Mercer Cluster

New Coke ad stirs up controversy

Amanda Barrentine

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Wouter De Coster RockAndRoll Agency / Flickr

Wouter De Coster RockAndRoll Agency / Flickr

For those of you who watched the Super Bowl, you know that some people watch it for the sports, and some people watch it for the advertisements. I myself didn’t watch it all, for either reason, but I did watch one of the ads later when it was put on Youtube. The ad I’m talking about is the Coca-Cola ad, which features the song “America the Beautiful” sung by people of different cultures and different languages. When I first saw this on the “Trending” part of my Facebook, I was skeptical. The tag on the link was “Come see what makes America beautiful.” Though I’m jaded to the idea of “America” and its supposed beauty, I clicked on the link anyway, and watched the ad. And I was happy. Because it seemed like finally, the big named companies were getting the hint that the world isn’t white-washed, like we’re led to believe. And Coke was finally playing on the “Great American Melting Pot” idea that made this country what it is today.

However, then I had the misfortune of scrolling down to the comments, I knew I shouldn’t, but I did anyway. And then all faith in humanity was once again lost. “I’m just saying, a song written in English should be sung in English,” commented one user, who clearly doesn’t understand that English is pretty much the illegitimate child of several languages.

Another user posted, “Yeah, immigrants settled America, but if you look, 90% of them were Europeans and white, and the rest were black. My family served in two wars, your family didn’t do [crap]. Immigrants today get the red carpet treatment.” This was my queue to get off Youtube before I read even uglier comments.

To me, these comments are not only rude and uncalled for, but also extremely ignorant. Regardless of what the race of the first American settlers were, it doesn’t change the ideal of America. America is not a one-race nation, nor should it ever be considered to be. So what there was a same-sex couple? There are many same-sex couples living all over America. I think Coke hit the nail on the head in this ad, and much like the Cheerios ad that featured an interracial couple that got a lot of flack when it first aired, Coke stuck to their guns. They’ve even aired an extended version of the ad, which I saw playing during the Olympics. What some people need to understand is that America may be featured as a white-washed society where people of different races are called “thugs” or “terrorists” simply because of a racist fear, but that is not what America truly is.

America has become more than the land that our founding fathers could have ever dreamed of. Though it is far from being perfect, it has the potential to be a wonderful place of welcome and personal freedom. But since there are people like the ones I quoted above, there is currently no way that can happen. There are still people who would deny others the rights and privileges they themselves enjoy, all because they were born in a different country or to a different race. To those people, and the people who are considering boycotting Coke because of the ad, I say that though they have a right to their beliefs, those beliefs don’t entitle them to be right. Coke gets a huge shout-out from this reporter.

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New Coke ad stirs up controversy