Food & Fitness

The Damage of Thirty Seconds

I went and saw Iron Man the other day (which was fantastic, by the way), and one of the commercials that came up before the movie started was for Coca Cola Zero. What do you think of this video? The one that I saw was considerably longer but I couldn’t find it (if anyone does manage to find the longer version, please let me know!). I found this ad to be disgusting. Ridiculing the eyeball because its “fat”? I understand that this is *only* a silly animated commercial promoting a soda that has zero calories, but these kinds of messages are awful. Not only do they promote the wrong idea that drinking this is good for you and will make you thin, but it also promotes distorted body image and discrimination as well as bullying.

What do you all think of this? Am I reading too much into this ad? Or are ads like these the reason why our society is so unhealthy, so misinformed, and so full of eating disorders and body image issues?


  1. Anonymous

    You know, one of my “problems” is that I’ve seemed to be resistant to advertising. I’ve always been very independent in my thinking and behaviors. I suspect that puts me in a minority so I remind myself to look at things from various perspectives so I can at least appreciate the way these things effect others. I do tend to lean towards what I heard some kid say once when they questioned him on having Bart Simpson as a role model. His response was, “He’s a cartoon character, not a real person!”

    Overall, I find most advertisements insulting.

    Dr. J

  2. Kelly T

    you may feel like you are reading too much into it, but think of all the planning that goes into developing an ad like that. there is a whole board of people that sit around and think, “what kind of image do we want to convey? what is our audience?” thats exactly how they want you to feel. that this drink will make you thin, andf if you dont drink it you are gross.

    doesnt diet coke have zero calories? i dont what the coke zero is…

  3. Susan

    I thought the commercial was silly. Creative, but silly. Actually, all commercials are silly. Their purpose is to sell, sell, sell! And anything that promises to help folks lose weight and/or not gain it will sell. Hence we have mean tongues telling an eyeball it’s fat. Silly.

  4. Cammy

    I hadn’t seen or heard of this ad before. Life was better then. 🙂

    I’m not sure how I feel about it, to be honest. It’s so “out there” that the messages are lost. I agree that ads like this one don’t help the cause at all.

  5. Nick

    I think our society has such an image problem only partly due to the media. Clearly the fashion industry and the media shove these models in your face and touch them up to be “perfect”, further promoting a possibly unhealthy obsessive behavior with being thin.

    But to be honest, there’s a reason that someone in shape is attractive. It goes back to our animal instincts (which we all are). Monkeys that appear healthier are more attractive as “mates” because they will likely produce healthy and good looking children. Humans are different in that we can control what our bodies look like and tailor it to what potential “mates” are looking for. Ads and the media may give some of us an unhealthy push toward achieving the perfect image, but given our intelligence, most of us would do it anyhow. Slimmer figures attract more eyes and I suppose more business.

    Not only is Coca Cola Zero further promoting this fact, but they’re simultaneously promoting a poisonous drink! Avoid aspartame and soda altogether! Pick up a nice glass of milk or make an all fruit (no juice, ice or water) smoothie! Problems solved (your thirst and your weight).

    By the way Sagan, I’m glad you liked my pancakes =)

  6. Sagan Morrow

    Dr. J- thanks for the comment! And it really does help to try to see things from a few different points of view to understand how advertisements affect different people.

    Kelly- more money, of course! Good point about the planning- it’s strange to think of how much thought must’ve gone into that ad.

    Ashley- glad it made you think:) I’m off to read your post right away.

    Nick- thanks for stopping by! Thats an interesting point you make. Its true that naturally people are going to be attracted to people with healthier figures. The problem with this ad is that it’s more pushing for a skinny figure than something healthy. I’m with you on the milk and fruit (artificial sweeteners and chemicals don’t really do it for me:)).

  7. Stephanie Quilao

    Kelly T makes a good point. Having been in the ad/marketing world both on agency and client side, I can tell you that months and mega dollars were spent on that one spot which means people were lementing on the creative for weeks, and then the client approved it.

    I just don’t get why they thought talking body parts would be interesting. It was disturbing to me actually. And I guess they thought that “fat” body parts would be less offensive than “fat” body remarks. All in all I agree with you *ugh*

  8. WeightingGame

    i guess I just don’t even get the point of the ad. The tongues gross me out, too. But in general, yes, ads make us feel like crap. That’s why we get sucked into them. Sado-masochism at its best.

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