Coca-Cola's "America is Beautiful" Ad Controversy

Coca-Cola's "America is Beautiful" Ad Controversy

Part of a series on Super Bowl XLVIII. [View Related Entries]

Updated Mar 18, 2014 at 11:09PM EDT by Brad.

Added Feb 04, 2014 at 02:52PM EST by Don.

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Overview

Coca-Cola’s “America is Beautiful” Ad Controversy refers to the xenophobic backlash against a multilingual rendition of “America the Beautiful” that was broadcast as part of Coca-Cola’s commercial during the Super Bowl XLVIII in early February 2014.

Background

On February 2nd, 2014, Coca-Cola unveiled its Super Bowl advertisement featuring the 1895 American patriotic song “America the Beautiful,” as sung by people of various ethnicities in several different languages (shown below).



Notable Developments

Following the commercial’s broadcast, many Twitter users began criticizing the commercial for including non-English variations of the patriotic song in tweets with the hashtag “#BoycottCoke.”






The same day, Fox News host Todd Starnes tweeted that Coca-Cola is a soft drink for illegal aliens.




On February 3rd, artist Ainee Fatima tweeted that bigots who wished to boycott Coke should know that Pepsi is led by a Hindu woman and a Muslim man. In the next 24 hours, the tweet accumulated over 650 retweets and 450 favorites.




On the same day, conservative pundit Glenn Beck claimed that the Coca-Cola ad was made to divide Americans during a segment on his podcast. Also on February 3rd, news anchor Brenda Wood defended the commercial and criticized those who called for a boycott of Coca-Cola (shown below). On the following day, Redditor FlowersOfSodom posted Wood’s clip to the /r/videos[1] subreddit, where it received more than 11,900 up votes and 2,200 comments in the first 13 hours.



On February 4th, Redditor blukirbi submitted an image macro mocking the Coke backlash to the /r/funny[2] subreddit, where it received more than 10,300 up votes and 600 comments in the first 11 hours (shown below, left). On the same day, Redditor Spodormon submitted a “Fuck Me, Right?” image macro regarding the controversy to the /r/AdviceAnimals[3] subreddit, gaining upwards of 8,300 up votes and 320 comments in the following eight hours.



News Media Coverage

In the coming days, several news sites published articles about the online backlash to the ad, including NY Daily News,[4]USA Today,[5] Mediaite,[6] Time,[7] Salon,[8] UpRoxx[9] and the Huffington Post.[10]

Search Interest

External References

Recent Videos 2 total

Recent Images 8 total

Top Comments

Daft Punkjet
Daft Punkjet

Knew the moment it aired it would light up with racist comments on twitter. TBH though, I did not find the commercial to be effective in it’s message though. Coca Cola was trying to show different ethnicities living in America, but it never really amazed me. Something was off.

But yeah, I knew this was going to happen.

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