Controversy for Coke

In the fast paced and ever-evolving world of marketing, it can be demanding to remain relevant to customers. Even for a century-strong empire like Coca-Cola, adjusting to where the world of sugary sodas is headed has proven to be quite the task lately.

With the rise of obesity and an emphasis on health-awareness, Coke has shifted their focus in recent years creating new products, such as Coke Zero, to keep up with the trends. This has proven to be a successful move as their diet beverages continue to be popular among consumers.

However, the recent release of their new commercial features the presumably ‘easy’ way to burn off the 140 calories from a can of regular Coke.

Coke Snap

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Let’s be honest, it would have to be one strenuous victory dance to burn those 140 calories. This speculative and potentially misleading claim is exactly why this commercial has already been banned by The United Kingdom’s Advertising Standards Authority.

There will always be controversy. Sometimes, controversy is just the right prescription to get the buzz started. However, in public relations and marketing, the line is needle thin between what could be just the right amount and what could send you scrambling to pick up the broken pieces that were once whole.

This is a risk that every marketing team contemplates. Coke’s spokesperson has quickly responded with some damage control stating , “Raising awareness of energy balance is part of our global commitment to help tackle obesity and we will continue to use our advertising to address it… Given the growing problem of obesity, we believe it is important for more people to understand this information.”

Do you think this commercial is controversial or harmless? Are viewers over-reacting or is Coke leading consumers astray?