The Center (sic) for Science in the Public Interest has hijacked Coca-Cola’s on-going “Share a Coke” campaign, which offers customisable labels to the public, using it to highlight the dangers of obesity.
The public health advocacy group ordered a bottle with the sentence “Share a Coke with Obesity”, and then used the bottle to create a campaign video on YouTube.
When coke started to let customers choose their own names to print on the labels, it banned a number of words and phrases. However, the word ‘obesity’ fleetingly managed to make it onto a bottle.
The video opens with an image of the bottle labelled ‘Obesity’ and goes on to explain how it came about.
As part of the campaign, CSPI have created the hashtag #ShareHonesty. The video encourages viewers to create and submit some of their own “honest labels”, because “customising labels is fun, but coke shouldn’t customise the truth about their products”.
Jeff Cronin, director of Communications at CSPI, told TODAY.com that reducing soda consumption is one of their top priorities.
“Coke spends billions of dollars positioning sodas as a source of happiness when it fact it causes diabetes, obesity and heart disease. It’s more a source of sadness than happiness,” he said.
Cronin also said that coke has been “brilliant” about using social media, adding:“This whole campaign ‘Share a Coke’ is brilliant. One of the benefits of us doing this is that we get people to think more critically about the messages they get from Coke on social media.”
Trial and error
It has been reported that Mike Howard, CEO of the advertising company Daughters & Howard, was working with the health group on a campaign when he started experimenting with the “Share a Coke” website.
“They have a list of words they don’t allow and some they’ll let you submit for approval or rejection. I submitted ‘obesity’ and never got an email back and then as we were working on (another) idea, we heard that ‘obesity’ was working. [The bottle] came a few days later in the mail,” he said.
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