Sprite has a new LGBT ad running in Argentina in which adults help young people prepare for an LGBT parade in various ways. Some of the images depicted include what appears to be a mother putting makeup on her teenage son; another apparent mother aiding her daughter’s attempt to look like a boy by helping her put her on a binder to flatten her breasts; what appears to be a grandmother helping her grandson dress up as a drag queen, and a father watching as what appears to be his son and his gay partner head toward the parade.
The ad uses the classic song “You’ll Never Walk Alone” from the legendary musical “Carousel” as an underscore. In the original musical, the song, which resembles a hymn, comes at the climax of the show as the lead character, who has been killed earlier, pleads with his teenage daughter and wife to believe that he always loved them.
At the end of the ad, the captions read, “Orgullo: Lo que sentís cuando alguien que querés elige ser feliz,” translated as “Pride: What you feel when someone you love chooses to be happy,” and “No estás solx,” translated as “You’re not alone.”
Coca-Cola, which started selling Sprite in the United States in 1961 to challenge 7 Up, wrote in May 2019:
Coca-Cola is proud of its history of supporting and including the LGBTQI community in the workplace, in its advertising and in communities throughout the world. From supporting LGBTQI pride parades to running rainbow-colored billboards, Coca-Cola has demonstrated its commitment to protecting employees from discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity and expression.
The company added, “Coca-Cola was one of the first companies in the U.S. to publicly support the Employment Non-Discrimination Act – legislation proposed in the U.S. Congress that would prohibit discrimination in hiring and employment based on sexual orientation or gender identity by employers with at least 15 employees. And in 2015, the company, along with 379 other businesses, filed an amicus brief with the Supreme Court in support of marriage equality.”
In 2018, on International LGBT Pride day, Coca-Cola launched a limited edition Coca-Cola can with Fanta inside to counter the Brazilian expression “That Coke is a Fanta,” used to denigrate gays. The company also produced an ad stating, “A single can can turned a homophobic expression into a symbol of pride.” The ad added, “This Coke is pride. This Coke is respect. This Coke is Fanta.”
In May 2019, Coca-Cola’s Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer Lori George Billingsley asserted, “We are thrilled to receive a 100 percent score on the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index. Our commitment to diversity, inclusion and equality, and our support for our colleagues, family members and friends is intrinsic and enduring. We have always and will continue to demonstrate this commitment through both our policies and actions.”
In Hungary, after a reported 41,000 people signed a petition protesting against ads depicting same-sex couples drinking Cokes that Coca Cola had posted at bus stops and train stations as part of its “Love is Love” campaign for a progressive music festival in Budapest’s Sziget suburb, the ads came down. The petitioners claimed their petition had triggered the move; a spokesman for Coca-Cola said: “The ads were not removed because of any political pressure and were only intended to run for the duration of a festival.”
Sprite Argentina ad below:
— Sprite Argentina (@Sprite_Ar) November 1, 2019