Coca-Cola México is in the middle of a social media and cultural understanding backlash for an advertisement featuring the Mixe community of Oaxaca, México.
ICYMI, Coca-Cola México released a new Christmas commercial to get the holiday feelings flowing.
The commercial features ethnically white Mexicans going to an indigenous Mixe community with tools, wood…
And a big-ass cooler of Coca-Cola. Just a group of young kids trying to spread Christmas cheer to an indigenous group of people in Oaxaca, right?
So the group of youths built the Mixe people a Christmas tree using wood, red paint, and Coca-Cola caps.
You’re probably thinking…
Credit: SNL / NBC / yosoyfans / Tumblr
People have criticized the commercial for perpetuating the “white savior” mentality.
The white savior complex is when someone of the western world comes swooping in to “fix” the problems of those less fortunate. Think of movies such as The Blind Side, Freedom Writers or even Django Unchained.
And after some social media backlash, Coca-Cola México removed the video from it’s YouTube page.
Coca-Cola México was hoping to start a conversation on ending prejudices using #AbreTuCorazon. Instead, the hashtag was used to debate Coca-Cola’s treatment of the indigenous population…
#AbreTuCorazon coca-cola y deja de robar el agua de nuestra tierra y nuestros pueblos indigenas para hacer tus hipócritas campañas
— ZadorovSaleso (@alitoMgastineau) December 3, 2015
Credit: @alitoMgastineau / Twitter
Translation: “#OpenYourHeart Coca-Cola and stop stealing the water from our land and indigenous villages to make your hypocritical campaigns.”
Some see no problem with the commercial.
— Julieth Margarita™ (@JuliethMartine3) December 3, 2015
Credit: @JuliethMartine3 / Twitter
Translation: “@CocaColaMx #OpenYourHeart I don’t understand why they see the bad in this video, there is nothing discriminatory. Damned if you do, damned if you don’t.”
Others in Oaxaca are defending the commercial.
No estoy de acuerdo en que quiten el comercial de coca cola, #AbreTuCorazon. Soy de oaxaca y No me siento discriminada ?
— muñekita (@neypreciosa) December 3, 2015
Credit: @neypreciosa / Twitter
Translation: “I don’t agree with taking down the Coca-Cola commercial, #OpenYourHeart. I am from Oaxaca and I don’t feel discriminated.”
And this guy is using the hashtag to drop some knowledge on Coca-Cola’s impact on Mexico.
— Fernando Hoyos (@fernando_hoyos) December 3, 2015
Credit: @fernando_hoyos / Twitter
The Wall Street Journal has reported that it can take up to 132 gallons of water to make a two-liter bottle of soda. According to Coca-Cola, they use 2.7 liters of water for ever 1 liter of soda they produce. They are trying to drop the amount of water needed to 1.7 liters of water per liter of product by 2020.
Many are more concerned with the use of indigenous people in the ad as a marketing ploy.
Credit: @dianaecho / Twitter
This writer had a suggestion on how Mexicans could help:
Credit: @CJ_Haslett / Twitter
Coca-Cola offered this response when asked about the ad:
“As part of Coca-Cola México’s Christmas campaign for this year the video “Mixe Community Totontepec” was launched on digital channels, seeking to convey a message of unity and joy. Our intention was never to be insensitive to or underestimate any indigenous group. We have now removed the video and apologize to anyone who may have been offended. In nearly 90 years in the country, Coca-Cola Mexico has worked to share messages of unity and friendship to contribute to build a society free of prejudices.”