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Coca-Cola Super Bowl ad stirs controversy with multilingual singing of 'America The Beautiful'

1:50 PM, Feb 4, 2014   |    comments
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Credit: Coca-Cola YouTube

 

ATLANTA (CBS Atlanta/AP) - Each year, several Super Bowl commercials become the subject of controversy and scrutiny, usually for their sexually charged content.

This year, a Coca-Cola ad landed in the proverbial hot seat, but not for being lewd - it showed Americans of different races and ethnicities singing "America, the Beautiful" in a variety of different languages. After it aired, many took to various social networking sites to express their outrage at the song being performed in any language other than English.

Click here to watch the ad

The company's official Facebook page was inundated with comments after the spot appeared during Super Bowl XLVIII. Though some showed support for the diversity shown in the ad, many others expressed displeasure.

"Today we are throwing away all our Coca-Cola products and replacing them with Faygo," the Facebook page for the Tri-County Congregational Church in St. Cloud, Minn. wrote. "Faygo represents Christian Values and follows the Constitution. Mexicans singing the National Anthem is an abomination."

Added Facebook user Jamey Mikels, "It is not bigotry to demand that we have a unified language in the UNITED STATES [sic]. If we do not have that we are no better than the 3rd world cesspool dwellers that refuse to lift THEMSELVES [sic] up. The language is what helps us to get along. Having multiple languages just keeps people separated into different communities rather becoming ONE [sic] great Nation [sic]! This commercial was put out to make self hating white people feel good!"

Angered customers also commented on videos of the commercial that were posted to YouTube.

"[M]ulticulturalism has been turning America into a slum for the past 50 years, and the CEO of Coca Cola is Turkish so he doesn't give a s***," one user who identified himself as Benji Kenton wrote on a video published by WorldStarHipHop Official.

His comment is referring to Muhtar Kent, the Turkish-American business man who is the CEO of the soda company.

Added a user called Emily Statton, "What a f***ing terrible commercial. That majority of it was not even in English and was sung by a bunch of foreigners. Just more multicultural, politically correct, liberal s***."

Many Twitter users were also upset by the use of different languages in the singing of the patriotic song.

"@CocaCola has America the Beautiful being sung in different languages in a #SuperBowl commercial? We speak ENGLISH here, IDIOTS," one user was quoted as saying by Time magazine.

Other advertisers played up their American roots, with far less polarizing results.

Chrysler also went with a U.S.A theme. It had a two-minute ad starring music legend Bob Dylan discussing the virtues of having cars built in Detroit, a theme the car maker has stuck with in previous ads with rapper Eminem and actor Clint Eastwood.

"Let Germany brew your beer. Let Asia assemble your phone. We will build your car," Dylan said in the ad.

Barbara Lippert, ad critic and Mediapost.com, said the ads were an attempt to connect with viewers on a more personal level.

"We want to be able to feel through all these screens and through all the hype there's a human element and in the end were all human," Lippert, noted.

Still, not everyone was a fan.

"I didn't like it very much," said Crystal Booker, who lives in Rock Hill, S.C., about the Chrysler ad, in particular. "It was nostalgic but nothing that I hadn't seen before."

Overall, Super Bowl ads this year were said to be less controversial than usually, as they were free of crude jokes, and sexual innuendo was kept to a minimum.

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