Update: America the Beautiful

Coca-Cola had a pretty controversial Super Bowl ad this year. But it didn’t hurt the company.

During this year’s Super Bowl, Coca-Cola aired a one-minute commercial in which children of all different ethnicities sang America the Beautiful in their native languages. The ad sparked a xenophobic backlash on Twitter that within days had evolved into a large-scale defense of both America and Coke. “America the Beautiful” turned out to be the company’s most successful campaign in years. Young people ages 19 to 24 bought Coca-Cola products 20 percent more often than they did the month before. —From “Coke Confronts Its Big Fat Problem

No surprises in this combination — that younger demographic probably just thought the different languages were neat.

This is practically an aside in that article, which is about Coca-Cola’s larger problem — an image problem with an uncomfortable history — of being so closely associate with the obesity epidemic. The CEO mostly, but not quite, skirts the coincidence of accelerating obesity with soda sellers’ pushes into larger and larger size bottles, but Coca-Cola probably has more to lose to competing products that are also sugary than from health concerns.

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