Last night’s Super Bowl ad blitz was a bit underwhelming. There were a few standouts but the overall presence felt unmemorable and lackluster. But one of the standouts in my mind was the following ad from Coca-Cola.
The clip makes use of a multi-lingual rendition of the patriotic tune, “America the Beautiful”. It was one of the few commercials where my friends all looked at one another and nodded in agreement that it was a pretty well done ad. I mean sure, at the end of the day it’s just another means to push the Coca brand further into our consumer-driven psyches, but it did so by playing to an ideal and relatable aesthetic that this is a country to many and despite our disagreements, most of us are thankful to call it home.
But it would soon come to light that there were a number of vocal folks who did not share the sentiment. There are numerous media outlets reporting some of the public “outrage” over the ad, saying that it caters to terrorists or is “un-American” for it’s usage of languages other than English…
Never mind the fact that this nation has always been multi-cultural and multi-lingual and that English itself is an imported communicative syntax and lexicon. But why get caught up in details, right?
There are obvious reasons why this whole thing is ludicrous and why one shouldn’t take too strong of a stance on either side. Coke cast a wide-appealing net for their new campaign and want you to remember it. Naysayers are caught up in frivolous frustration that is immediately invalid on the sheer grounds of hypocrisy. Whatever.
But let’s look down the road years from now. I, for one, am just the 2nd generation of my family to live in the United States and I live in one of the most diverse parts of our nation. So I understand the dynamics of living in a multi-cultural and ever changing society. But years down the line, will my descendants and great-great-great-grandkids know the same? Will they have become so assimilated and incumbent that they feel any sign of change is a disrespectful intrusion on their set and sacred traditions?
I guess it can be too easy to not understand differences when we can’t see it.
So let’s not be stuck on criticizing others, and try to keep our eyes and ears open to the matter so that we can better address it in our own lives.