Coca-Cola celebrated diversity in America Sunday night with a powerful commercial that featured a variety of faces young and old, of every skin color, with roots all over the world, and – for the first time in Super Bowl ad history – a family with gay parents.
“It’s been very hard for my family when it comes to the gay issue,” said one of the fathers in a separate behind-the-scenes video released by the beverage company. “It’s been what’s caused us so much pain over all these years.”
“Today, I see people asking us to hold hands,” he said later in the video. “Embracing us as a family, and respecting us.”
The 60-second spot showcased Americans of different races, ethnicities, cultures, religions, lifestyles, and sexual orientation, set to a rendition of “America the Beautiful” in various languages.
Coca-Cola plans on airing the commercial nationwide during the Opening Ceremonies of the 2014 Winter Olympics. Russia, the Games’ host this year, has come under fire for a series of newly enacted anti-gay laws, and LGBT rights advocates have criticized Coca-Cola along with other worldwide sponsors for not speaking out enough about the issue in the leadup to the Olympics.
In the commercial, the two dads are seen laughing and roller-skating with their daughter. Advertisers have featured prominent LGBT spokespeople in the past, such as Ellen DeGeneres who appeared in a different commercial Sunday. But Coca-Cola’s ad was the first Super Bowl ad with a gay family, according to the LGBT rights group GLAAD.
“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 in a statement.
Watch the ad and behind-the-scenes video below: