Answer honestly: Do advertisements urge you to desire a featured product?
I am not immune to alluring images of the fried, the greasy, and the otherwise dripping yumminess. For this, amongst other reasons, I choose advertisement-free Netflix over cable. I don’t need any more cravings than I tolerate organically, thank you very much!
This week @Disarm tweeted:
I bet I’ll agree, I thought, as I linked to the article. Against all protective self-advisement, I watched the referenced Coca Cola advertisement. I refuse to embed the video here because I fancy myself generous and compassionate.
Coca Cola’s “Anti-Obesity” campaign features lower calorie options, suggesting that Coca Cola’s low-cal initiative is responsible for decreasing the calorie count for the entire beverage industry. After watching the advertisement, I felt the hankering to arrive at a wildly illogical conclusion. In spite of myself, my wit… my health… my sanity… I thought that incorporating Coca Cola products into my daily lifestyle could be healthy! Thank goodness, the spell was broken by a dose of fact-checking followed by boundary-prompting anger!
I do not want Coca Cola in my house, in my mind, in my mouth… yet the advertisement knocked on my welcoming Oh-Just-This-Once door. I willed myself into a practice that I’ve rehearsed, and exercised: I closed my eyes, breathed, and let the temptation pass. Subsequent thoughts and images flashed my mind screen. One might say they are unrelated to the advertisement. I share them because I think that they are not only related, but enmeshed:
“Oh my goodness gracious, Prop 37 didn’t pass.”
“Many hard-working, well-intending people were convinced that a triumphant Prop 37 would lead to prohibitive rises in food prices.”
“The pharmaceutical consequences of consuming GMOs, as well as other substances disguised as food (i.e. high fructose corn syrup) may result in prohibitive healthcare costs for the very same families who feel threatened by rising food costs!”
After thoroughly absorbing these thoughts, I felt mad. I embraced a form of pissed-off that I welcome: the Oh Hell No, I’m Not Drinking Cola Today element of anger… the I get to choose what I feed my body FREEDOM ROAR.
Am I a madwoman for craving the Cola? Have I swooped over one too many coo coo’s nests? While that may be the case, my weakness for (or addiction to) imitation food, alone, does not serve as evidence.
I expect that Coca Cola analysts (with the help of contracted ad company analysts… the Don Drapers of our time) researched which campaign focus was worthy of budget. They concluded that such a high % of their audience would be weaseled by the low calorie trickery, that it was worth funding the project! I suspect that the audience vulnerable to this trickery (including me, for more than one instant, [your favorite expletive]), is the very audience that believed Prop 37 might hurt them.
For this, I feel motivated. The real-food revolution is reaching more open minds by the day! In turn, the affordable real-food curriculum is growing. Momentum continue, I say… upward, forward, onward, and around… until we saturate every fridge, kitchen, and tummy with empowering accessibility to real-food! In the meantime, let us understand that we are indeed human. We are not immune to the Pavlovian impact of drool-inducing advertising! We can, however, design our lives such that we minimize triggers. Avoid the ads; turn the television off! As Jack Johnson writes, “[…] you better turn that thing down; turn it around.” Sing it Mr. Johnson, sing it!
Thanks for reading! Squeeze hugs and craving tolerance from Annie at Biocadence.
- How Millenials Are Responding to Coca Cola’s New Anti-Obesity Campaign
- Why California’s Prop 37 Didn’t Pass
- Prop 37 in California May Require Labels on Some GMO Foods
- The Coca-Cola Obesity Ad – My response (dailymuscle.com)
- Brands to boycott: Naked juice owned by PepsiCo, Odwalla owned by Coca-Cola (prn.fm)
- Coca-Cola Campaign Takes on Obesity (mashable.com)
- Coca Cola Brings People Together to Fight Obesity Campaign (marketingthroughart.wordpress.com)
- Watch Coca-Cola’s First Anti-Obesity Ad, ‘Coming Together’ (highsnobiety.com)
- Coca Cola Refreshingly Embraces Obesity (drsharma.ca)
- Coca-Cola “Coming Together” Tackles Obesity In New Ad (great-ads.blogspot.com)
- Coca-Cola Touts Role in Fighting Obesity — and Lobbies for Giant Sodas (dailyfinance.com)