Coca-Cola's "America the Beautiful" Super Bowl commercial struck a chord with some viewers Sunday night but offended others who took to Twitter with the hashtag #SpeakAmerican to voice their opinions.
The 60-second ad was simple yet evocative. It featured a montage of images of people from multicultural backgrounds set to the tune of "America the Beautiful" with some of the verses sung in different languages.
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But soon after the spot aired, people took to Twitter and claimed they were offended by the patriotic song being presented in languages other than English, which some called a "threat to the American identity."
Others spoke out in other forums.
"The last thing any of us should want to see is a balkanized America. Furthermore, it has to be of concern that we have Americans who lack the resolve to take a stand for our borders, language, and culture," former Rep. Allen West of Florida wrote in a blog post Monday morning
. He argued that the ad should have featured the song sung in English with images of our country's multicultural service members.
"If you truly want to show a diverse commitment to service, sacrifice, and honor that enables us to live in 'America the Beautiful' that would have been rated the best commercial advertisement of the Super Bowl."
But just as many people defended commercial and criticized the haters.
Despite the controversy, the ad likely did exactly what Coke wanted it to do — it got people talking.
"We hope the ad gets people talking and thinking about what it means to be proud to be American," Katie Bayne, president of Coca-Cola North America, said in a press release
The soft drink company reportedly plans to release a 90-second version of the "America the Beautiful" commercial during the opening ceremonies of the Sochi Olympics on Friday.
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