Brother and Sister Compete for Sexy Pool Boy in This New Coke Ad
The usual corners of the homophobic side of the internet are going to be very upset about this new Coke ad, because it’s about a teenage brother and sister who are both super hot for the handsome pool boy, and they compete for his attention just like any set of siblings who wants the same thing.
Lately it seems like nothing pisses off a certain brand of homophobe more than media that merely acknowledges the existence of gay people without stopping to condemn it. The Lego Batman movie does not have any actual explicitly gay characters in it, but it has been described as “pro-gay propaganda” because at one point Robin thinks he might have been adopted by two guys and doesn’t freak out in a panic or even say, “But that can’t be!” And one Alabama theater is even refusing to show Beauty and the Beast just because Gaston’s sidekick LeFou is into dudes. They’re really going to hate the way this ad is such a normal, predictable commercial where one of the characters happens to be gay.
The commercial starts with a sexy guy cleaning the pool with his shirt open to show that he has about a thousand abs. From the window behind him, a teenage girl gazes at him dreamily. Then the camera pans to the other side of the house, where a teenage boy is staring at the pool guy with the exact same expression on his face. They both simultaneously realize that offering the guy a cold Coca-Cola on a hot day is a great way to get to talk to him, and they rush to the fridge. The second their hands close on the Coke bottle, they realize they both have the same goal, and then it turns into a slapstick free-for-all to get to the pool boy first. The girl leaps over her brother. He pulls the rug out from under her. If this were the real world, they would both be in the hospital for serious injuries or at least grounded for breaking all the furniture.
By the time they get outside, though, the pool boy is already drinking the Coke in that “sexy drinking Coke” way that hot people do in sexy Coke commercials. The kids’ mom got there first. She gives her kids a little half-shrug, and the pool boy escapes being sexually harassed by minors for another day.
The thing that’s most remarkable about this commercial is how utterly unremarkable it is. Coke has been doing, “Ogling the hot guy drinking Coke” ads for so long this format feels almost retro. Nobody would blink if the teens were a pair of sisters, or a pair of grown-up office ladies ogling the construction worker from a window. The commercial isn’t saying anything more revolutionary than “gay people exist,” but people will probably get bent out of shape anyway. People tried to boycott Cheerios because one time a commercial showed an interracial family eating cereal. God only knows what they’re going to do when they heard a gay teenager drank a Coke.
Anti-LGBT activists always seem to be trying to pin themselves as not being hateful by saying things like, “Go ahead and be gay, just don’t rub it in everyone’s faces.” But by “rubbing in our faces” they seem to mean “treating same-sex relationships the same way hetero relationships have always been treated.”
It’s a cool commercial, but it is not a public service message. Coca-Cola is obviously a for-profit company that wants to sell as much soda as possible. If they think being inclusive will sell more soda, that’s pretty cool. It means they think the world is more inclusive than not. One hopes they’re right.