Have you seen the new Coca-Cola commercial that’s making major headlines as they address the obesity epidemic for the first time? If not, you can view it here. The commercial spends 2 minutes telling us how awesome their company is how much they are actually helping us and educating us on making healthy choices. It’s a load of crap.
Actually, let me back up. This is brilliant marketing. They have come under fire in the news recently; think Mayor Bloomberg and the war against sugary beverages in NYC. Before this issue continues to gain steam they address it head on and put out this commercial telling us they are here to help and want us to “come together” for the good of the nation. After watching the commercial a couple of times, I realize the commercial is full of little digs and moments of a condescending undertone.
First the narrator talks about how the company has been around for 125 years. Since the obesity epidemic has only been an issue for 30 years or so, then it can’t possibly be Coca-cola’s fault. We will gloss over the fact that the size of our beverage containers have tripled over this time period.
Second, it goes on to promote their long list of low and no calorie offerings and the promotion of juices and diet drinks in schools. We won’t talk about how bad the artificial sweeteners are in our drinks. Everyday you can read about a new study that talks about how artificial sweeteners are also linked to weight gain, depression, and a host of other issues. It’s not a good alternative to be promoting! Don’t get me started on the fact that they are pretending that juices and diet coke is schools is a good thing.
Third, they promote how they are going to list the calories on the front of the container. Guess What? This labeling is part of an initiative by Michelle Obama. It is a voluntary initiative aligned with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) guidelines and regulations. If you pay close attention, you will start to see this new labeling on lots of packaging. This isn’t some great idea that Coca-cola thought of because they care about you.
Lastly, the thing that really gets me is when the narrator says that “all calories count, no matter where they come from, including coca-cola and everything else with calories”. This is like saying, “Don’t blame us! There are calories in lots of things!”. I’m sorry but not all calories are created equal. I get way more benefit from eating 140 calories worth of fruit and vegetable than 140 calories of soda. It’s called nutrtition. Something Coca-cola can never claim they have.
Ultimately this commercial is turning the blame around on you. They are pretending to care about you. The reason they made this commercial is to maintain their bottom line. This is about money. This commercial is simple damage control. Their bottom line benefits when they give you that warm and fuzzy feeling so you continue to drink their products and wonder why you haven’t lost the weight.
How do you feel about the new coca-cola commercial?