I know I’m about a week late on this but I don’t follow football and I don’t have cable, so I didn’t see a single Super Bowl commercial on February 2. I do have social networks which have told me all I need to know.
It would seem that the only commercial worth talking about is the Coca-Cola commercial. To catch you up, I have included the video here for your viewing pleasure. Please watch before continuing.
Now, if you’re like me. You loved this. I don’t drink soda at all so in terms of inspiring me to go out and buy something: good effort. However, I did feel quite inspired by this commercial. Having traveled all over the country and meeting so many different people- I can relate with this commercial and appreciate it. Other people, not so much.
To give you an example of the outcry in regards to this commercial, I will refer you to view this lovely compilation from the Public Shaming blog on Tumblr.
So many people were upset about the fact that multiple languages were used to perform the song. What a scandal!
Shortly after the commercial aired, Coca-Cola tweeted ” The Only thing more beautiful than this country are the people who live here.”
This is where we can agree to disagree.
Now, again, I have traveled all over this beautiful country and met some truly amazing people. It’s one of the best parts of my job. I’ve also seen and heard some pretty horrible things from parts of this country. I’ve heard some pretty horrible things in my local grocery store.
My point: some people that live here are pretty ignorant.
I’d like to take this time to respond to some of the responses I have seen over this past week.
First: Why are they singing the National Anthem in different languages? Americans speak English.
I’m going to stop you there. Our national anthem is the Star-Spangled Banner by Francis Scott Key. The song in the commercial is America the Beautiful by Katharine Lee Bates. Please learn some history before accusing people of being un-American. Thanks.
Second: I’m not racist, but this is America! We speak English!
Fun Fact: The United States of America does not have an official language. Each state has the option of voting to select an official language. For example Texas and New Mexico have both English and Spanish as their official language.
In my 60-unit apartment building alone over ten languages are spoken including Russian, Spanish, Hebrew, Italian and French. In Boston alone over 100 languages are spoken. You know Boston, the birthplace of the revolution.
Third: Apparently Coke is only for homosexuals.
I honestly thought no one spotted the gay couple in the commercial based on the ugly comments being thrown around. I was wrong.
It is 2014. The only thing I can say is this: it is 2014. As of a 2012 survey, roughly 9.1 Million Americans identified as Gay, Lesbian or Transexual. Great strides are being made almost daily on the long road to equality and acceptance and Coke is acknowledging that. Many are. Disney had a same sex couple in the movie Frozen ( they’re there! Watch again and pay attention to the scene Oaken’s Trading Post).
Now, I do not have time to hunt down and interview 9.1 Million people about their soda drinking habits. I do however know at least ten gay and lesbian people. I decided to chat with them about their soda habits.
2 preferred Coke over Pepsi. 5 preferred Pepsi over Coke. 3 didn’t drink soda.
Based on my research I can safely say that only 2% or 1.8 million homosexuals drink Coke. People should really be mad at Pepsi.
If you feel this is wildly ridiculous, you should.
Fourth: The guy who wrote this song must be rolling in his grave out of shame. All of our founders must be.
Wow. Just wow. Again, America the Beautiful was written by Katharine Lee Bates. A woman. She lived from 1859-1929 and had nothing to do with the founding of this country.
It’s also worth pointing out that she was very pro-immigration and was a lesbian.
And that’s all I have to say about that.
For some reason people are ignoring the message of this commercial and proving that we need more like it. It shows all of the different types of people who live here. America was founded on different people and cultures. I can’t imagine what this country would be like if we didn’t have such a rainbow of cultures, languages or personalities.
I’d like to think that we’ve come a long way in the 28 years that I have been alive. We have. But when I see reactions like this to a simple 60-second commercial, I realize just how far we’re going to need to go.
God Bless America.
Josh Gunderson is an award-winning Bullying Prevention and Social Media Specialist. Josh has appeared on MTV, Comedy and National Geographic. For more information about Josh and his educational programs please visit www.HaveYouMetJosh.com
You can purchase Josh’s book “Cyberbullying: Perpetrators, Bystanders & Victims” on Amazon! Available in paperback or for Kindle.