Controversial Coca-Cola ad hits the wrong note with some viewers - New York News

Coca-Cola Controversy: 'America the Beautiful' Super Bowl ad draws criticism

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PHOENIX (KSAZ) -

A new Super Bowl ad by Coca-Cola celebrates the nation's diversity.  It also features the first gay family to appear in a spot for the big game.

While many are praising this commercial, it's causing plenty of controversy.

A lot of people are threatening to boycott the soft drink maker.  They're apparently upset that parts of the song, "America the Beautiful" could be heard in languages other than English and that the ad featured people of different ethnicities and faiths.

Twitter and Facebook have been flooded with reactions.

"Oh beautiful, for spacious skies.."

The ad continues in English and other languages, including Hindi, French and Tagalog, the language of the Philippines.  That didn't sit well with some folks we met with on Monday.

"It is America.  It should be sung in English.  That is kind of the way I feel about it.  We speak English.  It is our country," said Gayle Nunn.

"Well, of course  I prefer English.  I was born European, but I came here and I spoke English," said Janice Ratkovich.

"Well, I have been in a lot of foreign countries.. they sing it in their language. I think we should sing it in English in the United States," said Bernice Zappia.

But other people found the ad uplifting, precisely because of the variety of languages.

"It is a beautiful song.  It stands for something I believe in and I think it should be sung in other languages," said Robert Bender.

"I think it can be any language," said Yvonne Solis.  "Just because there is a bunch of languages around the world and people love music.. it is a world-wide thing."

"It just shows American is a melting pot with many different languages," said Edie Parker.

Advertising professionals recall the old adage that any publicity is good publicity and Coke went beyond a variety of languages in the ad."

"Supposedly, it was the first gay couple portrayed in a Super Bowl ad," said Kristin Bloomquist of Cramer-Krasselt Advertising.  "Perhaps they knew they were going to push the envelope a little bit and they have the right to do that."

It's important to remember Coca-Cola is both a national and global brand, so that may play into the themes of multiculturalism seen in this ad.

Vice President Joe Biden weighed in on Twitter Monday, praising the ad.

It's an interesting moment -- a commercial for a consumer product sparking a searching discussion of what it means to be an American.

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