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You cannot not communicate

Cola-Cola has a history of iconic ads. From Mean Joe Greene in 1979 to those cute polar bears we see every winter, there is no denying Coke has become an American Institution.

While it’s hard to argue with a company with over 125 years under its belt, Coke’s new “Coming Together” ad me questioning their most recent efforts.

The ad, which debuted Jan. 14, is half PR genius and half slap in the face to consumers.

The Good:
Coke makes a concerted effort to promote their 180 low and no-calorie drinks. This ensures that while promoting healthy beverage choices to consumers they won’t see a significant drop in sales.

Coke also highlights all the work that they have done to combat obesity, especially in children. They have worked closely in with the Boys and Girls Club of American and “voluntarily” removed high calorie sodas and other drinks from schools across the country.

The Bad and the Ugly:

Coke is pointing fingers.

This ad not only blames other high-calorie foods for the obesity epidemic sweeping the nation, they also place blame on consumers.

While there may be an element of “we-were-all-thinking-it” to this situation, consumers may not respond well to an industry leader blaming customers for their own weight issues.

Another issue is that Coke is placing all the emphasis on the caloric content of their products.

It seems to me that they are intentionally turning a blind eye to the high amounts of sugar in not only their sodas, but also their “healthier” low-calorie beverages.

Overall, as a student of strategic communications and a future PR professional this was a extremely smart, proactive attempt to save sales during a time when American’s have become more and more weight conscious.

From a consumer’s point-of-view this ad made me feel targeted as the root of the obesity problem while Coke is left looking good.


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