22 January 2013

Coke: I’d like to teach the world to eat?

“All calories count. No matter where they come from. Including Coca Cola. If you eat and drink more calories that you burn off, you’ll gain weight. Obesity..concerns all of us.”

This statement is from a new Coca Cola ad. The ad informs us that a can of Coke contains 140 calories. I think this is pretty revolutionary. A carbonated drinks manufacturer using the o-word in one of their ads?

I think it is a clever move. “Coke cares more than the other manufacturers, that’s why we are the first to tell you straight” (this is my ad copy, not theirs).

It must reflect a change in demand and gathering class action suits. Think “Big Fizz meets Big Tobacco”.

I suppose if they REALLY cared about consumption, they would be leading the way on banning supersizing, leading the way on giving their low calorie products a price edge, and developing more responsible ads for children. Obesity is really shocking—now 1 in 3 Americans and 1 in 4 Brits.

But this is a start, and a good one.

Or is it all really a nod to the twitterati? After all, 140—the maximum number of characters allowed in a tweet—is rapidly gaining iconic status (not to mention brand recognition).

10 comments:

Neha said...

Perhaps they deserve a pat on the back for pointing that out. The effects of 2g of sugar per 100ml are just frightening.

However their low-cal, "anti-obesity" drinks are not so great for us either. A spoof of their Honest Coke ad: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bHhCP5ad-zM&feature=youtu.be

Lawrence Haddad said...

Thanks Neha that is a good point. Best, Lawrence

Emily Ruppert said...

Coke is apparently also a Platinum sponsor of the IUNS meeting in September. How does that happen?

Lawrence Haddad said...

Yes, I'm really uncomfortable about the level of private sector funding that most nutrition conferences feel they have to take .. I don't think it happens in economics conferences but I could be wrong

Sam Roberts said...

The simple facts are that they are marketing high sugar drinks, particularly to children, and all the evidence is that sugar and artificial sweeteners are effectively poisoning huge numbers of people. It is worth checking out some of the papers here and wherever you see carbohydrates, sugar and sweeteners are simply worse: Diet Doctor. The whole ploy is reminiscent of big tobacco and their failed attempts to show that smoking isn't THAT bad.

Timothy Evans said...

We should always remember that anything that we take whether through drinking or eating regardless of its sugar content or whatsoever must be in moderation. It is our own choice to eat or to consume everything we want but it is our sole responsibility to have it in moderation.

paniko thopla said...

My concern is that this is not very different from the scary pictures of gangrene and cancer afflicted lungs in the back of cigarette packets: by making obesity the problem, coke diverts questions from itself. an informed audience that is concerned about its health is not likely to abuse this product in the first place. the question is, what about other audiences and what message does coke have for them?

paniko thopla said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Hector Murray said...

It still very important to have a healthy lifestyle which includes regular physical activity when eating or drinking low calorie foods and drinks.

Sofia Nicol said...

Finally, truth in advertising. With knowledge comes power. In this case the power to resist if you are counting your daily caloric intake.