Anti-Soda Marketing Campaigns Target Coca-Cola

The difficulties of targeting an audience and providing quality marketing to individuals presents more than enough of a challenge to marketers in the modern age. Competitors will often complicate things by releasing marketing campaigns that promote their product while simultaneously bashing the product of a competitor. However, it is a different matter entirely when an ad campaign is released not to promote anything, but only to detract from the marketing of another business.

With obesity rates doubling over the past 30 years, and nearly a third of the global adult population considered overweight, health advocates have begun creating campaigns that specifically target what they believe to be the sources of unhealthy habits in the U.S. and the world.

One of the greatest examples of this is an ad campaign recently released on the dangers of soda products and their contributions to diabetes. Soda has been coming under fire for years, with laws being pursued and passed that limit or ban the sale of soda products. Soda consumption is declining overall, and Coca-Cola and PepsiCo have both taken steps to combat this by diversifying their product line to include healthier drinks and encourage people to drink soda in moderation.

The D.C. based Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), an advocacy group focused on nutrition, has targeted Coca-Cola specifically over the past few years. They’re marketing has been particularly effective because it took aim at some of Coca-Cola’s own classic marketing. In 2012, they released a campaign showing Coca-Cola’s polar bear mascots suffering from type 2 diabetes and obesity. This year, they released a campaign to the tune of a classic Ad from 1971, changing the lyrics of Coke’s classic world changing son to, “I’d like to teach the world about what sugar did to me.”

By targeting Coca-Cola’s imagery, CSPI has attracted substantial attention to its ads, but it remains to be seen what kind of impact these campaigns will have on overall soda consumption in the U.S.