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Coca Cola Ad Too Inclusive?

Published February 13, 2014 at 9:49 am

In many ways, the Super Bowl is the consummate American event. Few brands are more relevant worldwide than Coca Cola. What happens when the two mix?

A commercial that has some conservatives up in arms.

A one minute long ad for the soft drink, which premiered during the game, featured the song America the Beautiful, sung in seven different languages. The company explained that the goal was to showcase the country’s diversity.

Not everyone is completely on board however. Some conservative pundits, notably Glenn Beck, found fault with the ad’s message of multiculturalism. These critics noted that the song was sacrosanct and promoted the notion that other cultures should be forced to adapt to American customs, rather than the other way around.’s Michael Patrick Leahy also took offense to the song usage, raising his ire in a column that ran on the site.

“Executives at Coca Cola thought it was a good idea to run a 60 second Super Bowl ad featuring children singing “America the Beautiful” — a deeply Christian patriotic anthem whose theme is unity — in several foreign languages,” wrote Leahy.

While it remains to be seen what effect this has on the soda giant’s global popularity, the brand is easily strong enough to endure some mild criticism locally. In fact, this controversy could wind up being good news for Coca Cola: it’s hardly a bad thing to be criticized for being too inclusive of other cultures, and if their efforts in this area lead to more localized marketing opportunities, it will definitely be a win.

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