Ad of the Week #14

I have posted a few times on the creative work that comes out of Colorado advertising agency CP+B. They have a plethora of clients, but one of their most famous clients is Coke Zero. In fact, last week’s Ad of the Week was a viral marketing stunt that involved Coke Zero and the new James Bond movie Skyfall – I think that CP+B might have been the agency behind that brilliant campaign. I am not sure, but I have a hunch.

This week’s ad is a little different however. Alex Bogusky, the “B” in CP+B, used to be the creative chief for that agency. He no longer works there, but while he did, they did work for Coke Zero. A few weeks ago, he partnered with the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) to spread the word about how detrimental to our health sugary soft drinks – like Coke Zero – really are.

What they came up with is actually pretty effective. If I were to ask you what you think of when you think of Coca-Cola, you might say one of two things: Santa Claus, or polar bears. Bogusky and the CSPI decided to take those famous polar bears and make them into spokesbears for their new cause – to get people to stop drinking sodas. I guess after he spent years promoting how great Coca-Cola really is, he realized what it was doing to people’s health and decided to do something about it. Good for him.

They created a website, where you can watch a 3 minute video featuring “The Real Bears” and their health woes, set to a brand new song sung by Jason Mraz. The video shows what really happens to those bears as they continue to consume Cokes every single day – are they truly happy like Coca-Cola promises them they will be? The website also features common lies about soft drinks and data to back up why they are lies, as well as a call to action – soft drink companies have billions of dollars to promote their messaging, but CSPI and Mr. Bogusky don’t have nearly that much. It is up to us to help spread the word that Cokes, while great as an occasional treat, are not meant to be consumed multiple times a day. So the website urges us to Tweet, Facebook, and do whatever else we can to help spread their message. That’s why I am writing about it now.

It’s a bold move to turn against a company that used to help you pay the bills. But you know what – it is absolutely worth it. And, to Mr. Bogusky’s defense – he isn’t slandering the company. He isn’t calling them evil. What he is doing is trying to change our perception of when it is appropriate to drink a soda. They are not meant to be consumed every single day. They are meant to be a treat, every once in a while. I think it is a very effective campaign, and I hope that it changes the way people view sodas. I know it changed my view. Plus, this isn’t the first time Bogusky has done this – while at CP+B he worked on the Burger King account, and while they were still a client he wrote his book “The 9-Inch Diet,” a book in which he urges people to stop eating excess food on 12-inch plates. While he didn’t directly call out Burger King, he did talk about the rise of fast food restaurants and how that positively correlates with people’s waist sizes. Needless to say, clients know what they are getting when they work with Bogusky.

Bogusky has since moved on to join Made Movement, an advertising agency in Boulder that specializes only on products that are 100% made in the United States. In conjunction with this agency, there is the Made Collection, a website that they have created on which you can purchase cool, made in USA items. For each item, the website shows you how you will be stimulating the economy by keeping everything within our borders. It’s a fascinating concept, and one that is growing like wildfire. I will be keeping my eye on them, for sure.


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