If there is a company long known for having imaginative Super Bowl commercials over the years, it is Coca-Cola. The soft drink company has used everything from computer graphics to polar bears over the years in order to promote their products, and they often choose to do so without either funny punch lines or celebrity guests.
So this year, the company has decided to do so yet again … albeit with a little more controversy.
The ad – Coca-Cola, “Desert Oasis”
The premise – Basically, a variety of people (from Middle Eastern men with camels to cowboys to Las Vegas showgirls) are all racing through the desert in order to get to a giant bottle of Coca-Cola Classic that is waiting to be enjoyed. The problem? When they all arrive, they realize that there was also a sign to it claiming that refreshment is really still fifty miles away.
What works – Coca-Cola ads have a very long history of being timeless, and this one yet again fits the bill. Everything from the characters to the scenery are familiar, and will work for viewers now or ten years from now. It also doesn’t complicate things, and highlights the drink as something worthy of traveling far and wide to get.
What doesn’t – Now, we turn to the controversy. Some Arab-American groups have expressed displeasure about how their culture is alwys represented as either sheiks, belly dancers, or terrorists in modern media. Yes, the Arabs in this commercial are on camels, and that is a stereotype. However, at the same time so is the depiction of cowboys as being sweaty guys from the south with facial hair and ten-gallon hats, or Las Vegas showgirls of being tall and wearing little clothing. We really don’t see anything offensive here, especially since the focus here is on the sort of people you would find in a desert, and not necessarily any specific culture or ethnicity.
The verdict – It may not be the greatest Coca-Cola ad in the history of the brand, but it is a well-produced, enjoyable commercial that will will make viewers want to pick up a bottle. (We know we do.)
What do you think about this ad? Be sure to share your thoughts below, and you can watch some other commercials for Super Bowl XLVII over at the link here.
Photo: NFL / CBS