Coke’s Super Bowl Commercial Brings out the Worst in Some Xenophobic Americans


Brad Linzy

By: Brad Linzy

This morning I awoke to a Facebook feed peppered with controversy over Coca-Cola’s Super Bowl ad, which featured a multicultural mix of people, all presumably Americans, singing “America the Beautiful” in their native tongues.

Most negative commenters seem to think it is in some way blasphemous to sing “America the Beautiful” in any language other than English.

“If I didn’t hate Pepsi so much, I wouldn’t buy another coke,” went one Facebook post. “SPEAK ENGLISH!” went another. And so on. There is really no way around it these comments are provincial, isolationist, and xenophobic.

I have news for these commenters… The 21st Century economy is a global one. Coca-Cola is a global corporation, the third most valuable brand in the world. They did not get that way by alienating foreign buyers of their products. They employ over 150,000 people on every inhabited continent in the world. While it is true the flagship product, Coca-Cola, is an American invention, and while it is true Coke is still headquartered in America, its product range caters to a global consumer. It is just this type of global perspective that has allowed Coke to remain competitive the world over. It stands to reason their ads would try to reflect an inclusiveness of all consumers.

Whether we like it or not, modern globalization means we must be inclusive if we want our goods and services to meet with the widest possible market. Whether rural America knows it or not, the major population centers of America are not all white Anglo-Saxon Protestant, they are a multicultural mixture representing all corners of the globe.

If the capitalist arguments don’t convince the xenophobic mob thrashing the “American the Beautiful” ad, then perhaps the words to the song will. The final words of the familiar first verse speak overtly of God’s ‘grace’ and of ‘brotherhood’, while the rarely sung second verse glorifies the spirit of ‘pilgrims’, who were themselves just immigrants searching for freedom from persecution and prejudice:

“O beautiful for pilgrim feet
Whose stern, impassioned stress
A thoroughfare for freedom beat
Across the wilderness!
America! America!
God shed His grace on thee
Till paths be wrought through wilds of thought
By pilgrim foot and knee!”

Clearly Katharine Lee Bates, the song’s librettist, did not intend her inspirational poem to be a source for division between people. Rather, it is clear her vision of America is one of inclusiveness and fraternity, a sentiment altogether absent from the negative comments.

It makes one wonder how ugly the response would have been if Coke had decided to run its original “Reasons to Believe” ad during the Super Bowl. This ad, currently running in some world markets, features clear antiwar sentiments and a gay couple being married.

I guess we will all have to wait for Coke’s next quarterly report to find out if this controversy helps or hurts their bottom line. This capitalist, for one, wishes them all the best.


  1. Coke will be my second choice, but it’s not due to any phobia. I prefer RC. But I have become weary that even deciding which cola to drink has now become a stance on social issues. But then, it is why Americans prefer coffee to tea. I think Coke would do better to engineer coke rather than social issues.

  2. Coke is smart…and acknowledging that immigration is changing America…and is embracing American immigration…because immigrants work hard to raise large, church-going, grocery-buying, home-buying families…led by Parents who want a better life for their kids. Nothing more American than that. So much for these people not being the real America.

    Coke runs a business. Population growth is good for business…(and is why China killed the one-child rule).

    • You said it. My wife is an immigrant and now a citizen of this country. No one I know is harder working or more capable than she. Immigrants made 19th and early 20th Century America a bastion of progress and industry. It could happen again if only we let it.

      • The up-coming fuss over immigration in Congress is going to be SO divisive. I hope the whole “border security” first meme doesn’t overshadow the real issue of bringing people who are already here out of the shadows.
        From what I can tell, huge steps to secure the border have been taken in the past few years, and POTUS’ administration has deported record numbers of immigrants.
        I don’t want to see the “perfect” become the enemy of the “good”, yet again.

    • Immigration is fine, when it is done legally and the process is followed as other generations of immigrants did. Those coming here for a better chance at success/life have to be able to embrace our traditions and recognize that English is the language of the country. If they wish to follow their native traditions, they may do so, but not at the cost of assimilating into the American culture too. They must adapt to us, not we to them.

    • China has not gotten rid or killed its one child per family. It merely chnanged the requirement that both parents had to come from single child home; now only one does. China continues to view its population as a problem and are trying offset its demographic meltdown by being more efficient in producing goods and services. They have a worker to dependent ratio coming up that makes Europe look like a nursery school.

      As far as Coke being successfu, it is focusing on growth overseas due to changing taste in the US ,and Coke has to grow sales somewhere they don’t have as much resistance to a Big Gulp. Take away this and Coke could care less about it being perceived in any other light than it has been.

      On then other, I think this could be a CIA plot to spread diabetes and kill off our enemies by spreading our healthy lifestyle. Hilltop brainsammiches for all!!

  3. If English was good enough for the Apostle Paul it should be good enough for them there Mexican immigrants!


      • LOL!

        The real Hesus(if he existed at all which I highly doubt) was a commie pinko, pacifist, who asked his followers to take a vow of poverty so that they could reach true nirvana.

        Republican Jesus is a selfish, concealed carrying, misogynistic, homophobic, warmonger who works all week to flock over all of his neighbors and friends, and then goes to church to pass out his business cards and be washed of his greedy sins.

        • Liberal Jesus is a narcissistic Robinhood who takes from the rich to give to his rich buddies, encourages vast indebtedness to feed the poor children whom He cared for once they were south of the womb, believed there were no sinners just victims, and preached relative morality.

          • Jesus was a Jew and was Jewish. The Romans ruled, administrated and occupied his entire Jewish community. He appears to have been from a common day laborers family likely building Roman houses. Unusually he could read and was exceptionally well-versed in the Torah. He clearly participated in the Passover ritual that involved making the trip to the Temple in the year of his death. What he was not was rich. He wore a Jewish commoners clothes, he preached among the poor people surrounding him, was well received and loved because he pitched his tent among them. He stayed among the common, poor, oppressed people. The Apostles surrounding him were equally commonly poor and Jewish. Rather than preaching his message from a building or a well-adorned structure, his message was delivered in the streets and countryside among the poor. He admonished the wealthy to abandon their life of wealth and to help the poor and the sick and disadvantaged – it was a common theme to all of his teachings. To suggest Jesus advocated the pursuit and protection of wealth is preposterous. This is not a LIBERAL Jesus. It is simply…Jesus.

          • Weinz, the point of my spoof was to show that we we turn jesus into a republican or democrat, we end up with a false Jesus. But if you want to claim Jesus was a liberal then how does the cross fit into His life?

          • No, I wasn’t trying to do that. I know you were spoofing. Jesus isn’t either a liberal or a conservative. And you seem to suggest I’m saying he’s a liberal. I’m not. He’s just Jesus…a common man living and preaching among the poor and disadvantaged.

            Elaborate on the cross fitting into his life. What do you mean? (I know it does…I’m not trying to contradict that.)

  4. I thought the ad was great, I felt pride after watching it.
    But the best thing of the evening was not the ads, and definitely not the Game; the best thing was Rene Fleming singing the national anthem.

    WOW !!!!

  5. “it is a blessing for an individual to be bilingual however it is a curse for a society to be bilingual”…….governor lamm colorado……

    • The typical Dutch person speaks three or more languages. They seem to be doing ok. The way I see it, the more languages you speak, the more economic opportunities you and your children will enjoy, the better you will travel, and the more well-rounded you will be as a person.

      PS: if anyone knows a good Spanish tudor in Evansville, I’d like to hire one for my daughter.

      • How many people immigrate to the Netherlands each year in a population of 13 million that is a picture post card for homogenous;the last stat I saw was 50M per year from non OCED countries. Native Dutch all speak Dutch for sure, as that is the offical language. It is sad when you go into local EVSC classrooms and see kids that don’t speak a lick of English. You can speak as many languages as you want, but the Dutch have different motivations than diversity and social relativism when it comes to multilingualism.

  6. I didn’t have any problems with the commercial, but I hate using my bank’s ATM which makes me push a button to get instructions in English. You should have to push a button if you want instructions not in English!

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