Multi-lingual Coca-Cola commercial sparks controversy

Column by Courtney Fishman

The Super Bowl is about three things: the game, the halftime performance and the commercials.

But every year there’s a controversial commercial. Something that tickled the feathers of the 115 million viewers who tuned in to watch the Seahawks dominate the Broncos.

And this year Coca-Cola claimed that prize.

With a slew of angry tweets and Facebook posts circulating the web, America became less than united in one minute.

But this debacle confuses me because it’s not actually controversial.

Coca Cola took a national song and translated it into seven other languages. The commercial highlighted the melting pot of culture, heritage and traditions that the U.S. boasts.

Yet, some criticized the commercial for lacking patriotism. The multi-lingual song was deemed “un-American.”

Specifically, Allen West, a former Tea Party Candidate and contributing ringmaster behind the uproar wrote on his website, “If we cannot be proud enough as a country to sing “America 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?”

What say you? Well, I say America is supposedly a place of opportunity. A country that fosters multiculturalism and embraces those who are different.

Coca-Cola is about as American as apple pie and the right to vote. The carbonated bottle of sugar is a symbol of our culture, and the company has always strived to create unity.

Whether you were born in the states or passed an immigration test eight years ago, you’re an American. While the majority of citizens speak English, American immigrants don’t stop speaking their native language because they crossed the border.

America doesn’t have an official language, and as far as I’m concerned, it should stay that way.

We’re a country based on freedom and unity, and this commercial has highlighted how beautiful diversity is.

But it also emphasized the ugliness and misunderstanding of our country.

Coca-Cola took a chance. They celebrated the diversity our founding fathers hoped our country would eventually possess. And for that, I applaud them.

Fishman is a sophomore magazine major and can be reached at


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