Warning! Big food and beverage industry execs will find the following disturbing.
Remember the iconic Coca-Cola commercial from 1971 singing on the hilltop “In Perfect Harmony”? The commercial recently re-surfaced in the final episode of the AMC series “Mad Men” to a whole new audience.
Here’s a new and different version “Change the tune on Soda” from the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) that has a diabolic, sweet and sugary twist. “I’d like to buy the world a drink, that doesn’t cause DISEASE!”:
Filmed in the Denver Colorado area, the cast includes locals and healthcare professionals (recognize anyone?) who know all too well the dangers of consuming sugary drinks. Soda and other sugary beverages are a leading source of calories in the American diet and contribute significantly to diet-related disease. There is strong epidemiological evidence connecting sugary drinks to conditions including obesity, type II diabetes, tooth decay and heart disease, just to name a few.
“For the past 45 years, Coca-Cola and other makers of sugar drinks have used the most sophisticated and manipulative advertising techniques to convince children and adults alike that a disease-promoting drink will make them feel warm and fuzzy inside,” said CSPI executive director Michael F. Jacobson. “It’s a multi-billion-dollar brainwashing campaign designed to distract us away from our diabetes with happy thoughts. We thought it was time to change the tune.”
In a scenario similar to the tobacco industry, the food and beverage industry is now busy doing damage control. While they push highly processed and addicting foods spiked with sugar, they continue to tell consumers there’s nothing wrong with sugar. They also try to convince us that all calories are alike, and if we simply eat less and exercise more we will be healthy, as they continue to sell these highly addictive foods for profit.
Soda is just one of several contributors to diet-related disease, but it’s a major one. The food and beverage industry needs to reconsider the health implications and assume responsibility.
Read more about the project from the sponsor CSPI: It’s Time to Change the Tune on Soda, Advertising Age: Alex Bogusky Takes On Coke With ‘Hilltop’ Ad Spoof, PR Newswire: Health Advocates Remake Famous “Hilltop” Ad and CBS this morning: Iconic Coca-Cola jingle remade into serious warning, Local news: Viral Coke ad remake shot in Colorado.