This ad from Coca Cola, a component of the company’s World Cup promotion series in Egypt earlier this summer, pushes some boundaries with its homoerotic references. The ad, meant to demonstrate the bottle’s new twist off lid, is causing somewhat of a stir for a few reasons.
The most obvious being that the ad was created for the highly conservative Egyptian market, where the subject of homosexuality is very taboo. Homosexuality is not illegal in Egypt, but there are regulations against it, and there are no openly-gay bars in the country to speak of.
Secondly, this ad is out of the ordinary for Coca Cola. Despite being a progressive, global company (scoring 100 on HRC’s Corporate Equality Index), a quick search on CommercialCloset.org shows no evidence Coca Cola has ever produced a gay-themed commercial. After the criticism McDonald’s received for airing a gay-friendly commercial in France, it was brave for Coca Cola to move forward with the Egyptian ad.
While I’m not entirely sure I understand the point the commercial is trying to make (if the twist off cap is so convenient, why does he need his neighbor’s hand to open it?), I definitely give Coca Cola credit for having the cajones to produce the commercial to such a conservative audience.