Bad Marketing: Coca Cola’s new anti-obesity advert

I’m not going to beat around the bush here: Coca Cola to me epitomizes everything that is wrong with the world. Their new advert, which purports to be “anti-obesity” can be seen here:

There are some things that make me ashamed to be in the world of marketing. This is one of those things.
There are so many things wrong with this ad, it’s hard to know where to start.
From the advertisers’ perspective, I can only think they’ve had too many late nights consuming too much of their 650 anti-human products. Their brains must have taken a battering from all the sugar, aspartame, caffeine, fluoride and other toxic chemicals they love to see us shove down our stupid throats.
Don’t they know that humans cannot process a negative?
The oldest example of this is” “Don’t think of pink elephants”. Upon hearing this, everyone thinks of…you get the picture.
So, is it really a wise move to go on about the fight against obesity when YOU’RE THE MAIN CAUSE????
How stupid do you think we are?
Oh yeah, pretty stupid. We’ve been drinking your shit-for-brains products for over 100 years, You must look down at us like pigs in a trough (which is, sadly, not far from the truth).
For anyone that does not know, Coca Cola originally proudly stated the fact that it contained Cocaine, until they were forced to remove the claim (we don’t know whether they removed the Coke) back in 1903.
Early Coca Cola advert
Anyone with a pulse knows how addictive Coca Cola is.
I was sat on a train yesterday listening to the trials of a 28 year old mother of three in the seat behind me, giving a blow by blow account of all her births to the poor pregnant woman sat beside her:
“So, when I wuz pregnant wiv Rochelle, ‘er dad was away which wuz gud because he’d ‘av dun ma fuckin’ ead in like he did when I wuz givin’ birth to Jay-den, my bezzie mate Charmaine wuz there wiv a fuckin Maccy-D’s! I wasn’t so pissed off that she wuz eatin’ a Big Mac, I wuz more pissed off she wuz drinkin’ a coke, cos I luv ma Coke, I do. Fuckin’ luv coke.”

Coke and McDonalds - a match made in Hell
Coke and McDonalds – a match made in Hell

Where has all the old wisdom gone? My Mum used to say that drinking a cold drink after a meal was stupid because it would “set it”. And there we are gulping buckets of ice-laden shite with our indestructible burgers.
I’m also drawn to think of thought-leaders like Jeremy Clarkson (whether you like it or not, he part owns the most popular TV show on Earth) who, in a recent episode of Top Gear referred to the hangover-curing abilities of Coke as “the black doctor in the red and white ambulance”.
In my own case, I have hardly ever drunk the stuff since doing an experiment back in the 70s, along with every other school kid, which involved leaving an old dirty penny in a glass of Coke to see what it looked like in the morning.
Like everyone else, my penny looked brand new. Chemistry was not my best subject, but even I knew that that stuff should go nowhere near my stomach.
Despite this attitude towards it, I still found myself ordering it every now and then, especially in Chinese restaurants for some reason, on Sunday lunchtimes with a hangover.
I’m pleased to say I’ve had only one glass in 12 months, and my kids have never touched a drop (as far as we know!)
There is no question that Coke is refreshing. But it’s not refreshing like water is i.e. it does not actually rehydrate you or quench your thirst. It hits you with a wide array of chemicals along with 8 teaspoons of refined (i.e. very bad) sugar in every 330ml can.
This leads to a massive and immediate sugar-hit, which then quickly leads to a sugar crash. This plays havoc with your hormones, which is ultimately why “full fat” Coke causes obesity when consumed regularly, and not because of the calories argument (one of the biggest con tricks of the 20th Century) they base their entire advert on. More on this later.
This spike follows the same classic pattern of an addictive drug, like nicotine. The need for the next Coke, or cigarette, is placed there by the previous one. We reach for the next one to get back to our perceived state of “normal”, which is in fact well below the “normal” of a normal person who is not addicted.
Here’s a great article that explains my own personal opinion: refined sugar is a poison, not a food:
It was only six months ago that Coke was fighting a battle in the US because food-labeling laws in California insisted that their packaging should indicate that the product contains carcinogens.
In this case, 4-methylimidazole (4-MI), a chemical that forms in the production of caramel food colouring.
See more on this story here (but be aware that mainstream media tend to just print the “facts” from the press releases issued by Coca Cola):
I know I ranted at the start of this, and I’m glad you’ve stuck with me because now it gets really dark.
Take a look at this article about how Coca Cola have been influencing the thoughts and opinions of dieticians. In 2011, the American Dietetic Association stated that registered dieticians are now given formal education by the Coca-Cola Company on how safe its ingredients are.
The ADA’s Commission on Dietetic Registration approved a programme created by the “Coca Cola Company Beverage Institute for Health and Wellness” (WTF?) that will educate dieticians about what it calls “urban myths” about food safety.
The program teaches that fluoride, sugar, artificial colours and non-nutritive sweeteners have been “carefully examined for their effects on children’s health, growth, and development,” and suggests methods dieticians can use to help get rid of “concern among parents about their children’s health.”
According to the Alliance for Natural Health:
“Program materials include gems like ‘[a] majority of studies so far have not found a link between sugar and behavior in children generally or children diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.’
Read more on this shameful manipulation here:
Alleged Human Rights Atrocities
And that’s not even mentioning Coke’s alleged human rights record, which is so shocking it can only be hidden from the mass populace by all that a reported £3 billion a year advertising budget can buy:
The Advert…
Anyway, let’s deconstruct the contents of the actual advert…
My first issue with this is at 0:23. After telling us that they have been bringing people together for over 125 years, along with carefully designed images of culturally and racially targeted people, including a woman serving up lovely green vegetables for dinner and a Dad in a Coke T-shirt ruffling the hair of his kids on his way to work for Satan, sorry, Coke, they dive into the argument that is based on bogus science: the argument that weight gain is solely down to “calories in” being more than “calories used”.
I find it incredible that people still buy into this idea, as it is far too simplistic.
It’s obvious to a blind man on a galloping horse that the calories from refined sugar are completely different to the calories from raw, organic vegetables, for example. This is simply because the human internal digestion system has been evolved over 100 million years to pull the nutrients from raw, natural food. Boiled down, bleached, crystallised sugar does not fall into that category.
So, then they start to go on about their “diet” drinks, sorry… “over 180 low and no calorie choices”.
Give me strength.
These drinks have reduced the average calorific intake from sodas in the US by an average 22% over the last 15 years, according to the video.
Low and no calorie soda is NOT a healthy alternative, as this excerpt illustrates:
“A study by researchers at the University of Texas Health
Science Center at San Antonio, presented at a recent meeting of the American Diabetes Association, has added to growing research that diet soda is not a “guilt-free” treat at all. Instead, after following 474 diet soda drinkers for nearly 10 years, they found that their waists grew 70 percent more than the waists of non-diet soda drinkers. Further, those who drank two or more diet sodas a day had a 500 percent greater increase in waist size!
As you may know, your waist size is not only a matter of aesthetics, but also a powerful indicator of a build-up of visceral fat, a dangerous type of fat around your internal organs that is strongly linked with type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Your waist size is a far more accurate predictor of your heart risks than even your body mass index (BMI), so any habit that has the potential to increase your waist size by 500 percent more than someone who does not have that habit is one worth breaking.
A second study by some of the same researchers also revealed that mice eating food laced with the artificial sweetener aspartame had higher blood sugar levels than mice eating food without it, which suggests it may increase your risk of diabetes and metabolic syndrome. In a statement, the researchers noted:

“These results are consistent with data from community-based epidemiologic studies in which the consumption of diet sodas was shown to be associated with increased incidence of metabolic syndrome and diabetes. They suggest that aspartame exposure may in fact directly contribute to increased blood glucose levels, and thus may contribute to the associations observed between diet soda consumption and the risk of diabetes in humans.”
You May be Fooled by Diet Soda … but Your Brain Isn’t
Clearly, if you are still opting for diet soda because you believe it is healthier than regular soda, you are doing yourself a great disservice. Regular soda is by no means a healthy choice either … but please don’t fall into the trap of believing that diet soda is “healthy” just because it’s calorie-free. As Professor Helen Hazuda, an author of the above studies, told the Daily Mail:
“They may be free of calories but not of consequences.”
Indeed, it was six years ago now that research by Sharon P. Fowler, MPH, who was also involved in the new studies noted above, and colleagues found that your risk of obesity increases by 41 percent for each can of diet soda you drink in a day.
So what is going on?
Substances like Splenda and aspartame may have zero calories, but your body isn’t fooled. When it gets a “sweet” taste, it expects calories to follow, and when this doesn’t occur it leads to distortions in your biochemistry that may actually lead to weight gain.
As far as “sweetness satisfaction” in your brain is concerned, it can tell the difference between a real sugar and an artificial one, even if your conscious mind cannot. Artificial sweeteners tend to trigger more communication in the brain’s pleasure center, yet at the same time provide less actual satisfaction. So when you consume artificial sweeteners, your body craves more, as well as real sugar, because your brain is not satisfied at a cellular level by the sugar imposter. There is even research suggesting that artificial sweetener use may ruin your body’s ability to control calories, thus boosting your inclination to overindulge.”
Read the rest here:
In Schools
They talk about being in schools like it was the most natural thing in the world.
Jesus H Christ.
Schools are supposed to be a place where kids LEARN, not where they get poisoned and taught to develop globalist supporting, cancer-inducing lifelong habits. No, I never smoked behind the bike sheds.
In these schools, they claim they’ve changed their offerings to mainly water and fruit juices. Great…
1. Water. Well, Dasani actually. Bottled water is a massive scam in the first place, but Dasani takes the biscuit. It’s actually filtered tap water with some “additives” put in for flavor (with no thought as to the side effects): magnesium sulfate, potassium chloride and salt. Plus it’s in a plastic bottle behind glass, which means the estrogen-mimicking BPA is being fed into kids on a daily basis. But don’t worry, the calorie intake is down! (read more on BPAs here:
2. Fruit juice – a pastuerised (therefore zero useable nutrients) sugar delivery system
3. Low calorie options (see above)
They claim these have dropped calorific intakes from their drinks in schools by 90%.
So what?
These stats are pure bullshit, designed to induce the idea that this company gives a shit about human health. They don’t.
Working with Scientists
Why? To develop innovative things like zero-calorie-all-natural-sweeteners.
We don’t need zero-calorie-all-natural-sweeteners! We need NUTRITION!
Nature has already done this. It has made a sweet substance that’s packed with nutrients. In fact it’s a superfood, and it’s called Stevia.
Read all about it here:
We don’t need you to work with your men in white coats to create more Patented crap to sell us.
Common Sense??
They keep referring to “all of us” like “we” are on the same team as “them”.
This kind of patronizing copy makes me ill. But it gets even more patronizing when they start to use terms like “common sense”:
“All calories count, no matter where they come from”
It’s the kind of double-speak that makes my blood boil. This kind of sentence is exactly like the kind of crap we’ve been getting from the mouths of our politicians for years now. You know, stuff like…(excuse me if I paraphrase here)…
“ I did not have sexual relations with that woman” (because blow jobs can be legally defined as “not sexual relations”)
Bill Clinton
“I cannot confirm or deny whether my children have had the MMR vaccination” (because if I told you the truth, the whole scam would fall apart and you’d have me in a court of law)
Tony B-liar
“This devaluation will not affect the pound in your pocket” (yes it will)
Harold Wilson
“We justify this war because they have weapons of mass destruction” (no they didn’t)
B-liar and Bush
Need me to go on?
What they are doing with this sentence is digging at the plethora of scientific study that proves that not all calories count the same whilst simultaneously not saying anything that is untrue.
All calories do count: you can’t argue with that.
“…No matter where they come from (cut to picture of someone eating a biscuit, then someone drinking a Coke) including Coca Cola and everything else with calories”
In my world, this is called “coat-tailing” – a practice used by smaller companies to borrow some of the trust built up by the bigger brands. A simple example of this is where a website may use logos of credit card companies near the top of the page in order for you to feel the site is trustworthy. They are “coat-tailing” off the billions spent building up consumer confidence (however misplaced) in these brands and logos.
Here, Coke are doing it the other way round! Here’s the massive brand coat-tailing off, get this, everything else that has calories!
Un(real). Thing.
“The wellbeing of our families and communities concerns everyone” (1:43)
Again, the implication is that Coke cares (although they are careful not to say they are actually concerned. It is merely implied that they are concerned by, again, coat-tailing off your concern for your family!)
This is low, low stuff folks.
“But at Coca Cola, we know that when people come together it can make a real difference”
They might as well say..
“But at Coca Cola, we know that the sky is blue”
“But at Coca Cola, we know that people shit through their arseholes”
“But at Coca Cola, we know that when people come together it can make a mess”
It’s utter meaningless drivel.
But, guess what?
It will work.
They’ll play the shite out of this until you’ve got people petitioning their schools to install Dasani machines for the good of their child’s health.
We really are that easy to control.

The founder of Attwood Digital, Mark is a digital marketing veteran having been working online since before the dotcom boom. He created the world's first online skip hire service in 2003, has created multiple online courses, lectured on digital marketing and even written a book on the subject. He is also an ICO advisor and crypto-enthusiast.
  1. Love it Mark!
    Great article, look at the new marketing of McDonald’s. Most outlets have been re-branded with a green and brown ‘earthy’ colour scheme to imply health. I even caught myself looking twice as i passed my local McDonald’s until i realised it was not a new health food shop!
    Until people start to really look at what they eat and get onto the JERF movement (Just Eat Real Food) we will not change this obesity epidemic!
    Again Mark fab article, will shout it out on twitter!

  2. Well said Mark. Great article. I’d like to put a link to this on our site ( though I may have to put in a “this article contains an occasional swear word ” for the sake of our “silver surfers” or those of a narrow-minded disposition). So thanks Mark
    Neil Folker – Chiropractor , Norwich

    1. Thanks Neil.

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