Coca-Cola Fails with Racist Christmas Ad in Mexico

There may be no brand in the world more famous for commercializing Christmas than Coca-Cola. But this year in Mexico, they really blew it.

Coke Santa and Polar Bear AdInstead of following their own tradition, they tried something new. Something that should have been red flagged and shot down before a storyboard was created or a single camera rolled.

By ignoring the current political atmosphere surrounding Mexico’s indigenous people, Coca-Cola sent a message that was so off-base that it openly invited criticism and controversy instead of celebrating the holiday season.

Their ill conceived ad, Coca-Cola shows a group of white teens invading an indigenous community (seemingly uninvited) to spread their message of Christmas.

This Christmas a group of young people decided to give something very special to the indigenous community of Totontepec [Villa] de Morelos in Oaxaca, says the ad. But here’s the problem, Totontepec doesn’t need help from Coca-Cola’s white hipsters to celebrate Christmas. They need Coca-Cola and other large corporations to…

A) Stop ruining their land.
B) Stop polluting their natural water supplies.
C) Stop trying to force themselves into white culture.

And the world (especially on Twitter) told them that, so much that the ad was pulled after the complaints of racism, colonialism, and an obvious inability to see what they were doing.

This will be remembered as a Christmas ad fail, but it’s more than that. It’s an advertising fail that continues the systematic oppression of the Mexican indigenous people, and indigenous communities all over the world.

 

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Joshua Murray

Fuelled by ideas, opportunity and coffee, Joshua attacks the social media landscape every day with a purpose. His experience in retail, customer service and public relations have combined to give him a 360 degree view of social media for brands and he is committed to helping all of his clients leverage their voice in the social sphere.

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