News / USA

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:

You May Like

Sydney Hostage-taker Failed to Manipulate Social Media

Gunman forced captives to use personal Facebook, YouTube accounts to issue his demands; online community helped flag messages, urged others not to share them More

UN Seeks $8.4 Billion to Help War-Hit Syrians

Effort aimed at helping Syrians displaced within their own country and those who've fled to neighboring ones More

Who Are the Pakistani Taliban?

It's an umbrella group of militant organizations whose objective is enforcement of Sharia in Pakistan 'whether through peace or war' More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments page of 4
 Previous   Next 
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.

Comments page of 4
 Previous   Next 

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?i
X
Ayesha Tanzeem
December 17, 2014 11:54 AM
The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?

The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video Turkey's Authoritarianism Dismays Western Allies

The Turkish government has been defiant in the face of criticism at home and abroad for its raids targeting opposition media. The European Union on Monday expressed dismay after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan lashed out at Brussels for criticizing his government's action. Turkey's bid to be considered for EU membership has been on hold while critics accuse the NATO ally of increasingly authoritarian rule. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video US-China Year in Review: Hong Kong to Climate Change

The United States is pushing for a code of conduct to resolve territorial disputes in the South China Sea as it works to improve commercial ties with Beijing. VOA State Department correspondent Scott Stearns reports on a year of U.S. policy toward China from Hong Kong to climate change.
Video

Video Japanese Leader’s Election Win Raises Potential for Conflict with Neighbors

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his allies easily won a two-thirds majority in parliament Sunday, even though the country has slipped into recession under his conservative policies. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from Seoul, that the prime minister’s victory will empower him to continue economic reforms but also pursue a nationalist agenda that will likely increase tensions with Japan’s neighbors.
Video

Video Nuba Mountain Families Hide in Caves to Escape Aerial Bombings

Despite ongoing peace talks between Sudan's government and the rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North, or SPLM-N, daily aerial attacks continue in South Kordofan province’s Nuba Mountains. Adam Bailes was there and reports for VOA that government forces are targeting civilian areas, rather than military positions, with their daily bombardments.

All About America

AppleAndroid