Coca-Cola is abandoning it’s eleven-year run of airing an ad during the Super Bowl this year, opting instead to run a commercial promoting “unity” as “our nation feels divided” just before the National Anthem.
At up to $5.3 million per sixty-second spot, the soda giant has pulled out of airing an ad during the most expensive TV time of the year, but is not snubbing the game entirely, according to Variety.
Coke-Cola will run an ad focusing on “diversity” in the half hour before kickoff.
According to a statement, Coke celebrated its history of “unity and positivity.”
“We have a long history of using the country’s biggest advertising stage to share a message of unity and positivity, especially at times when our nation feels divided,” said Stuart Kronauge, senior vice president of marketing for Coca-Cola North America and president of Coke’s sparkling beverages business unit. “This year, we decided to place our ad just before the national anthem as Americans come together in their living rooms to remind everyone that ‘together is beautiful.”
Coke has plied the “diversity” theme before. Last year, for instance, the company’s ad included images of all races and genders as well as disabled people with a voice-over saying, “We all have different looks and loves likes and dislikes, too. But there’s a Coke for we and us and there’s a Coke for you.” And in 2014, Coke’s ad featured the song “America the Beautiful” being sung in different languages. Some of the singers were Muslims in hijabs and a same-sex couple.
The pre-game ad will be an animated spot inspired by a 1975 Andy Warhol quote and will end saying, “We all have different hearts and hands; heads holding various views. Don’t you see? Different is beautiful. And, together is beautiful, too.”
This is not the first time Coke has avoided advertising during the Super Bowl. The beverage company did not air any Super Bowl ads from 1998 to 2006.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.