In a 60-second ad that aims to inspire, Coca-Cola will make the case that people of all creeds and from all cultures can enjoy its flagship soda and some other iterations of it, including low-calorie Coca-Cola Life and Coke Zero Sugar. The message, says Brynn Bardacke, Coca-Cola’s vice president of content and creative excellence, is that Coke is “for everyone” and represents “one of the most democratic brands.” The ad features people from different races, nationalities and geographic regions. In one scene, a person in a wheelchair and a helmet takes part in a daredevil athletic competition.
A poem read during the commercial by multiple narrators tells viewers: “We all have different looks and loves / likes and dislikes, too. / But there’s a Coke for we and us / and there’s a Coke for you.” To call attention to the spot, Coca-Cola will run the poem – crafted by a copywriter at its ad agency, Wieden + Kennedy – in newspapers on the day of and the day after the Super Bowl, which will be broadcast on NBC. The spot marks Coca-Cola’s twelfth consecutive appearance in the Super Bowl.
The push to be relevant to many consumers comes as supermarket giants like Coca-Cola, General Mills and Procter & Gamble, among others, strive to reach a broader range of potential customers. As a result , they have run commercials with broader concepts of who their consumers are. Seeing a disabled person, a same-sex family or a family consisting of people from different races depicted in a mainstream commercial is no longer much of a surprise.
The move is not without risk. Coca-Cola ran a winning 2014 Super Bowl ad that featured children singing “America the Beautiful” in many languages. The spot included people from various walks of life. Some wore cowboy hats. Some wore hijabs. The commercial is believed to be the first Super Bowl ad to show same-sex parents. Coca-Cola ran the ad again last year during Fox’s pre-game coverage of Super Bow LI. Even so, some people took to social media and criticized the company for not airing the song completely in English.
“It’s a message of inclusion,” said Jennifer Healan, group director of integrated marketing content at Coca-Cola. “These are brand values we have communicated throughout our history,” said Bardacke. The executives said the company believes the 2014 spot generated positive reaction from consumers.
Coca-Cola intends to burnish the theme of having a variant of Coke available for any consumer throughout the year. Coca-Cola will run its Super Bowl ad and others during NBC’s broadcast of the Winter Olympics and later in the year during the Daytona 500. The company is also running an ad for Diet Coke earlier in the event.
The 60-second ad, however, will air during the fourth quarter. Coke’s Bardacke said executives were hoping for a tight game.