Gay Advertisement #16: Coca Cola

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.

2 responses to “Gay Advertisement #16: Coca Cola

  1. Pingback: Gay advert for Coca-Cola in Egypt | Gino Cosme

  2. …How is that brave of Coca Cola?

    There is no sexuality between those men. No sign of intimacy. The add is playing on assumed audience anxiety about homosexuality.

    Look at it frame by frame:

    The first man puts his hand on the second man’s.
    The 2nd man looks over at the 1st man nervously at the 1st man.
    The 1st man, not looking at the 2nd man, uses his hand to open up his Coke. The act in itself is void of sexuality, intimacy, but rather seems cold and uncaring.
    The 2nd man stares at the 1st drinking. Is he confused? Or is he the actual gay man in this advertisement, who is the joke is at the expense of.

    The 2nd man is the only one who actually acknowledges the touch of the first. He is the one we’re supposed to laugh at. Arguably he could be the actual homosexual in this add, while the other man is just using his sexuality to get something from him.

    Is the 1st man the gay one, who is trying to freak the other out? Even if that were true, all this add communicates is that gays men sites of humor, or that homosexuality is a punchline to a joke..

    How is that progressive? Simply putting a gay situation into an add isn’t progressive in and of itself. You have to consider how homosexuality is being depicted.

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