To be completely honest with you guys, I did not watch the Super Bowl last night. I went to a pre-party with a few coworkers, ate an embarrassing amount of free food, and left shortly thereafter to go unpack my apartment because I moved over the weekend. But while grumpily unloading my eight million boxes, I glanced at Twitter and noticed that people were discussing a Coca-Cola ad, and that a few people were pissed about it (I then unfollowed them, for the record). Here it is:
The ad features numerous people experiencing life in the United States while different voices sing from “America the Beautiful” in various languages. It was a well-done, simple ad meant to pull at your heartstrings a bit and, in the end, remind us that the only language we all need to speak is
high-fructose corn syrup and enamel erosion soda. The noteworthy aspect of the commercial–besides the multi-lingual element, which Coke even posted each individual recording of on YouTube–was that it featured a two male partners and their daughter, which makes the ad the first Super Bowl commercial to feature a family with gay parents ever.
GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis commented on the ad:
“Including a gay family in this ad is not only a step forward for the advertising industry, but a reflection of the growing majority of Americans from all walks of life who proudly support their LGBT friends, family and neighbors as integral parts of ‘America the Beautiful.’”
#AmericaIsBeautiful went trending after the commercial aired as people praised its step in a positive direction of inclusiveness for all cultures and all sexualities. Naturally, a whole bunch of douchebags had to ruin it. (Warning: There’s strong language in some of these tweets.)
Can’t believe Coke just committed corporate suicide during the Super Bowl.
— Marc Mahnke (@MarcMahnke) February 3, 2014
I’m gonna guess Marc Mahnke doesn’t understand how business works. Nor common sense, nor human decency.
Coke having a commercial with an American song in other languages… not cool. Coke. GTFO with that. — KYBlackoutTFM (@KYBlackout) February 3, 2014
— Fred M (@fredontwittur) February 3, 2014
Coke comercial #fag
— Lance Marshall (@lovethemnts) February 3, 2014
who is this faggot signing to me in this coke commercial
— Curve Schilling (@Angry_Haitian) February 3, 2014
Was that an interracial faggot couple on that Coke commercial?
— John Glanton (@ThenTheJudgment) February 3, 2014
— Stephanie Weaver (@stphniwvr) February 3, 2014
Dear Coke, Your commercial is a slap to the faces of my Italian and Finnish ancestors who came here & learned English. #AmericaIsBeautiful
— Richard Chase (@BornUnderReagan) February 3, 2014
Hey, you know how you can learn how to play tennis and Fun fact: You can speak English and other languages! Or just other languages! And it doesn’t slap anybody because that’s a f’ing ridiculous idea! Still, some users wound up advocating a boycott of Coke: Fortunately, others were there to respond poignantly:
The best part of this super bowl is Coke losing a million racist customers. — r murph’s horcrux (@iamthattgirl) February 3, 2014
You should #boycottcoke with a reason like “it has too much sugar” or “I’m giving up soda” and not “I don’t understand culture” reasons.
— Jonathan Diener (@jonodiener) February 3, 2014
“Racism is dead and basically irrelevant. But let’s #boycottcoke because non-whites sang a song praising our country.”-Republican Extremists
— Lindsey (@LindseyyMeade) February 3, 2014
— Anagnorisis (@mooneyedgirl) February 3, 2014
Now #boycottcoke is a thing? We godless liberals tend not to like Coke anyway! Now we’re backed into supporting them? Well played, Coke.
— Lindsay Ellis (@thelindsayellis) February 3, 2014
Unfortunately, though, the type of people who epitomize why the rest of the world thinks America is full of assholes probably won’t be listening to reason, as they are too busy blaming their problems on those dern immigrantz.
For the record, I think Coke is a pretty terrible company. Regardless, a great deal of America (and the rest of the world) love its products and pay attention to its advertising, so I am all for it making a solid ad–especially given how frequently Super Bowl ads are just sexist, offensive and repetitive.
Coke is smart to recognize that increasing diversity in America is not only inevitable, but also wonderful. Human beings, including millions of those who were raised here, speak not just English, but Spanish, Chinese, Arabic, Hebrew, French, Farsi, Hindi, Japanese and innumerable other languages. When my dad immigrated, he spoke Spanish, and it’s not like he spontaneously forgot how to speak it once he learned English. America is not a place where exclusively English speakers are allowed to exist and celebrate themselves–yes, even during the Super Bowl. Especially during the Super Bowl. Especially during every day.