Unless you're Mike Bloomberg, taking on big soda is not easy. And while soft-drink makers may have lost in the Big Apple, nutrition advocates are well aware that was only one battle. Now, the Center for Science in the Public Interest has turned to a familiar advertising icon, the Coca-Cola polar bears, as inspiration for a new three-and-a-half-minute animated music video aimed at exposing the unhappy health consequences of chugging a lot of sugary drinks.
CSPI enlisted top-notch ad talent, including Alex Bogusky, for the spot, which juxtaposes a happy, animated feel with a dark message. As an upbeat original song from Grammy-winning singer-songwriter Jason Mraz plays in the background, The Real Bears  (as they're called in the video's title) slug soft drinks, get fatter, develop diabetes, shoot insulin, suffer erectile dysfunction, and lose their teeth before realizing it's time to dump the soda in the ocean. "Coke and Pepsi have skillfully cultivated incredibly strong emotional bonds with consumers around the world even though their products actually cause quite a bit of misery," says Michael Jacobson, CSPI's executive director. "We don't have their budgets, but we do have the truth. And the truth is that soda equals sadness."
For now, CSPI is hoping the video will go far and wide on social media, but the organization hasn't ruled out traditional media in the future. Credits below.
Client: Center for Science in the Public Interest
Spot: "The Real Bears"
Agencies: Common, Boulder, Colo.; The Butler Bros., Austin, Texas
Executive Creative Director: Alex Bogusky
Executive Producers: Marty and Adam Butler
Writers: Ronny Northrop, Ryan Kutscher
Art Director: Stefanie Hermsdorf
Account Director: Mark Ekhardt
Producer: Amanda Fox
Director/Designer/Animator: Lucas Zanotto
Music: Jason Mraz
Guitar and Mix: Bill Bell
Horn Parts: Grooveline Horns
Offline/Online Editor: Travis Wurges
Sound Design: Nikolai von Sallwitz
Mix: Travis Wurges
Web Design: Cyrus Clemesen