In response to growing concerns about rising rates of obesity in the U.S., the Coca-Cola Co., Inc. has produced a two-minute video advertisement that “encourages everyone to be mindful that all calories count in managing your weight, including those in Coca-Cola products and in all foods and beverages,” according to a statement released today by the company.
Coke’s ad follows a recent litany of negative attention that ties soda to health issues. Last week, a study conducted by the U.S. National Institutes of Health found that drinking more than four sweetened beverages per day, especially diet soda, could lead to a greater risk of depression. And in an attempt to curb obesity rates, New York City’s Board of Health passed a measure in September that will restrict the on-premise sale of beverages that contain more than 25 calories per 8 oz. serving in containers larger than 16 oz.
The video, titled “Coming Together,” acknowledges the impact that obesity has had on American society and highlights the company’s line of low- and no-calorie options, including Diet Coke and Dasani water. The TV spot will debut tonight on national cable news channels CNN, Fox News and MSNBC, according to the Associated Press.
“The long term health of our families and the country is at stake,” a voice in the ad says. “And as the nation’s leading beverage company, we can play an important role.”
The ad includes the following notes:
- Of the more than 650 Coca-Cola beverages, the company currently offers more than 180 low- and no-calorie options.
- Coca-Cola mini cans, the 7.5 oz., 90-calorie version of the regular Coca-Cola can, will be available in about 90 percent of the country by the end of 2013.
- Coca-Cola has placed a calorie count on the front of all beverages to help consumers make informed, healthy decisions.
- The company volunteered to store primarily waters, juices and low- and no-calorie options in elementary, middle and high schools.
- The company has a strong affiliation with organizations like Boys & Girls Clubs of America.
- Obesity is a problem that stems from how many calories we consume and don’t burn. This means that we must monitor not just what we drink, but also what we eat.
Coke will debut a second ad, titled “Be OK,” which will highlight the fact that its flagship cola has 140 calories. The ad, which will initially air during Fox’s “American Idol” on Jan. 16, was created in an effort to clear up consumer confusion the calorie count in the drink.
Coke’s new video ad and press release are below:
ATLANTA–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The Coca-Cola Company is reinforcing its efforts to work together with American communities, business and government leaders to find meaningful solutions to the complex challenge of obesity.
A two-minute video, titled “Coming Together,” debuts tonight on national cable news. The video encourages everyone to be mindful that all calories count in managing your weight, including those in Coca-Cola products and in all foods and beverages. Its purpose is to highlight some of the specifics behind the Company’s ongoing commitment to deliver more beverage choices, including low- and no-calorie options, and to clearly communicate the calorie content of all its products.
A second spot, called “Be OK,” will debut on American Idol on Wednesday, Jan. 16. “Be OK” makes it perfectly clear right up front that a can of Coca-Cola has 140 calories. This spot also encourages people to have some fun burning those calories off.
“We are committed to bring people together to help fight obesity,” said Stuart Kronauge, General Manager, Sparkling Beverages, Coca-Cola North America. “This is about the health and happiness of everyone who buys our products and wants great-tasting beverages, choice and information. The Coca-Cola Company has an important role in this fight. Together, with willing partners, we will succeed.”
In addition to the new advertising, Coca-Cola is already helping support and promote physical activity initiatives in local communities.
- Coca-Cola Troops for Fitness: The Coca-Cola Foundation also will expand the program in key cities across the country in 2013. Launched in Chicago last fall, Coca-Cola Troops for Fitness taps returning military veterans to teach military-style fitness classes like calisthenics, sit-ups, push-ups, pull-ups and other fitness and nutritional techniques to families in communities most in need of wellness services.
- America Is Your Park: For the third year, Coca-Cola issued a call-to-action to Americans to go outdoors and to vote for their favorite park. In collaboration with the National Park Foundation, America’s State Parks and National Recreation and Park Association, Coca-Cola has donated a $100,000 recreation grant to the winning park, as well as grants to three additional winning parks. These grants are provided to help restore, rebuild or enhance activity areas in parks where people can play and be active. Over the years, Coca-Cola has donated nearly $15 million for restoration and renovation of our country’s parks.
- Triple Play: Launched in 2005 by Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA) with support from The Coca-Cola Company, Triple Play encourages kids to eat a balanced diet, become more physically active and increase their ability to engage in healthy relationships.
- School Fitness Centers & Governor’s Physical Fitness Challenge: Working with the National Foundation for Governor’s Fitness Councils ® and the American College of Sports Medicine, Coca-Cola has dedicated $5 million to place 100 new fitness centers in schools across the U.S. over the next five years. The unbranded centers will feature new fitness equipment and provide more than five million workouts annually, helping communities make physical activity a priority in schools. This program has touched more than 1.4 million students since its pilot and will continue to benefit many more.
- Rails-to-Trails Conservancy: For more than 25 years, the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy has been transforming abandoned railroad corridors into trails for biking, walking and in-line skating. Over the years, we’ve donated more than $800,000 to help the Conservancy and other local trail organizations plan, improve or build a nationwide network of walking and biking trails.
- ClimbsCorpTM: Launched in 2012 with support from Coca-Cola, ClimbsCorp, a program of Brigham and Women’s Hospital, is the nation’s first service corps dedicated to revolutionizing the cardiovascular health and wellness of the American public. Based on the simple principle that people need to be active to maintain better health, ClimbsCorp leverages an easy way to incorporate exercise into our daily lives – taking the stairs.
We are committed to providing fact-based nutrition information to help individuals make informed choices, to suit all occasions and lifestyles. Our commitment also includes adhering to the right policies in schools and the marketplace; encouraging physical activity and promoting nutrition education; and continuously meeting changing consumer needs through innovation.
- Council of Better Business Bureaus Pledge: Coca-Cola has always practiced responsible marketing. Today, we will not buy advertising directly targeted at audiences that are more than 35% children under 12. Our policy applies to television, radio and print, and where data is available, to the Internet and mobile phones.
- Nutrition Labeling: In 2009, The Coca-Cola Company was the first company in the beverage industry to make front-of-pack calorie-labeling a global commitment for nearly all of our products by the end of 2011. And we’ve met that target. Prior to that, in 2005, we were the first beverage company in the U.S. to place dual nutrition labels on our regular calorie, single-serve packages – providing not only the required information for an 8 fl. oz. serving, but also for the entire package (up to 20 fl. oz.).
And we are united with America’s beverage companies and important leaders and organizations in instituting meaningful, significant and measurable initiatives to help address this issue and will continue to build on these efforts.
- School Beverage Guidelines: On May 3, 2006, Coca-Cola, along with President Clinton, the American Beverage Association, and other major U.S. soft drink companies, helped establish the national school beverage guidelines in the U.S. by voluntarily changing our beverage offerings in primary and secondary schools. The industry has since reduced beverage calories delivered to schools by 90%.
- Clear on Calories: In February 2010, Coca-Cola joined the U.S. beverage industry in announcing our support for First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! initiative with a “Clear on Calories” commitment, which includes placing calorie labeling on front of nearly all beverage containers.
- Calories Count™ Vending Program: Beginning in 2012, Coca-Cola and others in the beverage industry have been working with government leaders, restaurant operators, vending machine companies and other customers to increase availability of low- and no-calorie beverages in vending machines. This effort also includes adding calorie amounts for each beverage selection on vending machines. In addition, machine fronts will display a “Calories Count™” vending snipe to remind people to consider the calories they consume.
We are committed to providing a variety of products for every lifestyle and occasion, along with information to help people make informed choices and live active, healthy lives.
- Lower Calorie Options: People often look for ways to manage their calories so we help by offering low- and no-calorie options for nearly all of our brands. We removed the calories but not the great taste.
- We offer more than 180 low- and no-calorie beverages in the U.S. and Canada, and low- and no-calorie beverages now represent nearly one-third (33%) of our beverage volume there.
- We also offer 7.5 oz mini cans for many of our full-calorie beverages, including Coca-Cola®, Sprite®, Fanta® Orange and Seagram’s® Ginger Ale.
- And, we have incorporated a natural, zero-calorie sweetener from the stevia plant into a number of products, including vitaminwater zeroTM.
“Overcoming obesity will require work from all of us,” said Kronauge. “If we are to reach the goal of Americans achieving a happy, healthy and active future, we all will have to dedicate ourselves to move forward together.”
About The Coca-Cola Company
The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE: KO) is the world’s largest beverage company, refreshing consumers with more than 500 sparkling and still brands. Led by Coca-Cola, the world’s most valuable brand, our Company’s portfolio features 15 billion-dollar brands including Diet Coke, Fanta, Sprite, Coca-Cola Zero, vitaminwater, Powerade, Minute Maid, Simply, Georgia andDel Valle. Globally, we are the No. 1 provider of sparkling beverages, ready-to-drink coffees, and juices and juice drinks. Through the world’s largest beverage distribution system, consumers in more than 200 countries enjoy our beverages at a rate of 1.8 billion servings a day. With an enduring commitment to building sustainable communities, our Company is focused on initiatives that reduce our environmental footprint, support active, healthy living, create a safe, inclusive work environment for our associates, and enhance the economic development of the communities where we operate. Together with our bottling partners, we rank among the world’s top 10 private employers with more than 700,000 system associates. For more information, visit www.coca-colacompany.com, follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/CocaColaCo or visit our blog, Coca-Cola Unbottled, at www.coca-colablog.com.