I’ve spent several days trying to muster up enough outrage to post about this Coca-Cola ad:
There’s so much here to chew on. The hypocrisy of Coke claiming to be an ally in the fight against American obesity, when in fact they are one of its biggest contributors. The fact that 180 “low- and no-calorie choices,” out of a portfolio of 650 beverages, is laughably small. The insistence that calories are the only thing that matters when making healthy choices. The cheerful glossing over of artificial sweeteners in Coke’s reduced-calorie offerings, despite the fact that we have no idea whether they’re better for us than sugar. The fact that an anti-obesity ad features not one recognizably overweight or obese person–the people shown making healthy decisions are already slim.
But here’s the thing. Coke isn’t acting in a vacuum. They’re using airtime to subtly reinforce a message that already saturates the air we breathe: obesity is our fault. We, the consumers, bear the responsibility. Coke is trying. Really, they are. But in the end, we’re the ones who decide what goes into our bodies. The corporations can’t save us from ourselves.
This isn’t about obesity. Not really. It’s about putting us in our place.
And I’m over it.
So go ahead, Coke. Be cynical. Make us believe you’re on our side. Make us feel guilty, and thirsty, and dumb. It’s nothing worse than we already hear, every day we’re awake and alive. And until that constant hum changes pitch, I refuse to let it distress me.