It's a new day in America. If someone had told me yesterday that I would be lauding Coke for being a selfless corporate citizen, I never would have believed it. But Coke's Super Bowl ad wasn't just another predictable and forgettable TV spot pitching a crappy product. It was a heroic act whereby Coke sacrificed itself in order to save many of its loyal consumers from a myriad of chronic health problems.
For years Americans have struggled with skyrocketing rates of obesity and all of the health-related problems associated with the condition. It's widely known that Coke and other soft drinks are a big part of the problem, yet efforts to get Americans to curtail their consumption have been largely ineffective. From banning sodas larger than 16 ounces to proposals to tax sugary drinks, nothing has succeeded in prying the Big Gulp from Americans' fleshy fingers... until last night.
In a move that was every bit as brilliant as it was selfless, Coke aired an ad that on its surface was as uninspired as all of its other ads, but in reality was the most effective public service ad in television history. Rather than appealing to Americans' good sense, the ad instead played on their hatred and stupidity. By featuring Americans of different cultural backgrounds singing America, the Beautiful, a quintessentially American song, in a variety of languages, Coke managed to get a sizeable chunk of its customers to quit drinking its product cold turkey. In other words, Coke managed to do in sixty seconds what public health advocates have spent decades trying to accomplish without any success. Coke has yet to explain what prompted this remarkable change of corporate conscience.
It's too soon to predict the ripple effects of this bold new advertising strategy. The top executives at many of the nation's most prestigious ad agencies are reportedly meeting to strategize on how to use Coke's formula for immediate results to the advantage of their own clients.
"Coke was really thinking outside the bottle with this ad. It's no secret that Americans are hateful and stupid, but Coke's instant results with this ad proves that we all underestimated exactly how hateful and stupid they are," said one executive who declined to give his name.
"I mean, we always knew we could get Americans to buy things like pickup trucks by showing images of white men hoisting bales of hay while pretty ladies looked on from the front porches of their country homes in rural settings," another executive added. "But we didn't realize we could get them to NOT buy things by showing images of people they don't like using those products. It's an exciting day to be in advertising, that's for sure," he added, excitedly.
Public health officials are also brainstorming on how they might get other corporate public health enemies like McDonald's to follow Coke's lead. A proposal to offer a tax subsidy to the fast food giant in exchange for running a Fourth of July ad that prominently features both a huge American flag and the jingle, "Ba, ba, ba, ba, ba! Estoy amorin' it!" is on the table, reportedly.
"We can use the money we'd save on Americans' obesity-related medical bills to both buy the ad and replace McDonald's lost revenue. It's a win-win-win!" said a CDC official who wished to remain anonymous.
Helmets off to Coke for being the real game changer of Super Bowl 2014!