Coke features first gay family to appear in a Super Bowl ad

Ben Popken

In the second quarter of the Super Bowl, Coke became the first advertiser to show a gay family in an ad for America's big game.

The snippet appeared as one of many vignettes in a sweeping ad that celebrated America's collection of diverse creeds, codes and individuals. In the five-second clip, two male partners and their daughter go roller-skating while a chorus of children sing "America the beautiful."

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Adam Jeffery | CNBC

The hashtag #AmericaIsBeautiful went trending on Twitter shortly after the spot aired.

Gay rights organization GLAAD praised the ad, calling it "a step forward for the advertising industry."

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Coke has been under fire for its marketing lately. A social marketing effort that allowed customers to give each other digital coke bottles with words written on them backfired after the site wouldn't allow users to put the word "gay" on them.

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The beverage maker has also been criticized for sponsoring the 2014 Olympics because the host country, Russia, in 2013 passed a law banning "the distribution of "propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations" to minors

"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," said GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis in a statement after the ad aired.