Coca-Cola Ad Controversy

Everyone is talking about what happened the night of the Super Bowl. And no, it isn’t how the Seahawks ravaged the Broncos. Rather, the real scandal is how Coca-Cola desecrated the patriotism held by the American people. They crossed a limit when they depicted the sacred national anthem being sung in a deluge of “foreign tongues”.

Or at least, that’s what a surprising number of people are Facebook-ing and Tweeting and hash-tagging about. Problem is, there’s just a few holes in the otherwise wholesome logic of the fanatics. The song utilized in the Coca-Cola advert, for starters is ‘America the Beautiful’. The actual national anthem of the United States, it might interest the patriots to know, is a tune that goes by the name of ‘The Star-spangled Banner’. Such patriotism. Much sentiment. Wow.

Super Bowl ads are almost as awaited as the actual game itself. But what made this one stand out in particular? What message was Coca-Cola trying to convey, that somewhere in the process got (permit this one pun) lost in translation?

There are several interpretations out there. The conservative school of thought, as demonstrated above, feels the ad is an attempt to use an iconic song to “push multiculturalism down our throats”, or to divide Americans.

Then there are those who are more open-minded, and feel that Coca-Cola was simply seeking to embrace and celebrate the diversity of both its consumers and of the nation. They recognize that America as a nation consists of people from all across the globe, some who moved here more recently than others. But in embracing their new homeland, they did not forget from where they once came, and through their language and culture, they celebrate their roots, which doesn’t make them any less American.

But no controversy would be complete without a conspiracy. And in enters the “Coca-Cola planned this all along” faction. They espouse that the corporation was well-aware of the outrage their advert would generate, and that this was a calculated move to increase their popularity with fast-growing minority groups (such as the ones who speak the languages in their ad), as these groups form their target audience. Educated and well-off white Americans are consuming less soda each year, and the company is looking for “heavy users” to target, who tend to be people from less affluent communities.

So which one is it? Or is it a mixture of all three? Perhaps the best thing to do is to watch the advertisement for yourself, and make up your own mind about it.

Official Coca-Cola “Big Game” Commercial 2014

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