportion of African-Americans, Puerto Ricans, Mexicans and Mexican-Americans who drank more than one soda every day was more than twice the proportion of whites. People living in households with income 200% of the poverty line or below were more likely to be regular soda drinkers than people in wealthier households. African-American New Yorkers were more than three times as likely as whites to drink soda frequently; Mexican-Americans were 2.9 times as likely, and Puerto Ricans were 2.4.

{snip}

Coke’s targeting of Latino and other immigrant populations is about as progressive as RJ Reynolds marketing menthol cigarettes to African-Americans or Phillip Morris hawking Virginia Slims to women–that is, not very. Before we applaud Coke’s advertising diversity, we should ask: do we really want Coke to diversify?

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  • MekongDelta69

    Ahh – good. The left-wing Guardian tool (Jill Filipovic), made sure she included all the (Orwellian) double-good-think words:

    “diversity”
    “multi-cultural”
    “racism”
    “inequality”
    “multi-ethnic”
    “classism”
    “right-wing outrage”
    “educated, affluent white (small “w”) Americans” (who are bad)

    • Pelagian

      Excellent. Make your Disqus profile available to followers so we won’t miss your thoughts.

    • Nathanwartooth

      “Peddling (what she considers) ‘bad stuff’ to White people = GOOD”

      Well, white males at least. You know, those people who created everything evil in the world.

    • NeanderthalDNA

      Nothing more to really say, MD69.

      As a former libtard I was simultaneously gagging and guffawing at the shibboleths she puked up.

      Leave it to her type to get all righteously indignant for the wrong reasons. Pathetic and hilarious simultaneously.

    • Lagerstrom

      Jayzuz. I tried to read it all and I just couldn’t. Gave me a bloody headache.
      Thanks for the ‘precis of sorts’ Mekong.
      Bottom line if there is indeed one?
      Go ahead and drink Coke, or not. The choice is yours.

      • tlk244182

        I couldnt finish it either.

  • Puggg

    I like this story in a way. Because Coke seemed to have made no friends and a whole lot of enemies with that dumb ad of theirs.

    • sbuffalonative

      They did this after the Cheeros commercial so they likely knew this would spark ‘outrage’ which means they wanted the free publicity.

    • BonV.Vant

      I’d Like to teach the men at coke
      to think with clarity
      not coddling for incoming
      third world welfare hordes

      • BonV.Vant

        verse two
        I’d like to buy a great big boat
        and send illegals home
        to africa and mexico
        or wherever they come from

  • DaveMed

    Yes – because the typical Latino-American diet was just so pristine and nutritious before the commercial.

    /rolleyes

    • Lagerstrom

      It just got a lot worse Mr Insensitive! They’re now mixing their tequila with Coke!

    • Fathercoughlin

      Mexicans are the fattest in the world. Coke wants them Foo Stamps!

  • the sound the flood the hour

    I might be wrong but I’m pretty sure hispanics suffer from type 2 diabetes at significantly higher rates than whites. Something to think about when your trying to take america from the gringo.

  • bigone4u

    I don’t need some nanny state loving progressive lecturing me on what I can eat, drink, or smoke. The smug self-righteousness is dripping from the venomous pen of this libtard who whacks conservatives while “protecting” minorities. We do speak English here, madam. Do you deny it?

    Every liberal cliche and target is trotted out by this moron writer whose opinions are worse than worthless. You need to go on a diet lady.

    • Pelagian

      I hate the recent cliché of women who pose for their picture putting a hand on their hips. Two hands on your hips is “double tough”, “double I’m going to cut your n&%$ off”.

      • MekongDelta69

        Just hook this ‘thing’ up with Tracey Halvorsen from Baltimore.

        I’m sure they’ll get along (*cough cough*) famously…

      • Lagerstrom

        Problem is…she doesn’t look tough!

    • BonV.Vant

      you are lazy when it comes to photoshop. You should of selected her, cut her, pasted her to a new layer, THEN use your photoshop tools to expand her mid section. What you have in this picture is a distortion of her and the door and door frame.

      • bigone4u

        I got the pic from the wehatefatpeople wordpress blog. She’s a feminist blogger who created the feministe website, not a reporter, whose schtick is to shame men, conservatives, “racists,” etc. She’s a fat apologist. Quoting Jill, “Fat hate hurts everyone.” That line deserves the payback wehatefatpeople gave her. The undistorted Jill is seen here:

        • http://www.amren.com/ Michael Christopher Scott

          She’s not really very fat at all.

          • BonV.Vant

            not by 1950s standards for sure.

          • bigone4u

            ALL women I’ve ever met believe they need to go on a diet. It hurts their feelings when you agree with them, of course.

          • dd121

            They’re fishing for a compliment, and you’re not biting.

        • BonV.Vant

          ok so the laziness was to yours but someone did a poor job.

        • Katherine McChesney

          The word “Grease” is written on her stomach.

    • The Final Solution

      She’s obviously on the 2 liter a day diet. Obesity is always someone else’s fault. Coke employees held her down and forced her to drink gallons of the stuff.

    • sbuffalonative

      YOU GO GIRL!

  • Pelagian

    This is a great opportunity for we whites to become MORE healthy and serve a good cause too: bringing down Coke and their homophile, multi-culti, America-for-everybody-else-but-Americans agenda. If you switch to drinking water, in whatever format (cop, glass, bottle) you would be much healthier, all doctors agree. the key to drinking water is to get it at a temperature you enjoy. I myself like it about 5° colder than room temperature. Many people like it ice cold. Diet Coke may well give you cancer anyway.

    • bigone4u

      I live in the south where it’s hot and a cold soda is a tradition. However, I buy the store brand rather than Coke or Pepsi, companies that make clear that they have become the enemies of white people.

      • http://www.amren.com/ Michael Christopher Scott

        We drink unsweetened iced tea. I used to make instant, but my wife had me brew it from Japanese green tea, and now I can’t abide instant. In the summertime, I also make mint tea. We grow mint out front and I dry out the stems and leaves, grind them to powder once dry, and then use the mint powder in the coffee-maker. I do the same with orange peels to make a nice, unsweetened orange drink. The sodas I’ve had in the last 10 years I could count on the fingers of one hand.

        • Who Me?

          We bought a 6 pack of Coke last summer when we went camping. At Christmas time we brought it in from the trailer because we thought somebody might want some. It’s still sitting in the pantry–all 6 cans…we just never drink the stuff. (We don’t drink other pop either.)

  • BonV.Vant

    The add was a form of “airbrushing away” the ethnic identity and history of the US. IT was race replacement propaganda. If China moved 80 million Chinese to Korea and had them sing Korean nationalist songs in Chinese, thereby implying that Korea was only ever a province of China, then the Koreans would be right to be upset . If ten million middle easterners moved to Ireland and tried to paint Irish history as always being middle eastern, implying the Irish never existed, the Irish would be right to get upset. But we are called bigots when we don’t accept are replacement and the rewriting of culture and history to say that we never existed.

    • The Final Solution

      The logic of liberals – if America is becoming more multicultural, then it was always multicultural and must be multicultural.

      • BonV.Vant

        That is a good way of condensing what I was saying.

    • Einsatzgrenadier

      Terms like “racist” and “bigot” are ambiguous, intellectually vacuous labels used to silence dissenting points of view. In reality, a “racist” is a white man who stands up for his own racial heritage and unabashedly speaks the truth about the biological reality of racial differences.

      • http://www.amren.com/ Michael Christopher Scott

        I’m a racist and a bigot. I don’t even let it bother me. Since I’m 3/16 Amerind and according to the libtards the Injun (can I say that?) is never wrong, I get a free pass on these things.

  • Luca

    Now brown people are victims of Coca-Cola. Well if the poor darlings weren’t so damn stupid, they’d be drinking water which is cheaper and better for them.

    If Liberals really wanted to help the poor darlings maybe they should petition Obama and Co. to stop allowing soda and junk food purchases on EBT.

    • Ella

      Well, Medicaid will pick up the cost of their children’s rotten teeth from sugary soda products. Tax payer gets punished for both obesity and other health related costs. There are rewards beyond money to be healthy. We’re creating a nation of disabled people.

      • BonV.Vant

        Sugar is not the biggest enemy of tooth enamel. The real enemy is acids. They leach calcium form your teeth on contact. Colas are loaded with phosphoric acid. Many other soft drinks, especially some ice teas are loaded with tartaric acid. Many candies have acids in them..

        • Bossman

          Fruit juices such as orange juice is even a bigger enemy of tooth enamel than soda.

        • Max

          The phosphoric acid is gone in a relatively short time. The real problem is sucrose, a disaccharide which feeds S. mutans, the major cause of cavities. This is a colonial fermenter which particularly utilizes sucrose specifically to metabolize to lactic, formic and acetic acids and further, to encapsulate itself with polysaccharide biofilm which not only seals the low pH organic acids to the enamel surface but also prevents the higher pH saliva from remineralizing the teeth. This biofilm will form within about 12 hours and persist despite eating and drinking most foods.

          Anaerobic bacteria are the major cause of decay.

        • DaveMed

          The sugars are transformed to acids by oral bacteria, but your point is quite correct.

  • OhWow

    Please just put me in the time machine back to 1945. Please.

    • So CAL Snowman

      So you can relive the civil rights movement? Or perhaps celebrate the defeat of our European brothers?

      • Whitetrashgang

        How about 1964 with a sniper rifle.

  • Spartacus

    “African-American New Yorkers were more than three times as likely as
    whites to drink soda frequently; Mexican-Americans were 2.9 times as
    likely, and Puerto Ricans were 2.4.”

    ———————————————————————————————————————

    They’d better start drinking a lot more, because I’m not touching that stuff anymore .

  • Brian

    African-American New Yorkers were more than three times as likely as
    whites to drink soda frequently; Mexican-Americans were 2.9 times as
    likely, and Puerto Ricans were 2.4.
    ===
    Good grief– in addition to all the other gaps, now there’s a soda gap too. If I had to guess, I’d say East Asians drink less soda than whites… hmm, perhaps life is an IQ test.

    • Max

      What about homosexuals and orthodox Jews? That seems to be a target audience too -or did they just want to make sure they don’t feel left out like white, hetero, Christian males?

  • Strike_Team

    All I’ve noticed is hordes of PC pundits remarking on how the disgusting Coke ad was their “favorite”. These idiots all know which side their bagels are buttered on, no doubt about it.

    Most of these ads are created by the usual suspects, and then sold to corporations with all kinds of bunk and b.s. telling the corporate fat-cats that “this is the way to go” and this is the type of crap the public likes and responds to, that all these non-whites are the future of their markets, and more.

    The most disgusting aspect of these types of ads is the implication that these minawtees were significant in building America into the pinnacle of civilization (which it isn’t anymore). When you look at the overall history of the US, blacks, hispanics, the usual suspects, the rest of the non-whites, played little to no part in the creation of the US as superpower, as something that was once worthy of emulation. Now that the nation wreckers have just about finished up, there should be a warning label on the US flag.

    • The Final Solution

      Their contribution to the US extends now to barbering which is obviously a major pillar of Western civilization. How could white people have even functioned without some noble negro to keep those beards under control?

      • Max

        They just have a natural affinity for sharp objects.

    • Bossman

      So why did the USA import so many enslaved Africans? So why did the USA annex so much of what was Mexican territory? What about the American Indians who taught the early settlers how to survive in the wilderness of North America?

      • ncpride

        These ridiculous ‘examples’ of yours does not make his statement any less true should you actually comprehend what he wrote.

    • newscomments70

      Hi Strike_Team,

      I was just noticing some of your older comments. I was always inspired reading them. It was useful information for us, as well. It’s a shame you haven’t commented in awhile. I hope everything is ok with you. We hope to see you back online soon.

  • The Final Solution

    “Vulnerable populations” and “families with few resources” meaning they lack the resource of high IQs. I guess they could say that since soda is cheaper than water at 3 liters for a dollar, the poor tend to buy what is cheapest, but they don’t actually work to pay for them anyway. Last I heard welfare and food stamps come free and taxpayers pick up the tab. So what are these “resources” they don’t have that makes them powerless against the relentless assault of Coke? Doesn’t the article say that Coke already has a huge market in South America? Half of them already live in the US and you can buy Mexican cokes here almost anywhere so what the hell are they even talking about?

  • Ella

    It seems our entire food industry has become junkies to government welfare much like US govt. entices the general public to use EBT cards for anything consumable. This country is totally messed up in kinder words.

  • Tim_in_Indiana

    Compare:

    it knew the commercial would align Coke with Latinos and other quickly-growing groups in the United States

    with

    it knew the commercial would align Coke with Latinos and other groups that are quickly displacing whites in the United States

    The first is a perfectly respectable thing for lefties to say, while the second is RACIST! And guess what? Both versions SAY EXACTLY THE SAME THING!

    And the sad thing is, most whites continue to put up with this insanity.

  • Tim_in_Indiana

    Think about it: this could really be the death knell for Coke. The company is really sticking its neck out here. Coke is clearly siding with Hispanics and against Whites with this ad. If whites ever wake up, Coke, rather than being seen as a glamorous soft drink, the drink of young people, of surfer types, of Santa Claus and soda shoppes, could be viewed as a drink exclusively for poor, low IQ ghetto Hispanics, and no amount of future advertising will ever fix that. Coke really chose up sides with this ad, and it could spell doom for the company.

    • DaveMed

      Coca cola is a global company, and an icon.

      That company is not going anywhere, but we can put a dent in its profits. And make ourselves healthier to boot.

      • Tim_in_Indiana

        Coke may be a “global icon,” but its primary market is the US. Still, my scenario admittedly depends on enough whites waking up, and I’m not holding my breath on that.

    • Lagerstrom

      Well, we all know what to do. Never buy coke, or any product associated with coke ever again. Tell everyone you know to do the same thing. Make your own fizzy-sugar-water. And if indeed you like a nice brew at the end of a big working day, select your poison using the same criteria. The same applies to stupid junk-food companies.

  • The Final Solution

    I don’t see how this is bad for Latinos at all since welfare and food stamps pay for the Coke and white taxpayers cover any health care costs that might be associated with it down the road. I thought they had “few resources”?

  • Ella

    The ad industry already knows Whites are being displaced and outnumbered so they try to survive using their researched tactics.

  • NotTooSwift

    So, like, where is former Mayor Bloomberg when you need him?

    • Max

      Right now, Bloomberg is busy as the US Envoy of climate change. He has been promoted from simply screwing up NYC to screwing up the entire country. No doubt, he will be receiving a Nobel Prize in the next couple of years.

  • dd121

    Liberals drowning each other in a vat of Coke. Priceless.

  • r j p

    The genius of the Coca-Cola company is that they made the racial aspect of soda marketing work in their favor with this ad.
    The genius of this commercial was they offended someone who drinks 6 to 12 cans a day.
    Anybody ever see a Hispanic drink a Diet Coke?

  • BaronBaal

    Nice to get the story behind the story. Now we know why corporate America loves non-white immigrants. They are mostly uneducated, gullible, and easy to manipulate and bullshit around with.

  • willbest

    I am a former so called heavy user of coke. 2-4 cans of dt. coke a day. If I hadn’t quit 4 months ago I would have quit last weekend.

  • the sound the flood the hour

    But coca cola? How do the hispanics take back the south west when they are losing body parts and dieing from diabetes?

    That’s basically what all of the fuss is about..

  • the sound the flood the hour

    If diversity is such a great thing then why do so many mexicans support the reconquista?

  • JDInSanD

    Check out these new Chevy commercials that show interracial families and tell us they represent “the new us.” Take out the space:

    designerdaddy com/2014/02/the-new-chevy-ads-gay-couples/

    I had the Olympics on for about 30 seconds before I saw this and changed channels.

    • DaveMed

      I just lost the last shred of desire to “buy American.”

  • OhWow

    If there’s a saving grace in these crazy ads, it’s that lots of people are waking up and saying “Wait…this is not a good thing”. That alone is progress (ew I hate that word thanks to liberals).

    It’s just so logical. Bringing in 3rd worlders from everywhere with nothing in common will only lead to tension. Plus they have low skills. Bringing in too many different people and cultures will only lead to more conflict. Go find a black widow and some other breed of spider, put them in a small cup and watch them attack each other. Even nature tells us diversity is bad. Also, when given the choice, people mostly stick to their own. In America we are told to live a lie and pretend we all sing kumbaya together around a fire while little Trayvon’s are murdering people and other black people are letting their hardened pit bulls wander the neighborhood killing white people (this just happened the other day).

  • Talltrees

    This is hogwash! Diabetes? Coke makes diet Coke. She provided no statistics as to whether Hispanics and others drink diet or regular Coke. She can call it minority targeting, but I call it anti-White marketing.

  • LHathaway

    “I braced myself for the predictable right-wing outrage”.

    Forget the fact that the majority of those posting on message boards and ‘outraged’ are likely to be young leftists themselves ‘posing’ as outraged to make some kind of point in this crazy world where loser are held up at the pinnacle, as long as they are not white. . . where exactly is she going to face this ‘outrage’? BBC 1? BBC 2? Voice of America? Is she a secret AmRen reader?

    Other than her ‘hate’ I think she’s spot on. Of course, she can’t be concerned white children get diabetes, only that children of color get it.

  • tlk244182

    I got bored with this article pretty quickly and didnt read the whole thing, but apparently Coke is on our side after all, since it’s going to sell itself to non-Whites, who will drink it and die. I wish it were that easy. And if this woman thinks I would approve of the ad as long as the foreigners were speaking English, she misunderstands the issue entirely.

  • tlk244182

    just googled 365Black. Shucks. I really liked Mickey D’s.

  • Cecil Henry

    Never a more clear display of status seeking and envy. That article was done for the author’s benefit and future, not for anyone else’s.

    ‘Deconstructing’ an article like that reveals an ugly and evil motivation.

    The fact that someone is being exploited– the very limb she rests her arguments on–never occurs to her. Because she is extremely selfish.

  • je suis paganisme

    I think that the McDonald’s ad, which shows several couples, all of which are mixed, is just as obnoxious.
    In fact, the sight of these companies gloming on to the accomplishments of these athletes in order to sell their french fries and rubbers is obnoxious to me. Then when they sneak in little left-wing multi-cult messages, it becomes blasphemous.
    Accomplishment-rape. Despicable money-grubbers.

  • WR_the_realist

    Gee, even with the Coca Cola corporation it’s damned if they do, damned if they don’t. If they had ads that just showed happy white people drinking their soda the left would be appalled at their exclusion of The Other (TM). So instead they created their diversity commercial. Then they get condemned for trying to sell their sugar water to groups too stupid to know what’s good for them.

  • Whitetrashgang

    Also barbeque first thing in the morning, although its probably 1 pm and a little early to get up.Sweet Jesus.

  • antiquesunlight

    The good thing about this ad is that it’s allowed me to debate plenty of people on the YouTube page. None of them can argue with my logic, so they just make stupid non sequiturs etc. Maybe a few of the more honest ones will start to question their allegiance to the Cult of Multiculturalism.

  • BonV.Vant

    I posted perhaps ten posts and they didn’t last 24 hours. You see what is left after the censoring was done.