Exploring the obesity issue in what some consider a bizarre way, Coca-Cola released an online ad detailing how 23 minutes of cycling burns off a 12-ounce can of Coke.
The ad, called "Happy Cycle," first plays to nostalgia, showing vintage videos of soda fountains and noting that Coke used to cost five cents. It then asks: "What if a 12 oz. Coke cost 140 calories?", noting that it takes 23 minutes of cycling (on average for a 140-pound person) to burn off the 140 calories found in a 12-ounce can.
Shifting to a carnival-like atmosphere, the video shows people on a giant stationary bike peddling furiously to earn a can of Coke. At the end of the video, the phrase "Movement is happiness" appears on the screen, followed by, "Where will happiness strike next?"
Soft drinks have faced growing criticism over their role in fueling obesity. Coke first addressed the obesity issue in a TV ad in January 2013, but the ad was done in a serious tone. "Happy Cycle," which is part of the brand's "Where Will Happiness Strike Next?" campaign, was seen as Coke's first attempt to address obesity inside the upbeat messages the brand is known for.
"We loved the idea that instead of costing money, what if your ice-cold Coca-Cola cost 140 calories?" said Wendy Clark, president of sparkling brands and strategic marketing, Coca-Cola North America, in a statement. "The real people in this film had a blast while burning calories. All calories count and we want to help our fans and consumers better understand the role of energy balance in their lives. This film is a lighthearted, engaging and memorable way to do just that."
Some felt the ad would backfire by stating exactly how much physical exertion is required to work off a can of coke. Others felt 23 minutes was far from enough time to cut those calories.
The ad will be promoted on Facebook and Twitter, but won't run on TV.
What grade would you give Coke for its ‘Happy Cycle' online video?