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Multilingual Coke Commercial Sparks Debate

Coca-Cola's Super Bowl commercial sparked a lively debate. (Coca-Cola)
Coca-Cola's Super Bowl commercial sparked a lively debate. (Coca-Cola)
While the general consensus was that this year’s Super Bowl ads were mediocre, an ad from soft drink giant Coca-Cola sparked a lively conversation.

Coke’s ad features the song “America the Beautiful,” which is often considered the second national anthem, sung in several different languages by a multiethnic cast of singers. The song was sung in English, Tagalog, Spanish, Hebrew, Hindi, Keres and Senegalese-French. The commercial also featured a gay family.

The Super Bowl has become the place to debut funny, moving or even controversial advertisements. Many non-football fans look forward to the game – for the commercials. For a 30-second spot, companies pay up to $4 million to hopefully grab the attention of the millions watching American football’s championship game.

"For centuries America has opened its arms to people of many countries who have helped to build this great nation," said Sonya Soutus, senior vice president of Public Affairs and Communications, Coca-Cola North America in a statement. "We believe [the ad] is a great example of the magic that makes our country so special, and a powerful message that spreads optimism, promotes inclusion and celebrates humanity – values that are core to us and that matter to Coca-Cola."

Both detractors and supporters of the ad took to the web to voice their opinion.

On the critical side, people complained that the song should only be sung in English, while those who liked the commercial embraced its multicultural bent.

Conservative former U.S. congressman Allen West lamented the inclusion of other languages.

“If we cannot be proud enough as a country to sing ‘American [sic] 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. This was a truly disturbing commercial for me, what say you?” he wrote in a blog post.

Glenn Beck, a controversial political commentator, said the commercial was meant to “divide us, politically.”

Social media was buzzing with talk about the commercial, including many who didn’t like it.





But those who liked the commercial haled the message of inclusion and diversity





Coke just seemed happy people were talking.

"We hope the ad gets people talking and thinking about what it means to be proud to be American," said Katie Bayne, president of Coca-Cola North America, in the release.

Here's the full commercial:

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by: Duckman from: New Mexico
February 04, 2014 8:33 PM
The United States of America is a Nation of immigrants. But in an organized society we unite through a common language. When visiting other countries I have never arrogantly expected everyone to bow down to me and speak my language. We must unite and assimilate to the nation we are in. Speak English in this country. Coke will not get my business I love this country it is beautiful. Why does Coke support separatism and division in our great Nation?


by: Don Long
February 04, 2014 8:09 PM
America was formed by folks from other countries. This ad shows how accepting we are of people from all walks of life. No matter what race, creed, religion or sexual orientation. If you were offended by this ad, you don't need to live in this country.


by: jlangley from: Usa
February 04, 2014 6:47 PM
How awesome was it but I hate to break it but since when did we go back to the intolerance of 1600s did not the English language come from Brittan? Since when did we become nazis here? OH HAIL ENGLISH AND THE WHITE WAY no? Isn't that what you jerks are saying.... want to send every one who isn't american blooded.... better trace you lineage... 5.00 says it came Europe.... go back to england.... simple.. but you might to learn tolerance prior to getting there... just saying


by: DeWayne Walker from: RAPID City SD
February 04, 2014 6:38 PM
I really do not care if the ad displayed some singing martians, it is a patriotic song, and, thus entitled to be sung in our native tongue of English. What next to sell a soda, our national anthem sung in pig Latin? I for one will never buy another coke product, besides Pepsi is better!!!!


by: Trisha Walker from: RAPID City SD
February 04, 2014 6:13 PM
The ad was an insult to every legitimate American. Coke can kiss my you know what and will never get
another sale from me. Go Pepsi!!!!




by: Kyuu
February 04, 2014 3:57 PM
To anyone offended by this commercial, go learn and study a foreign language for once. There's more to this country, let alone planet, than a white society.


by: Bbb from: Paris
February 04, 2014 3:24 PM
The negative reaction shows how much hate americans have in their hearts. How racists they are, and the lack of respect for others that they have. The commercial is beautiful. While in Europe people speaks more than one language and try to educate themselves about other cultures; americans try to avoid education.


by: A.M.H from: Idaho
February 04, 2014 1:59 PM
I am 57 years old a retired Army vet and I'm a America of Mexican heridage and was raised to speak English first and I was a life long coke drinker but after that commercial never again


by: bastetsmom from: USA
February 04, 2014 1:40 PM
E Pluribus Unum. How many know that it's on our currency? That it is NOT in English? That it means, "out of many, one"? The Founding Fathers were right. Our country is made strong because we can get along despite our diversity, unlike the sectarian violence we see in the Middle East. Those who fan the flames against diversity are the ones weakening the country.


by: Deb from: New Mexico
February 04, 2014 1:12 PM
The ad included a Native American young person and was great! Keres is a Native American language and has been spoken here in the American Southwest for centuries long before any English words. The ad was beautiful and there is nothing wrong with being bilingual. People forget that the English language is also a foreign language in America.

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