Years ago, Coke told us they wanted to “teach the world to sing in perfect harmony.” In that earlier message, Coke associated the brand with universal friendship. People loved the message and Coke basked in the association.
This new ad is not a universal message—it’s a message to America about America. In this ad, Coke associates its brand with a beautiful, multilingual, multicultural America. Some people approve and, for them, the association works. Some people are upset by the thought of a multilingual, multicultural America and those people don’t want to see that idea endorsed by a major American icon.
This ad suggests that Coke and people who drink Coke think that a multilingual, multicultural America is beautiful. That could mean that fewer people will want to be seen drinking Coke. No wonder we haven’t seen this ad again since the Super Bowl.