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The PJ Tatler

by
Bryan Preston

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February 3, 2014 - 8:10 am

Global American brand Coca-Cola graced Sunday’s anti-climactic Super Bowl with this ad.

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Just about anything can provoke an online reaction these days, and some viewers weren’t happy with Coke’s ad.

It was that last aspect that unfortunately, brought out America the Ugly, at least on some parts of the Internet. “WTF?” asked one post on Twitter. “@CocaCola has America the Beautiful being sung in different languages in a #SuperBowl commercial? We speak ENGLISH here, IDIOTS.” Some of the vitriol may have been satire for all I know, but there was much too much for that to explain all of the “English or GTFO” sentiment–not all of it in impeccable English itself. To wit: “Dear @CocaCola : America the beautiful is sang in English. Piss off. #DontFuckWithUs.” (To be fair, not every Tweet brought up by a search on “Coca Cola English” agreed: “Coca Cola brings the commercial of the night: America the Beautiful sung in Spanish, English, Arabic, and other languages. Beautiful.”)

It probably wasn’t the best ad of the game. Budweiser’s “puppy love” ad may have been, but it’s all subjective.

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This Bud ad probably drew out some tears.

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This Chrysler ad was probably the clearest recording ever made of Bob Dylan’s voice. It’s also 2 minutes that feel like an hour.

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But getting back to Coke’s “America the Beautiful” ad, apparently some people think you can’t be patriotic if you don’t speak English as your first language. English isn’t the only language spoken in my own home. Does that mean that we’re somehow less patriotic?

To me, Coke’s ad says the same thing that the Statue of Liberty says — you can become American no matter where you’re from. America the idea is beautiful. It’s not bound or limited by the fact that English is the dominant language here. It’s a powerful idea. America is the anti-tribal, anti-ethnic origins nation.

English probably should be our official language for the purposes of official government business and to unify us along a basic language standard. Also, to save the government money in operating costs. Immigrants should be assimilated and Americanized, as they once were, though many immigrants come here and learn a deeper appreciation for the freedoms to be found here than many of us who were born here, because we take it for granted. The fact is, proficiency in a land’s dominant language is just about mandatory if one wants to get anywhere in life. If you move to France, learn French. If you move to Spain, learn Spanish. If you come to the United States, learn English. We should have an orderly process for legal immigration that serves America’s interests, secures our borders, and keeps threats out. Immigration shouldn’t be politicized, but we’re far beyond that now. The problem we have now is that our current government doesn’t defend the value of American citizenship, and politics are cracking common sense. President Obama can’t be trusted to implement any changes to immigration law well, or fairly. Just look at how he has sold and is running Obamacare. Coke’s ad wasn’t a comment on any of that, though.

Last night’s Coke Super Bowl ad was nothing new. It wasn’t a direct or indirect commentary on government or immigration (there was an embedded comment on gay marriage in it, though, but that’s not a language thing). Coke has been sounding a similar theme since at least 1971.

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If anything, Coke’s latest ad is an improvement over the globalist hippie “hilltop” ad. Maybe Coke has come home.

Bryan Preston has been a leading conservative blogger and opinionator since founding his first blog in 2001. Bryan is a military veteran, worked for NASA, was a founding blogger and producer at Hot Air, was producer of the Laura Ingraham Show and, most recently before joining PJM, was Communications Director of the Republican Party of Texas.

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All Comments   (17)
All Comments   (17)
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If this commercial had been exactly the same, with the minor change that all the people were singing with their native ACCENTS, in English, it would give the exact same message, and would be brilliant.

As it is, it gives at least a confusing, at most a divisive, message.
24 weeks ago
24 weeks ago Link To Comment
If they were going for the melting pot theme, I think they would have had those diverse groups singing the song in English, and maybe even in some scenes, singing together. I think many people felt the message of the ad was that America belongs to everyone and every culture... It is a subtle but important distinction: we want everyone to become an American. Not America to become everything to everyone. And one of the strengths of our great nation is our one language, spoken across state lines and by every immigrant population who arrives here and thrives here.
24 weeks ago
24 weeks ago Link To Comment
I've got no issue with it either Bryan.
24 weeks ago
24 weeks ago Link To Comment
The one thing I took away from the commercial is you would be hard pressed to find an American teen who was willing to sing America The Beautiful.
Our school systems have done a pretty good job of making our kids ashamed to be Americans.
24 weeks ago
24 weeks ago Link To Comment
I guess it's the implied "Here I came to your country and I'm so excited to be here! Now, sell me everything in my language because I'm not THAT excited to be part of your country ..."
24 weeks ago
24 weeks ago Link To Comment
Bryan,

I agree that translating and singing a beautiful song such as "America the Beautiful" in as many languages as possible is a good thing. Anything that helps get out a positive message about America to people who aren't living free is a good thing.

I can also understand why people have a knee-jerk reaction to this ad. Our country, our values, our heritage, and our culture have been under assault from internationalists for generations.

You suggest perhaps Coke has "come home". It's far more likely this ad was an attempt to show Coke as multi-cultural and "tolerant".

I still like the idea of the song translated and sung. I still harbor resentment toward Coke for the likely underlying motive.
24 weeks ago
24 weeks ago Link To Comment
If "America the Multicultural" had been sung by a choir of little kids on Independence Day, sponsored by no one, it would have been a good thing.

It was, in fact, sung by a series of people who didn't know each other at all, who were carefully chosen by an advertising firm to look both attractive and "foreign," and who got paid very well for their role in selling you a bottle containing carbonated water, high fructose corn syrup, caramel color, phosphoric acid, natural flavors, and caffeine.

Where's the freakin' magic in that?
24 weeks ago
24 weeks ago Link To Comment
Fantastic that people learned english after moving to this country and speaking another language. Now how about all those people who move here and dont bother with that? I saw the commercial and thought of the ATM machine with buttons for 12 languages.
24 weeks ago
24 weeks ago Link To Comment
That's probably the only time I was able to make out what Bub Dylan was saying. Not that an aging, counter culture drug addict is the greatest endorsement for an american car, but hey, if you can't even fire the stoners that are making them, then maybe that *is* the car for that group.

The coke ad wasn't so much 'irritating' as another "mee tooo!" feel-good multiculturalism, and ended up coming across as more smug and holier than thou, than anything. All it did was make me resent the foreign freeloaders who not only can't support themselves, but demand that I accommodate their *refusal* to even bother to learn the language, too.
24 weeks ago
24 weeks ago Link To Comment
"not all of it in impeccable English itself. To wit: “Dear @CocaCola : America the beautiful is sang in English. Piss off. "

Okay, there's a wrong tense there, but, somebody has been watching to much BBC America with that declaration at the end.
24 weeks ago
24 weeks ago Link To Comment
Well, you want to speak clearly when you are misleading old people into believing the product you are selling for the Italian owned company are built by Americans. Chrysler only has one vehicle in the top 10 American-made cars for 2013 and they didn't show it once.

They mislead, because they speak of 50+ years past. Not unlike the Swiss watches. If you want an American to make your car here in 2014, you'll do best by buying a Toyota.
24 weeks ago
24 weeks ago Link To Comment
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