Coca-Cola touched off a controversy during the Super Bowl last Sunday when it aired an ad featuring the song "America the Beautiful" sung in eight different languages. The ad won praise from many Americans, while angering some others, who couldn't wrap their heads around the song being sung in any language other than English.
A new HuffPost/YouGov poll finds that only one-fifth of Americans were offended by the ad, but that far more want to see English made the official language of the United States.
According to the poll, 21 percent of Americans thought the ad was offensive, while 59 percent said it was not.
In answer to a separate question, a combined 26 percent said they were either disappointed (18 percent) or angry (8 percent) about the ad. Twenty-seven percent said they were happy, while 33 percent said they were indifferent.
The judgment that the ad was offensive was more common among Republicans (37 percent) than among independents (24 percent) or Democrats (10 percent).
Forty-one percent of Republicans said they were either angry or disappointed about the ad, while only 17 percent said they were happy about it. Democrats were more likely to describe themselves as happy (39 percent) than either angry or disappointed (11 percent combined). Twenty-one percent of independents said they were happy, while 32 percent said they were either angry or disappointed. About one-third of each group said they were indifferent.
Even among those who didn't find the Coca-Cola ad upsetting, though, the idea that English should become the official language of the United States was widespread. Seventy percent of Americans, including 61 percent of Democrats, 69 percent of independents and a whopping 92 percent of Republicans, said they thought English should be made the official language. Only 19 percent overall said they favored the status quo of no official language.
One undeniable result of the "America the Beautiful" spot was to draw attention to Coke. Fifty-eight percent of Americans said they had seen or heard about the ad, while only 38 percent said they had not.
The HuffPost/YouGov poll was conducted Feb. 3-4 among 1,000 U.S. adults using a sample selected from YouGov's opt-in online panel to match the demographics and other characteristics of the adult U.S. population. Factors considered include age, race, gender, education, employment, income, marital status, number of children, voter registration, time and location of Internet access, interest in politics, religion and church attendance.