To be honest, I wasn't not blown away by many ads, but there were a few shining stars in my eyes. Budweiser was my favorite with its pairing of puppies & a heartwarming salute. The runner up? Coca-Cola and it's multi-lingual rendition of America The Beautiful. I personally thought their focus on embracing the melting pot of cultures, ethnicities, and languages that make up America was well done. To focus on highlighting unification under the stars and stripes on a night where everyone comes together to watch football was applaud worthy.
I first noticed the story trending on Facebook. Coca-Cola Super Bowl Ad Ignites Online Debate. "Wait, what? The spot showing diversity was controversial? Nooo...I must have missed an ad," I thought. After some exploring, I realized that "online debate" is a kind phrase for what happened - it was in reality a racist meltdown.
Check out a sampling of responses below. For more, read the BuzzFeed article on the topic.
Just...wow. After reading what was happening I walked away from my computer feeling confused, alarmed and even angry. How could an ad with such good intentions be attacked so brutally? How could hundreds, thousands of people be so ignorant? Between "terrorist" accusations, outrage for the ad showing a gay couple, and suggestions to "Speak American", I feel like I've been living in a bubble. It's not that I didn't know that these types of opinions are out there, it's just that I'm shocked at the level in which it's happening. Senators are getting involved. Quite frankly it makes me sad.
In graduate school we learned that changing perceptions is done most effectively through education, so I'd like to take a moment to look at a few facts. America is a country predominantly made up of immigrants. As of January 2014, seventeen states recognized same-sex marriage as legal. "American" is not a language, "English" is in fact the proper term, and there are approximately 337 languages spoken in the United States. Just because someone is from the Middle East does not mean they are a terrorist.
I don't typically get heated about political topics on this blog, but this really struck a cord with me. I'd rather speak up than remain silent and ignore what is going on. With that, I'll leave you with a few closing thoughts of my own. The problem lies not in the ad but in those who felt it was a problem. America is beautiful for many reasons, diversity included, and to embrace that is the only way we'll become a better nation. We have to get better. We have to be better. We have to start acting like leaders. Do you know where action begins? With thought.
Thoughts? Reactions? Let's chat.
(Feel free to email me if you'd rather keep your thoughts confidential! firstname.lastname@example.org)