During the 2014 Super Bowl, a commercial produced by Coca-Cola aired which caused quite a lot of controversy.
The ad featured the song “America The Beautiful,” something in itself that is not surprising. But what caused outrage from some viewers was that the song was sung in multiple languages and featured a gay family.
As soon as the ad, titled “It’s Beautiful,” played, Twitter lit up with both criticism and praise.
Coca-Cola posted a press release claiming that its commercial was “a salute to America,” and “the ad features real people enjoying each other and a Coke.”
In the press release, Katie Bayne, President, North America Brands, Coca-Cola North America, went on to say, “For 127 years, Coca-Cola has been proud to be a part of bringing friends and families together while memories are made. With ‘It’s Beautiful,’ we are simply showing that America is beautiful, and Coke is for everyone.”
Former Congressman Allen West also commented about the Coke ad, saying it “missed the mark.”
“I am quite sure there may some who appreciated the commercial,” West said, “but Coca Cola missed the mark in my opinion. If we cannot be proud enough as a country to sing ‘American the Beautiful’ in English in a commercial during the Super Bowl, by a company as American as they come–doggone we are on the road to perdition. This was a truly disturbing commercial for me, what say you?”
On the other hand, Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) tweeted, “My favorite commercial so far? Coca Cola’s America the Beautiful ad. Gave me goosebumps, and I don’t even drink.”
The ad also featured a gay couple and their daughter hugging each other during the anthem. According to the gay advocacy group GLAAD, this is the first gay family ever featured in a Super Bowl ad.
GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis released a statement about the Coke ad saying, “Including a gay family in this ad is not only a step forward for the advertising industry, but a reflection of the growing majority of Americans from all walks of life who proudly support their LGBT friends, family and neighbors as integral parts of ‘America the Beautiful.'”