Coca-Cola’s Controversial Super Bowl Ad Connects With Online Hispanics


Much has already been written about Coca-Cola’s “It’s Beautiful” commercial, seen by tens of millions during the 2014 Super Bowl.

Overlooked in the media firestorm is the connection the multi-cultural theme had with U.S. Hispanics. Seeing people from different races, religions and ethnicities clearly had an impact with Latinos, and data indicates it was a positive one.

As a quick refresher, what started as an innocuous ad for a multinational corporation, created a firestorm of complaints in social media. Many did not approve of the performance of the song “America The Beautiful” in several foreign languages. And many pundits have written about the negative reactions it stirred.

Polls: Latinos connected with soft drinks; others connected with beer

But a recent survey by the Hispanic local search company “YaSabe” found it was the favorite commercial of their online Hispanic audience — more than one-third said it was the ad they liked the most. That was more than 20 points above their second favorite commercial. And remember, advertisers save their best pitches for Super Bowl Sunday.

Meanwhile, non-Hispanic viewers had a different point of view:

  • By comparison, the Coca-Cola commercial got just 1 percent in the same poll.
  • Other general market online polls reported similar results: Budweiser on top, Coca-Cola near the bottom.
  • By comparison, the Budweiser commercial in the “YaSabe” survey was ranked fourth, with only about 10 percent of Latinos saying they liked it.

Diverse faces and different accents score with Latinos

The results indicate many advertisers fumbled at their chance to connect with this key audience. While Coca-Cola clearly scored a touchdown (or perhaps a gol) with Latinos.

The ad proves that holding up a mirror to the changing demographics of America and speaking to them in their native language — or in imagery that resonates with their heritage— is key to prompting Hispanic customers to invite brands into their homes and share them with their friends. Remember, Hispanics over-index above any other group in their use of social media.

It is not a fluke that Coca-Cola is one of the most popular soft drinks on the planet. They clearly understand the changing demographics of our country and found a way to connect with the nation’s largest minority. Clearly this approach is working as Coca-Cola placed a 90-second version of the controversial Super Bowl commercial during the opening ceremonies of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.

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