Brother And Sister Battle For The Pool Boy In Coke’s New Ad

by Mike Julianelle
Originally Published: 
Image via YouTube

Coke’s sexy new ad features a brother and sister competing for the same guy

Not everyone knows this, but your sexual orientation has no bearing on whether or not you like Coke.

Coke is playfully embracing that reality in a fun new ad.

The commercial features two siblings, a brother and a sister, lustily ogling the dude who’s working up a sweat cleaning their pool. The pair both get the same idea – to offer the parched pool boy a refreshing bottle of Coke – at the same time, and a crazed race to quench his thirst – and win his favor – ensues.

Unfortunately, their mother beats them to it. We never find out which way the pool boy swings.

Of course, that doesn’t matter. What matters is Coke’s matter-of-fact representation of diversity, by including a gay character and not making a big show of it.

The Huffington Post heard from Coca-Cola spokeswoman Kate Hartman, who explains that the ad is simply “a human story where Coca-Cola plays a key role in the development of the drama.”

She concedes the presence of a gay character but stresses that it’s not the focus of the commercial. It’s just a reflection of reality. Gay people exist, and they also know that an ice-cold Coke tastes good.

It almost feels wrong to congratulate Coca-Cola for doing something so simple and small, especially in 2017, when the world reflected in this ad has been reality for quite a while already. But if recent events are any indication, bubbles are alive and well, and advertisements like this can go a long way towards puncturing them.

Which is why it’s not the fact that there’s a gay man in the ad that makes it noteworthy, it’s the fact that a gay man being in the ad isn’t a big deal.

At least it wasn’t, before posts like this started pointing it out.

“The story also includes a wink that touches on our point of view regarding diversity and inclusion,” she said. “We are managing culturally relevant messages organically within our spots, not as the main subject of the story, but as subtext.”

It’s probably a little cynical to suggest that Coke knew what it was doing by creating an ad like this and then acting like it ain’t no thing, but I’m not sure their motivations matter. What matters is that people across the country will see this ad and will see themselves or their family or friends or coworkers or neighbors represented, one way or another.

Years ago the inclusion of a gay man in an ad like this would’ve been a huge deal. Now it’s not the inclusion that makes waves, it’s the advertiser’s refusal to justify it. That’s progress, however incremental.

Eventually, hopefully, we’ll come far enough that none of it will make even the slightest ripple.

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