Thursday, January 31, 2013

Times they are changin'...

It's commerical Thursday! Watch this classic Diet Coke commericial:

That commercial came out 19 years ago. Yeah, you're old.

That guy is still hot too. I think muscular and hairy chest never goes out of style. Amirite, ladies and some gentleman?

Ok, now check out the updated 2013 version:

What is different about the two ads? Well, lots, but remember what this blog is about...

The second one has a black lady! It was only after seeing them back to back that I ever thought about the fact there were no people of color in the first one. In the mid-90's it probably wasn't so strange to have an office scene with all white workers.

But in 2013, it would be highly unusual to have a commercial with five women and one them wouldn't be black. In fact with five people, you'd probably have a black person and maybe even an Asian or Hispanic person. The old commercial had seven or eight women--all white.

Should we call that progress? I'm in a good mood today, so lets go ahead and call it progress.

That's all. Leave me a comment if you want.


  1. "...and maybe even an Asian or Hispanic person."

    But what is "Asian" and what is "Hispanic"? The first is a category so broad that it encompasses two-thirds of the world's population (although, admittedly, "only" 4.4% of the US population), whereas the second is a category that has next to nothing to do with race (seeing that it's an ethnic identity).

    One of the four white women could be Hispanic. Indeed, the black woman could be Hispanic. Or the guy pushing the mower might well claim some Hispanic ethnic heritage.

    Coke did conduct a multi-racial globalization advertizement campaign in 1971 (i.e., the "Buy the World a Coke" campaign), don't know why they can't at least get some of that diversity into a new ad.

    But still... "congratulations" to Coke for choosing to bring the racial exclusion percentage down of their Diet Coke ad from ~20% to ~5% (based on the US population racial breakdown).

  2. Chunk Hatzumomo3:47 PM

    I kept expecting some play on GLBT status (the women or the gardner). But that was likely due to the context of seeing the add in this blog.

    I wonder about these token characters. The idea is already so old, a token character is already very cliche. Why is that one black woman hanging out with all the white women? So Coke can claim to be diverse. I am not saying that never happens, but just that it is cliche and therefore makes me role my eyes rather than want the product. That may be because I am not the target audience of the ad though...

    I feel like real diversity comes from an ad that has all black people and a token white dude. Or no white people. But if there is no white people, it cant have smooth jazz either, it has to be an ad directed toward "mainstream" america, that just has no white people. It happens, I just cant think of example right now.

    The thing is, ads like that work. Any ad person is trying to get your attention, and an ad that does not already fit into some cliche will, at least unconsciously grab our attention and we are more likely to remember/show an interest in the product. Again, when I say we, I mean me, and I am not the target demo for diet coke. I am the target demo for really cool stuff like Warby Parkers... except not Warby Parkers because Warby Parkers are so OVER!

  3. As long as the guy is smoking hot then I'm game for whatever nationality, race, color, religion, socioeconomic status.......I'm game.

  4. Oh my gosh, we are old. And those outfits in the first version. Myblackfriend, I'm with you--I call it progress.

  5. Anonymous7:23 PM

    She needs to get rid of that weave. But it's still progress.

  6. Anonymous7:55 PM

    How about the progress that men are becoming "sex objects" as women in the workplace increases?

  7. I think it's progress!

  8. I'm sorry...did you ask a question in this post? I was too busy staring at abs. ;)

  9. I remember the early 90s version of the Diet Coke commercial very well and the first thing I noticed during the update was that there was a black woman this time around.

    I also remember an ad for the movie 'Waiting to Exhale' that had an equal amount of black and white women sitting at an outdoor cafe discussing the movie and constantly referring to Whitney Houston as beautiful and not discussing to much else about the plot. That image has always stuck with me, because the obvious marketing to give it crossover appeal.

    I have no real point other than to say that as a teenager, that really stayed with me.

  10., this is another great example of blatant sexism and racism...