Monday, February 05, 2007
BHM2007: Here’s some more commentary regarding the Coca-Cola Black History spot that ran on the Super Bowl (see Essay 1661 and click on the essay title above to view the commercial)…
At Adfreak’s special Super Bowl review, self-proclaimed futurist guru Marian Salzman posted the following: “Maybe it’s just me with so many African-American players on the field, but it was genuinely refreshing to see Coke celebrate Black History Month with such grace and ease. I wonder how the public will recall the spot, but I know I learned something from it.”
Um, it’s revealing to see someone state “I know I learned something from it.” After all, the spot referenced Tuskegee Airmen, Rosa Parks, Jackie Robinson and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. These are hardly figures someone like Salzman should need schooling on.
Then again, it was somewhat breakthrough for the exposition to be presented to a general market (and international) audience. Yet anyone familiar with Black History Month advertising probably recognized the spot as being painfully contrived and expected.
The only potentially obscure reference in the spot is the first one: “North Pole, 1909. A black man is on top of the world.”
The reference is to Matthew A. Henson, pictured above and below. When Robert E. Peary allegedly discovered the North Pole in 1909, Henson was the person standing beside him.
But as seen in the BHM IBM ad below, Coke is hardly the first advertiser to honor the man. What’s more, they ripped off IBM’s headline.