Pop Goes The News — Anyone who has watched television this summer has likely seen the commercial with a teenager picking on his little brother and then saving him from bullies who are trying to take his bottle of Coke.
The ubiquitous 30-second spot, officially titled “Brotherly Love,” debuted at the beginning of the year and is part of Coca-Cola’s global “Taste The Feeling” campaign.
Created by Santo Buenos Aires, the commercial depicts a typical relationship between brothers using a cover version of Swedish producer Avicii’s 2003 hit “Hey Brother” performed by Josh Jones and Space Camp.
(The original Avicii version featured vocals by 49-year-old American bluegrass singer Dan Tyminski.)
The “Brotherly Love” commercial has given worldwide exposure to its young stars Antonio Hidalgo and Victor Silvester.
Hidalgo currently has more than 10,000 followers on Instagram, where he shares a mix of personal and professional photos.
In January, Coca-Cola said the commercial “captures the unique relationship between brothers, a universal story of love and conflict. Ultimately the younger brother finds himself without his Coca-Cola. The older brother comes to his rescue and they enjoy a special moment together.”
Online, the ad has been getting mixed reviews.
“I like this [ad] so much,” commented Samael De Sorgher on YouTube. “It’s the first time that I actually stop what I am doing to listen to an [ad] when it’s shown on tv.”
Another shared: “This makes me wish I had a brother.”
But, in the comments section at 9gag.com, one person accused Hidalgo’s character of bullying Sylvester’s character. “It is awful and not at all how siblings should get along,” opined ana1509. “I also wondered if the kid had a disability as well.”
On YouTube, Shannon Olivas also expressed concern for the younger sibling. “Makes me mad when he hits the bottle at the end as his brother is drinking out of it. He could chip his teeth.”
UK newspaper The Guardian said of the commercial: “With its stereotypes about cool kids, nerds and brotherly bonds, Coca Cola [is] scraping the barrel with well-worn cliches.”
Writer Joel Golby twice erroneously identified 19-year-old Hidalgo as Patrick Schwarzenegger, 22.
“The tiny boy is panting on a park bench in dire need of refreshment, and, oh no: a gang of bullies in sleeveless vests steal his Coke,” he wrote. “Then Arnold Schwarzenegger’s actor/model son comes along and does some sort of judo-snarl at them, and peace is restored.”
Hidalgo took Golby’s error in stride.
“They think I’m Arnold’s son,” he wrote on Instagram with the hashtag #terminatorisnotmydad
BELOW: Watch different versions of the “Brotherly Love” commercial for other markets.