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Coke’s ‘America the Beautiful’ Super Bowl ad sparks controversy about language

Updated: 2014-02-06T17:20:53Z

By LISA GUTIERREZ

The Kansas City Star

Beautiful voices singing “America the Beautiful” in different languages sounds like marketing genius, right?

Coca-Cola found out differently on Sunday.

The company’s commercial, called “It’s Beautiful,” shows American families living their lives as various voices sing the patriotic song in Spanish and other languages spoken by Americans.

And that’s what some people found offensive.

Two examples of the protests that hit Twitter and the company’s Facebook page after the commercial ran:

“Nice to see that coke likes to sing an AMERICAN song in the terrorist's language. Way to go coke. You can leave America.”

“Still confused as to why they were singing about America in all those foreign languages in the Coke commercial. We speak English ...”

And, a tweet from the other side of the discussion: “You'd probably be more successful if, instead of being mad that Coke used multiple languages in a commercial, you learned a second one.”

What kind of got lost in the “we-speak-English-here” hubbub was that the montage included two gay men roller-skating with their daughter. That was a history-making moment, according to GLAAD, which said this was the first Super Bowl ad to feature a gay family and called it a “step forward for the advertising industry.”

Coke plans to debut a 90-second version of this commercial during the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics on Friday.

Watch the commercial below and the behind-the-scenes stories of the Americans who helped make it.

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