After our discussion in class around corporations co-opting social justice in ads, specifically the Adidas commercial about Guerilla Gardening, I found an article that further explores the same topic. I also remembered a Coca-Cola ad I had seen a while ago and remember being really impressed with at the time but now feel a nagging discomfort with:
Isn’t this better than just any old ad with paid actors smiling while sipping the drink? Is it a bad thing to see that Coca-Cola is making people smile, bringing them together, “making a change”? If this weren’t an advertisement, if they weren’t expecting anything in return, that would be admirable. But the fact that they are trying to make a good impression and get good PR for the sole purpose of making a profit makes the whole thing seem so insincere, like a charade. I suppose it’s human nature to want to appear good and kind in front of others, which is why it’s important to consider whether or not a person or a corporation would do the same if they had no such audience. There is also the blatant hypocrisy in what people in these large corporations are willing to say to the public and what actually goes on in the company behind the scenes. What may be even sadder is how willing we are as a society to ignore or decide not to care about what these companies are really doing.