Coca-cola recently released a new commercial that is part of a bigger advertising campaign “coming together” that is focusing on obesity. The following video is a keystone to this new campaign:
Coke mentions that of the 650 beverages in their portfolio, they offer 180 that are low or no calorie, but that is only 27.69% of their beverages, one of which is Dasani their water brand. While I do give them props for adding calorie contents to the front of cans and introducing smaller portioned sizes, the industry (lead by Coke) is still fighting the Bloomberg ban on large soda sales in New York, which are sold in sizes that do not list how many servings or calories are contained in the beverage. How is that “making it easier for people to make informed decisions?”
“For elementary, middle, and high schools our industry has voluntarily changed its offerings to primarily waters, juices, and low and no calorie options” states the ad, however, back in 2008 California schools (along with other states) “required elementary and middle schools to stop providing soda or allowing it to be sold in school vending machines [and] the ban has now gone into effect for high schools as well”. I fail to see how states passing bans on soda in schools is the beverage industry voluntarily changing to serve healthier options. Furthermore, the juices that they are touting (in the video it is Odwala Strawberry C Monster) which you can see the label to the left, has 240 calories and 43g of sugar for a 12-oz serving. Just for comparison a similar serving of regular coca-cola has 140 calories and 39g of sugar. How is this juice low calorie or a better option then soda?
“All calories count, no matter where they come from, including Coca-cola and everything else with calories. And if you eat and drink more calories then you burn off, you’ll gain weight.” Of all the lines in this ad, this is the one with the most truth in it. All calories count is the best advice for people trying to loose weight. And the only gripe I have about coke saying this is that soda is about an empty as calories get. The human body, while amazing, is very poor at judging calories consumed in liquid form, which is why you could drink a 500 calorie milkshake and not fill anywhere near as full as you do by eating a sandwich and some chips for the same number of calories.
The most striking feature of this ad, is that while the subject is looking at the obesity problem in America, there is not one obese person in this ad. Coke made sure to include beautiful, healthy looking people (some may have been a little heavy), with BMIs in the normal range. How are they helping this issue, by not showing the people that they are speaking of?
At the end of the day, I would rather eat a sandwich then drink a coke. I would rather have a hamburger then a milkshake. My calories are precious and I want them to make me full, so I will stick with tap water and tea and leave the calories on my plate.