Controversial multilingual Coke ad includes FilAm singing Tagalog

By Don Tagala, ABS-CBN North America Bureau

Feb. 4, 2014

NEW JERSEY – Through the years, Super Bowl Sunday has become practically synonymous with funny, creative and sometimes outrageous TV ads.

Coke created and aired a Super Bowl ad called “It’s Beautiful.”

Not only has it become viral with more than 5 million Youtube hits – it has become the most controversial Super Bowl ad of the year.

In an attempt to showcase diversity, young American girls sung “America the Beautiful” in various languages including Filipino.

A Filipino-American girl known only as Leilani was chosen to sing the Filipino version of the song.

Leailani said, “I was singing ‘America the Beautiful’ in Tagalog”

On its Facebook page Coca-Cola said, “The only thing more beautiful than this country are the people who live here.”

The ad was mostly praised for featuring amazing images of the different types of people in America.

Jose Antonio Vargas – the most popular undocumented Filipino immigrant in America tweeted that he lives and loves an America that speaks many tongues.

But while it was meant to celebrate diversity, some Americans were outraged by the singing of this classic patriotic American song in languages other than English.

Minutes after it was posted online, it went viral, and social media was bombarded with angry comments from those who call themselves patriotic Americans.

Many kababayans point out that, controversial or not, it shouldn’t go unnoticed that the Filipino in America is now part of a mainstream conversation.

Coca-Cola expressed plans to launch a 90-second version of the spot during the 2014 Winter Olympics TV ads.

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