Dark Parody Of Famous Coke Ad Shines Lights On Soda’s Health Risks

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By Lydia O’Connor

In this dark parody of a wildly famous 1971 Coca-Cola ad, the original scenes of an international choir united by their love of Coke are replaced with scenes of hospital patients united by their soda-related diseases.

The original ad, which featured prominently in the “Mad Men” series finale last month, was reworked by the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) in a video Tuesday highlighting the harmful health effects of sugar-sweetened beverages.

“Well, we thought it would be interesting to see a fresh take on the [1971] ad—where real people, suffering from real soda-related health problems—could tell their stories,” CSPI wrote in a description of the video. “It’s time to change the tune.”

In this sendup, patients suffering from obesity, hypertension, type 2 diabetes and other health conditions sing directly into the camera, much like in the original jingle. But they’ve substituted lyrics such as “I’d like to buy the world a Coke and keep it company” with “I’d like to buy the world a drink that doesn’t cause disease” and “I’d like to teach the world about what sugar did to me.”

Sugar-sweetened drinks have come under immense scrutiny over the past year, with Berkeley, California, voters passing the nation’s first soda tax in November and San Francisco officials approving warnings in ads for sugary drink earlier this month.

While the beverage industry says it’s being unfairly targeted as other sugar-laden products get a free pass, studies show that these sweet drinks are being consumed in disproportionate amounts, with soda, energy drinks and sports drinks being the top calorie source in teens’ diets.

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