Thursday, March 28, 2013

What Did You Expect? Coca-Cola's Newest Anti-Obesity Ad Blames Chairs, Not Coke.

So did anyone honestly think Coca-Cola cared about obesity? That the Superbowl Coca-Cola halftime ad that talked of all calories counting meant that they'd encourage people to drink less of their sugar water?

Silly world says Coca-Cola. It's not about the sugar water. It's about chairs. Chairs make people fat.

Here's Coca-Cola's first missive in its new found commitment to "fight overweight and sedentary lifestyle" shows a man rising up against the chairs of the world....and buying the 10 teaspoons of sugar water otherwise known as a fully loaded 12oz Coke.

Again, you really can't make this stuff up.

[UPDATE #1: After you watch the video vilifying chairs, make sure you click here to have a gander at some absolutely delicious sugary irony

UPDATE #2: After a few folks questioned the veracity of the ad suggesting it was a fake or a parody I contacted Publicis Spain (the agency credited) and they responded to tell me that it is indeed a real Coca-Cola advertisement]

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  1. This campaign is destined to backfire on Coca-Cola.

  2. Anonymous7:08 am

    Wow! Sooooo stupid! I'm guessing the message is if we purchase their product we'll be more active or perceived as being more active. Stupid commercial!

  3. Unbelievable. smh

  4. Rebecca8:17 am

    Hahahahaha! Thanks for the best laugh I've had all week! Do they really think people are going to STAND for this?? (Pun intended!) HILARIOUS! Hmmm...chairs have been around since the beginning of time - Coke, not so much. Hey! Maybe they should blame obesity on TV - that's hitting closer to the truth. But then no one would watch their brainwashing commercials....

  5. Anonymous8:59 am

    This company continues to amaze me. When will our government become responsible enough and courageous enough to start legislating against this sort of advertisement, and start legislating against junk food of all sorts?

    1. Anonymous11:40 am

      Whenever these companies stop electing our political representatives...

  6. So what is that slim young guy going back to his desk to do? Lean over his computer?

  7. I really wish this ad weren't made by Coke. The truth is we do sit too much, and it does impact our health (not so sure if it's directly impacting our waist lines, but it's plausible). Of course that all has nothing to do with Coke, and I fear that people will take the message that it's ok to drink coke if they sit less (which I'm assuming is the implicit message they are getting at). So I'm pretty conflicted about this, as the video itself is very well done.

  8. Chris A10:15 am

    Really?? Are you kidding me?? First of all the commercial is 1 minute and 40 seconds, more than 3 times the length of the standard 30 sec ad. The hustlers at the marketing department are counting on the fact that people with ADD/ADHD will forget all the boring buildup at the beginning...but they will wake up when they see the coke bottle in the vending machine and think hey, I'm thirsty. Time for a coke!

  9. Yet runners go out and purchase Gatorade which is basically sugar water (with some 'electrolytes' thrown in) too. [Don't get me wrong, when I do endurance training I use these engineered products sometimes because they are convenient and I perform better when I use them when I don't.] But I do think that we have a basic problem with a sedentary lifestyle and that people who exercise have a lot more leeway in their diets for the occasional treat such as having soda once in a while. Now, I used my leeway for frozen yogurt, personally, because I think soda tastes like a mouthful of chemicals, but someone else may adore Coke and want to use their treat budget for that and I think that's fine.

    So, yes, chairs are the enemy and we should sit less. I don't see how you can argue against that. The place of treats in the diet, however, is a lot more complex and I can see a lot of room for argument there.

  10. Anonymous12:05 pm

    I really don't think it's a bad commercial. It's true that sitting contributes to obesity and heart disease.

    It's a lot more effective than some of our state sponsored "get active" type of commercials, if you ask me.

  11. Anonymous3:25 pm

    Standing actually only burns about 15 calories per hour more than sitting, so if a person who sits at a desk for 8 hours a day threw out their chair (because OBVIOUSLY it's the chair's fault) and stood all day it STILL wouldn't burn as many calories as drinking one Coke. While I'm all for people being more active, this ad is so hypocritical. I understand that the number one goal of a business is to make money, and that's fine. But can't we go back to the days when Coke (and it's consumers) knew it's products were unhealthy, but didn't try to trick us into thinking otherwise? I'm slightly insulted that Coke thinks it's consumers are gullible enough to fall for something like this.

    1. John U8:23 pm

      I am glad that someone at least puts some science behind their comments. Saying something like "It's true that sitting contributes to obesity and heart disease" is stating the obvious but ignoring the impact. The effect of exercise is almost negligible. The company (Coke)counts on their listeners to be ignorant of basic science when it produces such ads. The fact is that execise has very little to do with weight loss or even weight maintenance. Check out a book by Gretchen Reynold called "The first 20 minutes : surprising science reveals how we can exercise better, train smarter, live longer". She quotes a lot of recent research done in Canada (as well as elsewhere)that breaks down a lot of myths that we continue to believe (the energy drink myth among them). This is just one source - there are many others.

      The real problem is misinformation (or lies the media has published based on research studies that might have been inconclusive or only showed associations rather than causes)and the general public believes it all. Why not? After all, the media is just publishing what the research showed, n'est-ce pas? How many of us check the real facts? How many of us even suspect that what we read may not be true? A good example is salt. Some time ago, we read reports about how too much salt in our diets will increase out BP and do harm to us. It was all over the media. Since that time, this has been shown to be not true. Salt will at most increase your BP slighly and only for a short time. Where is the media to retract or correct their previous reports? I haven't heard a peep. why? Probably because such news is not very exciting and doesn't help to sell papers.

      Then there is the problem that our own government continues to be complicit in trying to maintain our ingnorance levels by allowing false information to be diseminated. The government unfortunately is basing its policies on advice that is given to it by some influential members of the medical community who may or may not be as well informed as they should be,and/or are motived by external forces or factors which are in their interest to maintain.

      We as consumers need to be as educated as possible and as vocal as possible at the political level. We know that Yoni is doing his part, but he can be ignored by the powers who govern. We need the media to get on board to start questioning some of the conventional wisdon that is being fed to us daily. After all, it is the media who got us into this problem of obesity by being the mouthpieces for bad information. I would like to challenge the media to start checking their facts before publishing. If we fail at this, I am quite sure that we will still be talking about obesity 20 years from now. The makers of all the so-called "bad foods" are just trying to make a profit for their shareholders, many of whom are us, or our government pension plans, or our own RRSP's. Such companies will never change unless their profits are affected. The real question then, is what should we be doing to alter the profits that these companies make? I believe it is related to educating the population so that they make good choices. And who educates the population the most? The media, inlcuding all internet channels, but mostly TV and newspapers.

    2. Anonymous5:31 pm

      Point being that Coke isn't going to advertise that it's products are bad for you, and you shouldn't drink them. I don't think anyone alive thinks drinking a coke is great for your diet (well, maybe some are deluded that diet coke is "healthy," but this guy grabbed a Coke classic). I don't think this commercial is going to make them think so. It's advocating standing more. There's nothing wrong with that.

      At some point, people need to take some personal responsibility. At this point in time, if any human over the age of 18 thinks Coke is a healthy thing to drink, they're in denial anyway. It's like cigarettes. Does anyone really think cigarettes are healthy? I've never met a patient who argued their cigarette habit was healthy. They all know, just like my diabetic patients know that regular soft drinks are bad (again, diet coke is something else. I have arguments there that "they don't raise my sugar." but that's not what the commercial is even about). Nobody I've ever talked to said, "Hey, this Coke is a health drink." [much different than the vitamin waters, Gatorade, etc. People think those are healthy]

      We keep blaming the companies when we keep doing things that WE KNOW are bad for us. It's one thing when cereal companies advertise sugary things to kids. It's something different when Coke advertises to adults who know soda is bad for them.

  12. Anonymous3:19 pm

    We watched this in Health Sciences 1001B with Dr. Shauna Burke, on Thursday morning!! We had a good laugh. :)

  13. Anonymous3:55 am

    This commercial is repulsive! Targeting obesity like it's such a horrible thing! Who cares if people weigh 500 pounds as long as they're happy. Just like with smokers.(If smoking unhealthy cigarettes makes you happy then no one should have the right to say anything about it so if eating mcdonalds and drinking sugary drinks makes you happy then so be it.) I'm not sure what Coca-Cola is trying to do here but they should not be promoting the idea of "Fighting against obesity". There's nothing to fight! Let people make their own mistakes and offer them support if they seek it. I don't want to live on this shallow planet anymore -_-