United We Stand…

I can think of no brand more global and, at the same time, more American than Coca-Cola. For decades, their advertising has focused on the ideal of bringing people together. When the ‘It’s Beautiful’ spot aired during last week’s Super Bowl, I knew there would be lash back. What some see as dissonance, I saw as a celebration of just how far we’ve come. I saw an evolution of Coke’s famous ‘Hilltop’ – a vision coming together “in perfect harmony.”

It’s a shame that Coca-Cola is sharing America the beautiful with us, and we answer back with America the ugly. Can’t we all just get along and take this message as it was intended? A celebration of our love for this country that, despite our differences, unites us as one?

Following 9/11, the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights/Education Fund launched a public service announcement (PSA) campaign led by Grammy award-winning artist Dave Matthews. The campaign urged viewers to reflect on the promise of America:

that people who trace their heritage to every nation on Earth can live together with mutual respect and understanding.

Entitled “We are ALL Americans,” the PSAs were created with the pro bono assistance of world- renowned photographer Albert Watson. The spots feature a diverse cross-section of individuals and remind the nation, particularly during this time of crisis, that hate will not stop hate and that it is un-American to discriminate against individuals based on who they are.

The comparison is extreme, I know. But I’ve always loved these spots, and thought now is as good a time as any to remind us that we are all Americans.