It’s been a week since Super Bowl Sunday. And if you’re at all like me (a.k.a not so big on the NFL), the primary reason you tuned in was for the overly-anticipated and outrageously-priced commercials. Even though they released them early, I refused to watch them beforehand and admit that the only reason I was at a SBS party was for the snacks.
Aside from Budweiser’s Puppy Love – which really tugged at the strings– my favorite commercial was Coca-Cola’s It’s Beautiful. For one minute, “America the Beautiful” played in multiple languages as scenes from American life rolled across the screen.
I wouldn’t consider myself to be particularly patriotic, but it made my heart smile and brought up a few warm and fuzzy feelings. Coca-Cola got it right. The Super Bowl, such a central event, day and idea of America, was finally acknowledging the reality of our country. I thought it was a beautiful representation of America that honored diversity with a poetic message of unity.
Maybe I’m biased because I’m a Coca-Cola fiend and will love this refreshing beverage until the day that I die. But beliefs that coke is the perfect ratio of bubbly to sweet aside, I thought this commercial was a winner. And I was not alone. There were no complaints from the audience I watched with, and a plethora of viewers across the nation began sharing their love for this commercial.
But not everyone had the same positive reaction. In fact, Twitter blew up with comments from those who were outraged. Jenna Mullins highlighted some of the backlash from the words of unhappy Twitter users such as this:
@tylerwyckoff24: Nice to see that coke likes to sing an AMERICAN song in the terrorist’s language. Way to go coke. You can leave America.
Um…. Excuse me? Supposedly we have made leaps and bounds towards “progress”. But if we’re so forward-thinking and accepting, how could a hashtag such as #SpeakAmerican emerge as a result of this commercial and start trending with so much hatred? We have come to accept a certain view of America that is composed of the white, heterosexual, English speaking citizen. But this is a sad, oppressive and limiting way to view our society.
But rather than focus on the negativity that stemmed from this commercial, I want to highlight the beauty of it. While I may feel ashamed, disappointed or disgusted in the reactions that dubbed this commercial as un-American or unpatriotic, I can be proud that a corporation like Cheerios finally featured an interracial couple, or that Coca-Cola highlighted the diversity that makes this country beautiful in its Super Bowl slot. Baby steps.
I am happy that these companies are pushing the boundaries. And if you have a problem with diversity, I suggest that you step out from under the rock you’ve been living under and come to appreciate the fact that #AmericaIsBeautiful – not just White America.