ERIC Number: EJ1090549
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 49
Online Responses to a Multilingual Super Bowl Ad: Is "America the Beautiful" by Any Other Language Still America, the Beautiful?
Hoffman, Brooke Y.
International Journal of Multilingualism, v13 n2 p213-229 2016
On 2 February 2014, an advertisement entitled "It's Beautiful" debuted during Super Bowl XLVIII, which was watched by 111.5 million people in the USA. The Coca-Cola advertisement portrayed people of various ethnicities and was accompanied by "America the Beautiful" sung in nine languages. Using critical discourse analysis, I analyse online sources referencing the advertisement, including tweets and articles, blogs, memes, and videos, in order to (a) understand the argumentation strategies used to express opposition to and support of multilingual expressions of patriotism in the public sphere at this particular time in US society, and (b) assess whether the advertisement and the support it received indicate the blurring of a language boundary in the USA. The results indicate that those for and against the advertisement used personal insults to attack each other, and both "sides" based their arguments on similar "topoi," or common-sense rationales for an argument, including law, diversity, culture, reality, foundation or history, and unity. Supporters of the advertisement also employed the "topoi" of hypocrisy, inconsistency or futility, and triviality. Finding evidence that the language boundary in the USA is blurring in the media, I discuss Twitter's potential for digital activism in support of multilingualism.
Descriptors: Multilingualism, Athletics, Advertising, Television, Ethnic Groups, Discourse Analysis, Singing, Social Media, Video Technology, Patriotism, Persuasive Discourse, Activism, Influence of Technology, Role, Second Languages
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A