There I sat on Super Bowl Sunday, a very sad Peyton Manning fan, hoping to find solace in some great commercials. I’ll be honest, it’s one of the only reasons I can be persuaded to watch one football game a year. Ad after ad, I was beginning to lose faith. And then, it happened.
It didn’t take celebrities, explosions or nice cars to make it the best Super Bowl commercial of 2014.
As soon as the beautiful yet unassuming voice brought America the Beautiful into the room, people paused for a moment, Seahawks fans took a break from their arrogant outbursts, and Broncos fans stopped wallowing in self-pity. Coca Cola outdid themselves.
The soft drink commercial featured the patriotic song sung in multiple languages: English, Spanish, Tagalog, Mandarin, Hindi, Hebrew, Keres, Senegalese-French and Arabic. The message was simple, wonderful, and powerful: celebrate diversity.
The responses to the commercial, however, were heartbreaking. #SpeakAmerican was trending on Twitter for hours, people took to every social media site to rant in ignorance, and the topic was covered the next day in every major news source in the country.
Ridiculous people with even more ridiculous opinions have always existed, especially in this country. In this day and age, however, it seems people are constantly plugged into social media, and the news eats it up just to regurgitate it for tomorrow’s stories. Everyone was so caught up in the drama and busying themselves with taking sides that many forgot what Coke was actually trying to do.
In 1971, Coca Cola aired an advertisement in which people of many ethnicities stood together, each holding a Coke and singing, “I’d like to teach the world to sing in perfect harmony. I’d like to buy the world a Coke and keep it company.” This Super Bowl commercial just had a different song and better video quality.
The company has long been a prevalent sponsor at sporting events. From the NBA to the NCAA to the Olympics, Coca Cola has said through their ads, “Hey, great sport/event, huh? We think so too. Let’s all have a Coke while we watch.” Enough with the politics. Drink your soda, whatever it may be, and be happy.