Coca-Cola Ad Slaps America Forward

James Wright - February 5, 2014

Coca-Cola – It’s Beautiful – Behind the Scenes
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or the fourth time in five years, the Super Bowl has set a record for the most-watched television event in U.S. history, drawing 111.5 million viewers.  According to The Nielsen Company, nine out of 10 watchers did so at home – either their house or someone else’s.  Domino’s Pizza estimated it would deliver 11 million pieces of pizza to hungry viewers and the National Chicken Council stated some 1.25 billion chicken wings were consumed.

So it shouldn’t be a surprise that an estimated 51.7 million cases of beer would be sold to quench the thirst of Super Bowl fans.  But what was a surprise were the many negative responses to Coca Cola’s Ad during the Super Bowl.

Coca-Cola – It’s Beautiful – 60-Second Spot
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he 90-second spot displays America with the song, “America the Beautiful” sung in eight different languages by many different individuals and families including gay parents with the tagline, “It’s Beautiful.”

As we continue to see companies like Coca-Cola and General Mills (remember the Cheerios Ad along with their Super Bowl Ad) truthfully depict America’s Diversity, we are reminded of how much work there is still yet to be done as it relates to educating America on its increasing diversity and cultivating an environment of inclusion and respect.  With every article that is written, every television reporter who comments and every ad that is played, I wonder how many Americans are aware that:


Numbers-1-icon-48Katharine Lee Bates, who first drafted the words to the anthem in 1893, lived in Wellesley, Mass., for 25 years with Katharine Coman, whom some described as her lesbian partner.


Numbers-4-iconBy 2020, 46% of all U.S. workers will be Millennials, a generation that is made up of 40.2% persons of color, making them the most diverse generation in the U.S.

Numbers-2-icon-48Approximately 38 million people in the U.S. que hablan Español. That makes the U.S. the fifth largest Spanish-speaking country on the planet, behind Mexico, Spain, Colombia, and Argentina.


Numbers-5-iconBy 2040, Blacks and Latinos/as will be 42% of the U.S. population, demonstrating a 43% projected population growth for Blacks & a 116% projected population growth for Latino/as (2010 – 2040).

Numbers-3-iconAccording to the Census data, one in 10 couples in America are interracial.  This is a 28% jump since 2000.


Numbers-6-iconAs of 2013, an estimated 37% of LGBT-identified adults have had a child at some time in their lives. Additionally, as many as 6 million American children and adults have an LGBT parent.


hese stats only scratch the surface of the multitude of different dimensions of Diversity we have in today’s America.  Knowing the data, the surprise should be why aren’t we seeing more depictions of America’s Diversity in television, film and advertisement?

In October, 1976, Jimmy Carter spoke the words, “We become not a melting pot but a beautiful mosaic.  Different people, different beliefs, different yearnings, different hopes, different dreams.”  Gone are the days where we continue to paint a picture of sameness as that has never been the true face of America.

Bravo to companies like General Mills and Coca-Cola that continue to remind us that the only thing more beautiful than this country are the people who live here.  And it is everyone’s responsibility to remind each other to embrace who we are, both individually and collectively.  No more hiding it and no more skating around the conversation.  No more accepting depictions of America that does not include everyone.  No more denying our universal truth.  

WE are here, WE are beautiful and WE are America.