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Monday, February 03, 2014

Diversity and Coke commercials

The "This is America, speak English" reaction to this commercial from yesterday's Super Bowl

 

is probably far more limited than would seem from the stories aggregating all the absurd Twitter comment. Although I will say that the comments and tweets complaining that the commercial defiled "God Bless America" or "the National Anthem" make me smile.

Still, I find even the limited outrage interesting, if only because Coca Cola previously gave us this, widely regarded as one of the best commercials of all time:

 

For its time, of course, this commercial displayed incredible diversity.

So what explains the different reactions, even if the negative reaction to yesterday's add is far less pervasive than it appears? Is it that the old commercial is about "the world," while the new one is defining (or in some views, redefining) America? Are people more comfortable with and accepting of the outward appearance of diversity, so long as everyone is doing the "American" thing of singing in English? In other words, apparent diversity is acceptable so long as one outward aspect of real diversity--language--is kept out of the picture?

Posted by Howard Wasserman on February 3, 2014 at 10:11 AM in Culture, Current Affairs, Howard Wasserman | Permalink

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