How the Political Climate Affects Receptions of Media

In class we discussed the Superbowl commercials. One of the most controversial ones came from Budweiser and its celebration of immigrants and those not native to our country. As I was watching this, I felt a twang of familiarity for the subject. Not because I am an immigrant, not because I love Bud. Something about this commercial gave me a sense of nostalgia, and finally it dawned on me: I’d Like to Buy the World a Coke. If you’re not familiar, this was a 1971 Coke commercial where people of all genders and races assembled on a hilltop and sang in perfect harmony. This commercial, unlike Budweiser’s, was a collective success. But my question is why?

Bud and Coke seemingly aimed to do the same thing, show that the world stands to be united, but instead of that being celebrated, Bud’s commercial faced a multitude of social media criticism. My only thought behind this is that the political climate of our nation affects how well media is received. 2017, Muslim ban, post 9/11 war, hate crimes, etc. A time when the world is in such discord, a commercial that wants to celebrate diversity is shunned. But 1971 was different. A time before 9/11 when the world was begging to be united. I’d Like to Buy the World a Coke: a time where the world was ready to united, juxtaposed to 2017 when the world is so inherently divided. I can’t help but imagine that if this commercial was released when social media was a thing how celebrated it would be, partly because it still is.

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