I must be brief as I am pressed for time, but know that I’d go off on a fullscale rant if I had about two more hours. Think of this as a mini-rant.
Tonight, Coca Cola will debut a forward-thinking, progressive new commercial; apparently the first of its kind for any soda company. Here’s a link to it!
I want to make a few things crystal clear before I begin my rant, because once I start I won’t be able to stop myself until I run out of time.
- I love Coke and, in general, coca cola products. Pepsi is to Coke as GoBots are to Transformers.
- I will continue to drink Coke for as long as it continues to be delicious.
- In general terms, I applaud that commercial and the message it sends, which is “America, take some responsibility for the things you put into your mouth.” [I have no time for a follow-up dick joke]
- I hope this actually paves the way for a change in advertising themes, but, being as terribly jaded with modern media as I am, I doubt it.
So what’s wrong? I love Coke, I like the direction they went in, and the commercial wasn’t terribly lame.
The commercial highlighting America’s obesity problem contained approximately zero obese people.
You were so close Coca Cola. Your commercial was generally tasteful and informative. Your stats, if correct, look great! As a company, you appear to be moving in the correct direction. But most importantly, you at least partially alluded to the idea that people need to take more responsibility for what they binge-consume. I liked the bit about calories count regardless of their origin, so as not to demonize your own delicious product. I liked how you had the guts to refer to the ‘calories in, calories out’ methodology as “common sense”, because it fucking is. I also like how you stated pretty much all of that as fact instead of as the harmless opinion of little old you, because stating things as facts can be riskier; it immediately opens you up to vulnerability when people disagree with you. So close, but so far.
If the theme behind your commercial directly addressing America’s obesity problem doesn’t display even one single obese person, something is wrong. Were you still a little scared? Did your marketing department think that equating getting fat by accident to a lack of common sense was already too risky? Here’s the problem with what you did, foolios.
You removed the willing suspension of disbelief, but you didn’t follow through. I only have time for one or two more analogies before I insult you, plead for change, proofread this post and then get back to my life.
First, think of any Old Navy commercial. They’re all so stupid and awful that every time I see one I come within a hairsbreadth of murdering the next living thing I set my eyes on, and I know I can do it too because every Old Navy commercial that makes it to the tv is just one more reminder that there is no god. They’re bright and peppy and spunky and all of the other adjectives I hate wrapped up together and bow tied in an orgy of all the worst shining neon parts of consumerism, and the music sucks too. But it’s their jam and honestly, they own it. If you’re gonna do something, own it. Their commercials are so dumb and over-the-top dumb and dumb and dumb, that it’s understood to their dumb viewers that they are not an example of reality, because they’re too dumb. People don’t have snowball fights with laughing little children who are all wearing different brightly colored pants in real life without at least one of those kids getting a bloody nose in the first five minutes – that’s not real life. But that’s what happens in Old Navy commercials and we all get it, we just see it, suppress the urge to vomit, and understand in our heads “Oh it’s just an Old Navy commercial, and god is somehow simultaneously dead and hates us.” Now imagine if halfway through the next Old Navy commercial you happen look up from sharpening your butcher’s cleaver because you’ve finally snapped, and the commercial just stops and the announcer says “Hey, we know this isn’t what real life is like, but we’ve got some amazing deals on glittens (gloves + mittens) right now, so you should come buy some” and then they show some glittens without fucking glitter and elves prancing around all over the place. They would be dropping the willing suspension of disbelief, which A) I would be grateful for and B) would be a wake up call to the viewer.
That’s what YOU did Coke, but you screwed it up! We all KNOW that obesity is a big fat problem right now – how fat we are as a nation is in the news almost every day. We all KNOW we should be making better choices and being more conscious of what we eat and drink because like, more than half of us are fat. What you did doesn’t make any sense; even if your intentions are good they’re coated in crap. You stopped the shiny flashy Old Navy commercial halfway through and you brought the viewer back to reality, but then you resumed the bullshit right after. A commercial highlighting obesity problems and solutions marketed towards an obese society which doesn’t show even one obese person is absurd. It’s like a Go Army commercial which doesn’t show guns or being yelled at by a drill sergeant. Not everyone likes looking at guns either, but if you join the freaking Army, chances are you’re going to see a few.
Was this your best attempt at displaying a fat person?
Pitiful! I can look around right now and see three, maybe four people who are fatter than this. And Coke, I can’t even really feel that bad for you either; how could you expect us not to notice the lack of fatties when the entire freaking theme you’re trying to push is anti-obesity? If anything, it should have been tons (heh) of heavier people working out and getting in shape, with maybe a few leaner people sprinkled in here and there for good measure.
Why didn’t you go all the way Coke? Don’t be scurred, step up and own it. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to drink about four of those mini ‘portion control’ sized cans of coke and get back to work.