Postcolonial Analysis Series of TV/Online Ads – Coca-Cola: America is Beautiful

These advertisements features different people from differrent races singing a song titles “America is Beautiful”. The advertisement, that lasts longer than a minute features singer of different races, singing the song in different languages. Some include, Hindi, Senegalese-French, Hebrew, Mandarin, Keres, Arabic, Filipino and English. The playlist named #AmericaIsBeautiful features the girls from different races singing the song in their native languages. Although there is indeed an attempt to include various people from different races around the world, it is ironic that the song is indeed glorification of America. The attempt to include various races, to make it seem that America is a place for every race, is contradicted by the thought that America is still the best country in the world. It is also important to note that some of the races featured in the ad were past colonies of the United States of America, singing a song about the glorification of America, showing no remorse about their past experiences of colonization under the country. There is no sign of resistance towards the colonizer instead, they help promote and glorify the greatness of America and how beautiful it is.

There is no acknowledgement of why these races chose to move to America, neither does the ad touch on the experience of these people in a country that they originally do not belong to. In essence, it might actually be promoting mimicry as explained by Homi K. Bhabha, promoting the idea of the “Great American Dream” that simply being in America makes you ‘American’ and that America is the most beautiful, accepting, and diverse country in the world.

In one of the videos included in the playlist, Coca-Cola – Behind the Scenes, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ReHUMUb9gY&list=PLCIVZWq1FAwcWJmgdF5o3-QTZZ-OnBUgA&index=5, it includes the opinions of people about their beloved America. One person said that America was the ‘world within a country’. Another person said that ‘it doesn’t matter which part of the world you come from, you’re given a voice’. However, the ad does not discuss why these minorities experience unfair treatment in the first place. It does not discuss how those who belong in the dominant ideology treat those of the minority as others. The ad may have allowed for people to be able to voice out their opinions about the struggles they used to face because they were a part of the minority, but it still ends the ad with the glorification of the dominant culture.

Those presented in the ad were presented as already ‘looking like’ Americans. None of them were clothed or dressed in their native apparel, they all looked ‘whiter’ than most of those who are a part of the minority. Their struggles were glossed over by the ad and there were no calls for action against the suppression of the minorities. The people in the advertisement admitted to having struggles in conforming to the dominant culture, but once they were able to adjust to the demands of America, they were accepted and their struggle was quieted. As long as they are not that much of a minority, they can remain happy in beautiful America.

Glorification of America is so evident in this advertisement. The dominant ideologies of the dominant culture overthrow that of the minority. It is so ironic that people of different races open up about their struggles in an ad that glorifies the people who give them such a hard time. There is no call for equality, there is no resistance against the culture, and there is no conflict of races shown within the ad. In the end, the ad is simply stating that if you conform to what Americans want you to do or look like, you just might have a better life in America. There was such a great opportunity to show the genuine struggle of the minorities in America given the variety of races they have gathered, however, it was glossed over by the glorification of the beautiful America.

Sources:

Lectures, handouts, and class discussions.

Videos: http://youtube.com/AmericaIsBeautiful

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