Coca-Cola Super Bowl ad stirs controversy

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Every year, there’s always one Super Bowl ad that generates a bit of next-day controversy. And this year’s ad appears to be Coca-Cola’s “It’s Beautiful” ad.

The one-minute ad features children and adults from all walks of life, from across the country, singing “America the Beautiful” in multiple languages. Seems fairly straight-forward, right? Not like the infamous Bar Refaeli Go Daddy ad from last year that featured the Israeli supermodel making out with a nerd.

However, two aspects of the ad appear to have turned it into one of those cultural hot spots (or at least a lukewarm spot) that ignites a little social media outrage for awhile. Some objected to the idea of hearing “America the Beautiful” sung in languages that were not English. Others objected to the inclusion of two gay dads in the ad.


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The multilingual aspect of the ad drew fire from former Republican Congressman Allen West, who wrote a blog post saying, “If we cannot be proud enough as a country to sing “American the Beautiful” in English in a commercial during the Super Bowl, by a company as American as they come -- doggone we are on the road to perdition.”

Conservative columnist and Fox News Radio host Todd Starnes tweeted his dislike of the ad, writing, “So was Coca-Cola saying America is beautiful because new immigrants don’t learn to speak English?”

For awhile, the hashtag #BoycottCoke trended on Twitter, with some calling for a boycott of the soft drink for daring to desecrate the national anthem by using foreign languages. (It should be pointed out for anyone confused on the matter, that America’s actual national anthem is “The Star-Spangled Banner.”)

However, the outrage over the foreign languages may prove to be quite short-lived. Based on a social media sampling, the outrage at those who were outraged appears to be much greater. And as conservative pundit Erick Erickson wrote, “People, the Coke ad was well done. This is so crazy that there is outrage over it. E Pluribus Unum isn’t in English either.”

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Slightly more complicated is the controversy surrounding the inclusion of a gay couple in the ad. Coca-Cola has been under pressure for being a sponsor of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, where the government has taken a decidedly anti-LGBT stance in the weeks leading up to the games.

While, some felt the inclusion of a gay couple in the ad was a positive show of support, others felt it didn’t go far enough.

Gay columnist and pod cast host Dan Savage tweeted, “Now, @CocaCola? Put a pair of Russian gay dads in an ad that you run in Russia—during the Olympics. #CheersToSochi.”

Michael Patrick Leahy at also took issue with the inclusion of a gay couple in the ad, writing, “When the company used such an iconic song, one often sung in churches on the 4th of July that represents the old ‘E Pluribus Unum’ view of how American society is integrated, to push multiculturalism down our throats, it’s no wonder conservatives were outraged.”


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