Coca-Cola Superbowl Ad Controversy
(PCM) If you were one of the 111.5 million people that tuned into last Sunday’s XLVIII Super Bowl then you were part of the most-watched television event in U.S. history. You also probably saw Coca-Cola’s new “It’s Beautiful” Ad which featured people of different races and ethnicities singing “America the Beautiful” in seven different languages including English, Spanish, and Keres, a language spoken by Pueblo people. Sounds like an advertisement promoting the American Dream, tolerance, and acceptance, right? Wrong; an overwhelming number of Americans seem to think that the ad was un-American and a disgrace to the patriotic song, saying that “America the Beautiful” is meant to be sung in English. As soon as the game was over, people took to Facebook and Twitter among other sites to voice their outrage and disapproval over the ad. Coke’s official Facebook page is littered with comments denouncing the brand as well as the ad. People are even calling for a boycott of Coke and Coke products in the U.S. The majority of the disapproving comments express the same sentiment. ” I know that Coca-Cola is Universal, but the Song should of been sung in English” reads a comment posted on the comment section of the Coke’s ad on its official page. Just as soon as the backlash against Coke started, a backlash against the backlash started; people began defending Coke and saying that Americans speak more than just English and that the commercial celebrated the “real” America which consists of people from all different backgrounds, cultures, and languages. Brenda Wood, a news anchor for WXIA in Atlanta, closed off her show with this message saying that Coca-Cola has always been about inclusion, citing their 1971 ad “I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing” which featured people of different races and cultures. She goes on to scold those who were indignant enough to find offense in this ad, considering that America was founded by people who spoke other languages and that English isn’t even America’s official language, it came from England. This whole controversy has shed some much needed light on the state of tolerance and acceptance in America, but this isn’t the first time something like this has happened. In the summer of 2013, after singing “God Bless America” at an MLB All-Star game, Grammy winning singer Marc Anthony received a barrage of hateful and xenophobic tweets. People took to Twitter to voice their discontent saying things like “Welcome to america where god bless america is sung at our national pastime by a mexican.” The most revealing thing about these tweets is that Marc Anthony is American; he was born in New York City to Puerto Rican parents, and yet that still wasn’t good enough for all of these people. An interesting parallel of this Coke controversy can be found by doing a simple Google search of “coca-cola” and “south african apartheid”. Some consumers today are attempting to boycott Coke due to their multi-lingual ad featuring people of different races, but back in ’80’s and ’90’s, students and politically active people around the nation were boycotting Coke because of their continued support of apartheid in South Africa. Watch Coke’s “Its Beautiful” ad below and let us know what you think in the comments!