By in Random

Coke Superbowl Ad Caused Controversy

Coke always has a Superbowl ad that gets a lot of feedback, and generally it's positive. In recent years, they have been doing animated ads that featured cute, belly-sledding polar bears, and the 2013 ad was a neat CGI production. Last year, they strove for unity and harmony by featuring an ad called "It's Beautiful", featuring images of people from different races and cultures over the voiceover of people singing "America the Beautiful" in different languages.

I thought it was sweet. It harkened back to their old "I'd Like to Teach the World to Sing" commercial from the 70s, which proposed the adorably innocent idea that if we could just all share a Coke, it would bring about world peace. Unfortunately, the reason that wouldn't work is that the world is full of racist jerks, and we found out exactly who they are after they lit up Twitter.

I won't get into specific comments, but there seemed to be an overwhelming idea that "foreign" languages and "foreign-looking" (nonwhite, apparently) people were not "American", and many aggravated bigots screamed, "This is AMERICA--speak ENGLISH!!"

Well, it's not ENGLAND, is it? English is as foreign a language in this country as any other, except for those spoken by NATIVE AMERICANS, who are NOT WHITE PEOPLE. And from the very beginning, this country has welcomed immigrants.

I would ask these people: Are you so aggressively proud about knowing only one language? I would love to speak several languages fluently, like they do in other countries. I love my Japanese husband, accent and all, and I am delighted to meet people from other countries who loved THIS country enough to stay, even in the face of such blind, stupid, discrimination and hatred. They are the true Americans, because they left everything they knew for a place they believed in--THIS place. So quit hating and have a Coke. Maybe it will chill you out.

Image of an American from Wikimedia Commons

Image Credit »,_a_Comanche_warrior_and_horse_-.jpg

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MelissaE wrote on May 23, 2015, 5:58 PM

I have not seen the ad, but I am sure that it is lovely. I, too, remember the ad where folks held hands and sang about perfect harmony.

MegL wrote on May 23, 2015, 5:58 PM

George Bernard Shaw once said America and England are two countries separated by a common language! There is a lot of American-speak that I do not recognise as English. Like you, I would love to be able to speak several languages fluently. I was in Belgium one time in an office and the person there spoke a different language on the phone from her everyday language and while she was speaking to that person and saw me coming in, she put her hand over the mouthpiece and spoke to me in English to say she wouldn't be long. She told me she spoke 5 languages fluently and another not so well. I believe all children should have the opportunity to learn another language in primary (elementary) school. It's easier then. My granddaughter's school had Japanese day yesterday, when all the children went in dressed in Japanese costume and had their names written out in Japanese characters.

WordChazer wrote on May 23, 2015, 6:36 PM

Nail. Head. Sure, the number of non-English speaking people in England causes concern to some. But, due to many external factors, without our international colleagues, we would have far fewer NHS nurses and doctors, home care staff, cleaners, wait staff, checkout operators, bank cashiers...

America is no different. California and New York are two locations I have visited where I have met many people whose lives did not begin in that state or area. Indiana, meanwhile, hosts many circus performers. In this country our traveling show-people are subject to all sorts of nasties. They are confused with other types who are less law abiding and more unpleasant, when in fact our genuine 'carnies' and gypsies are much easier to get along with.

Last Edited: May 23, 2015, 6:37 PM

KristinRavelle wrote on May 23, 2015, 8:30 PM

I think it's great to speak many languages but it shouldn't be rammed down your throat. I speak some Finnish (family) and bits of Spanish and Russian. In Canada we have bilingualism French and I disagree with it. Everything sold in a store has to have both English and French descriptions, all governmental offices are bilingual English/French speaking, etc. For a small minority of French speakers compared to the entire population, the entire country is obliged to ante up because of some stupid laws passed I think in Trudeau's years.

Gossamer wrote on May 23, 2015, 9:58 PM

There are a number of countries which do not have an "official" language. I think the US of A may well be one of them. So, nice try, bigots, but no cigar!

msiduri wrote on May 24, 2015, 10:10 AM

That is correct. The US does not have an official language. If I had my druthers, though, no one would graduate high school without being fluent in English and one other language, be it Spanish, Mandarin or Swahili.

Gossamer wrote on May 24, 2015, 5:57 PM

It's nice to have a few druthers. Very useful gadgets! :)

CoralLevang wrote on May 24, 2015, 6:24 PM

May that's the problem. True Americans, as you describe them, should drink Pepsi, or better yet an RC Cola. Leave the Coke products to the blind, stupid, discriminating haters. Come over to my side. emoticon :winking:

AliCanary wrote on May 25, 2015, 7:32 PM

You can probably find it on YouTube. Yep, that was a sweet commercial!

AliCanary wrote on May 25, 2015, 7:44 PM

The smaller countries like Belgium and Switzerland are so good at speaking four languages, and almost everyone in Europe, it seems, can speak English. It's less common in Japan, to my observation, but there was always someone in the larger hotels and department stores who could speak English. I took three years of French in high school (we were required to take a minimum of two years of a foreign language), but I feel much more conversant in Spanish, as I have had way more opportunity to practice that.

AliCanary wrote on May 25, 2015, 7:48 PM

All this hatred really comes from fear--I just can't get over how afraid people are of someone who is different. Why not see it as a learning opportunity?

AliCanary wrote on May 25, 2015, 7:50 PM

I don't see why bilingual labeling would be an imposition on anyone. It seems like a good opportunity to learn the languages, since they are side by side.

WordChazer wrote on May 26, 2015, 1:02 PM

In Saarbruecken, Germany, the labels are often in German, French and English! The locals are pretty nifty when it comes to dealing with international visitors - the border with French-speaking Luxembourg is just down the road, after all. I would love to live somewhere like that, but as it is, I have no idea what my Filipino or Eastern European friends, neighbors and colleagues are saying.

CalmGemini wrote on May 26, 2015, 3:27 PM

Okay,I watched the Coke Superbowl ad on You Tube.It had persons of different ages-young and very old, It had people of different races and the songs were in different languages. I do not think anything more needs to be said.