Coca Cola's Super Bowl commercial featuring a multilingual interpretation of "America the Beautiful" was reminiscent of some of the very best Coca-Cola commercials from our recent past — but left a bitter after taste in the mouth of some viewers and conservative pundits.
The one-minute ad called "It's beautiful" sung in seven different languages — was meant to display the country's "unmatchable diversity," in the words of the famed soft drink company.
The surprise came after the commercial when many who watched took to the blogosphere to protest their interpretation of the message.
One watcher tweeted “Coca Cola is the official soft drink of illegals crossing the border.” Another wrote “America the beautiful is sang in English. Piss off.”
While another tweeted “America the Beautiful sung in Spanish, English, Arabic, and other languages. Beautiful.”
Still another tweeted “Nice to see that coke likes to sing an AMERICAN song in the terrorist's language. Way to go coke. You can leave America," tweeted one disgruntled viewer.
Conservative radio host Glenn Beck told his listeners Monday that the ad is selling a divided America.
"And I said, 'Why did you need that to divide us politically?' Because that's all this ad is. It's in your face, and if you don't like it, if you're offended by it, you're a racist. If you do like it, you're for immigration. You're for progress. That's all this is: to divide people."
Coca Cola's grand design of cultural inclusiveness was not acceptable to Beck and he made that evident on his radio program.
"Every leader of the European union that tried multiculturalism is now warning America and the rest of the world that tried multiculturalism doesn't work, you have to assimilate," he added.
Fox News' Todd Starnes said “So was Coca-Cola saying America is beautiful because new immigrants don't learn to speak English?' he tweeted.
While the commercial spot ignited a firestorm of issues for right wingers — the ongoing debate over the role of English as the primary language in the U.S., immigration reform and the acceptance of same sex relationships all made their mark to the mainstream during the Super Bowl.
Interestingly enough, while many were tweeting about the immigrant representation, many totally missed the reference to same sex couples in that same ad.
Former GOP Rep. Allen West, another Fox News contributor, warned that the ad from a "company as American as they come" is a sign that "we are on the road to perdition."
Armchair quarterbacks turned critics took to their laptops and smartphones visiting Coca Cola's Facebook page and Twitter to condemn the ad and vow boycotts.
"Nice to see that coke likes to sing an AMERICAN song in the terrorist's language. Way to go coke. You can leave America," tweeted one disgruntled viewer.
Many other commentators, however, lauded Coca Cola for the embracing the ideal of the United States as a melting pot.
Rita Houston, Director of Global Marketing Capability for Coca Cola told examiner.com “The ad, entitled “It’s Beautiful,” is a portrait of modern day America. It features real people enjoying treasured moments between families and friends with ice-cold, refreshing Coca-Cola. It delivers two simple but important messages: America is beautiful, and Coca-Cola is for everyone. “It’s Beautiful” is a powerful statement of unity that spreads optimism, promotes inclusion and celebrates humanity and the wonderful diversity of our country.”
Good commercials just like good movies do not force anything on its viewers, but they do allow us to view the forest despite all of the trees.