Just as Britain is about to officially debut gay marriage for citizens and Coca-Cola is coming under fire for being a sponsor of the winter Olympics in Russia, where anti-gay laws are getting much attention, this commercial featuring a gay wedding arrives. The ad appears elsewhere in Europe with gay marriage, including Norway and The Netherlands.
An Irish version of this spot lacks the same-sex wedding, instead featuring an interracial couple. A Coke spokeswoman told Gay Star News, "The wedding images used in the ad for the UK and in other parts of Europe show two men getting married. The reason this was changed for Ireland is while civil partnership for gay people is legal, gay marriage currently is not. We wanted each ad to be relevant and valid for its own market."
Nevertheless, a 2013 Irish survey showed that 73% say same-sex marriage should be allowed. (Civil partnerships began there in 2011.)
The Coke ad begins, while children sing, "There are millions of reasons to believe in a better world. For everyone who says things will get worse, there are 1000s of mums baking cakes. For every Monday morning, there's a Saturday night out. For every person running from the law, there are 100s running for a cure. When the papers serve up bad news...we eat our dinner from them. For every display of hatred...there are 5000 displays of love," showing two gay men walking up the aisle. (It is the same wedding imagery used in a Google commercial summarizing 2013.)
Brid Drohan-Stewart, Coca-Cola Great Britain and Ireland marketing director, told Marketing Week that the campaign follows “firmly in the footsteps” of 127 years of “bold, thought-provoking campaigns. This campaign takes us back to the heartland of what our brand has always stood for – talking to people on an emotional level about topics that are relevant to them and spreading happiness and optimism. Coca-Cola as a brand has never been afraid to speak its mind and has an authentic cultural depth across the world - everyone in some way has a nostalgic connection with the brand, evoking happy memories.”