Archived: Coke Ad Features Gay Couple

By Albert Lin

The Coca-Cola Company became the first company to feature a same-gender couple in a Super Bowl ad when its “It’s Beautiful” spot ran during the second quarter of Sunday’s game.

In the 60-second spot, scenes of life around the United States unspool while America the Beautifulsung in several different languagesplays in the background. The ad celebrates the country’s diversity by featuring people of different races/ethnicities as well as orientation: At the 43-second mark of the below clip, a gay couple is shown at a roller-skating rink with their daughter.

The commercial drew praise from LGBT leaders.

“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 from all walks of life who proudly support their LGBT friends, family and neighbors as integral parts of ‘America the Beautiful,'” said GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis. “Coca-Cola has demonstrated to corporate America that being LGBT-inclusive is good business, but as the world turns its attention to Sochi for the 2014 Winter Olympics, it’s time for sponsors of the Olympics like Coca-Cola to show the whole world how beautiful LGBT families are.”

The Coca-Cola Company (No. 38 in the DiversityInc Top 50) also released a 90-second version of the commercial with an extended intro:

and this “Behind the Scenes” video featuring interviews with many of the subjects from the commercial:

Interestingly, while the media picked up on the groundbreaking inclusion of a gay couple, most of the Internet seemed preoccupied with the multiethnic version of America the Beautiful. The ad drew a voluminous amount of racist and anti-immigrant posts on social media. (Some of the tweets have since been deleted.)

Plenty of people found the ad moving, though.

The Coca-Cola Company has been under fire in recent days for a South African promotion that did not allow users to put the word “gay” on a Coke can and for a seemingly racist ad that was intended to engage viewers.

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