News & Politics

Coke's Multilingual "America the Beautiful" Ad Sparks Conservative Outrage

A Super Bowl commercial featuring a polyglot America outraged right-wingers—some of whom thought "America the Beautiful" was the national anthem.

Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Coca-Cola is by no means a progressive company.  The soda maker has long been targeted for boycotts by some labor rights groups for undermining workers’ rights at bottling plants in Colombia--and being complicit in the deaths of the labor organizations.  There's also the environemental waste their plastic bottles generate.

But on Sunday night, during the Super Bowl, they became a target of a much different kind of boycott leadby conservatives.  A Coca-Cola ad featured the song “America the Beautiful” in multiple languages.  Images of a Muslim woman, a Jewish man, and more flashed on the screen.

Right-wingers were none too pleased.  On Twitter, the hashtag #boycottcoke picked up steam, though some of that was progressives’ making fun of their outrage.  

Outside of Twitter, the outrage was just as ridiculous.  Former Congressman and Tea Party star Allen West wrote that it was “a truly disturbing commercial,” as Talking Points Memo notes.

Coke used “a deeply Christian patriotic anthem whose theme is unity – in several foreign languages,” wrote Michael Patrick Leahy on Breibart.com, who added that it featured gay people--the horror!

Perhaps the funniest part of the whole affair was some Twitter xenophobessaying the ad desecrated the “national anthem.”  In case they’re reading this: it’s not the national anthem.  

Watch the ad here:

Alex Kane is former World editor at AlterNet. His work has appeared in Mondoweiss, Salon, VICE, the Los Angeles Review of Books and more. Follow him on Twitter @alexbkane.