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MANILA, Philippines – Coca-Cola’s “It’s Beautiful” commercial, which aired during the Super Bowl on February 2 (February 3 in Manila), featured different languages, including Filipino.
Coca-Cola created a version of the patriotic song “America the Beautiful,” sung in English as well as other languages Spanish, Hindi, Senegalese-French, Hebrew, Mandarin, Keres, Arabic, and Filipino.
In the montage of foreign sounds, the phrase “sa ibabaw ng mga prutas,” (above the fruited plain) may catch Filipinos’ attention early into the song.
The multilingual version of the song is set to clips of cheerful families and friends socializing in diners and cinemas, surfing at the beach, camping, traveling, break dancing, rollerskating, and ultimately, drinking Coca-Cola.
Watch Coca-Cola’s ‘It’s Beautiful’ commercial:
A separate behind the scenes video was created for each language, showing the recording process and short interviews with the singers. Filipino-American Leilani sang the Filipino part.
The young girl believes hearing the song in one’s native tongue will allow the message to “really get deep inside” of people.
“I think people will feel really good in themselves to know that America is there. And to hear it in many other languages spoken, especially if one of the languages is a language that you speak, then it’ll really get deep inside of you.”
In the video, it was discussed that the idea is to “bring out what’s poetic about each language.”
Listen to Leilani in the behind the scenes:
In another behind the scenes feature, this time, bringing together all those who worked on the campaign, participants shared their thoughts on cultural diversity. The conversation revolved around overcoming racial prejudice and as one person put it, learning how to unite and how to live together.
“Being culturally connected,” one person said, is what Coca-Cola’s campaign is all about.
Despite this noble cause, some individuals expressed outrage at the fact that a patriotic song about America was sung in different languages, leading some to declare that they were boycotting the brand.
Coke Had Foreigners Sing ‘America The Beautiful’ In Different Languages And A Bunch Of People HATED It & I did too http://t.co/YWq2CeAEpj— John A Stefani (@John_A_Stefani) February 3, 2014
Bryce- wtf is this, America the beautiful being sung in whatever the f this is. I’m done drinkin coke.— Sierra Motley (@SierraMotley1) February 3, 2014
America The Beautiful in different languages… wtf that pissed me off. I don’t want Coke anymore. I’m done.— Anna Manning (@AnnnaManning) February 3, 2014
wtf Coke that wasn’t America for a solid 60% of that commercial— Dooby (@abluntsky) February 3, 2014
You can’t sing an American song in another language! #boycottcoke— spencinator (@taylorspencer3) February 3, 2014
But in the midst of the racial hullabaloo, few people noticed that the commercial had been the first Super Bowl ad to feature a gay family, according to a report by the Hollywood Reporter.
“Including a gay family in this ad is not only a step forward for the advertising industry, but a reflection of the growing majority of Americans who proudly support their LGBT friends, family and neighbors as integral parts of ‘America the Beautiful,” GLAAD president and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis told Hollywood Reporter.
The backlash soon turned on those who aired outrage for the commercial. Many netizens jumped in the conversation, apologizing for the racist comments and urging people to be open minded.
If you’re complaining about the biracial Cheerios coulple & the muli-lingual Coke commercial, you can buy a one way ticket back to the 60’s— felicia wright (@fleaskeys) February 3, 2014
I can honestly say i’ve never been more disappointed in my fellow americans after seeing all the hate about the coke commercial.— Joshua Hernandez (@Josh_is_Amazing) February 3, 2014
If you ever think that people aren’t horribly dumb racist nutjobs, there’s always a hashtag like #speakamerican to remind you.— Ted Gideonse (@gideunz) February 3, 2014
#SpeakAmerican <—- That moment the world realizes conservatives are the reason why America’s reading and comprehension scores are abysmal.— Nerdy Wonka (@NerdyWonka) February 3, 2014
I’m actually really embarrassed to be an American because #speakamerican is trending about the Coke commercial. STOP BEING CLOSED MINDED— Marge (@MorganIsSoWhite) February 3, 2014