ABC News’ Cecilia Vega and Matt Knox report:
Coca-Cola drew lots of negative reaction when it aired its multilingual “America the Beautiful” ad during the Super Bowl, but the company is defending its commercial and plans to release an even longer version of it during the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympic Games today.
The world’s largest beverage company fired back at critics of the company’s take on the patriotic song, performed in English, Hindi, Spanish and four other languages.
In a statement released Thursday by a spokesperson for The Coca-Cola Company, they said: “‘It’s Beautiful’ provides a snapshot of the real lives of Americans representing diverse ethnicities, religions, races and families, all found in the United States. All those featured in the ad are Americans and ‘America the Beautiful’ was sung by bilingual American young women.”
Coca-Cola also released behind-the-scenes video in which the bilingual women talked about the commercial’s importance to them.
“We just have different backgrounds and that’s OK,” said the Hindi-singing woman, Sushmitha Suresh, on the video.
Backlash over the 60-second spot came within seconds of its airing during the big game on Sunday between the Seattle Seahawks and the Denver Broncos.
On Twitter, one user wrote: “This is an outrage. America the Beautiful in foreign languages,” while another user called for a boycott of the company, posting: “Never buying Coke again … America the Beautiful in a language other than English is just wrong.”
“Everybody was talking about it,” said Lisa Granatstein, managing editor of Adweek. “It was really part of the national conversation.”
However, the soda maker is set to air a new 90-second version of the ad during today’s Olympics opening ceremony, hoping the controversy will simply fizzle out.