We bet you remember Coca-Cola’s iconic 1971 “Hilltop” advertisement, where people on a hillside sang
“I’d like to teach the world to sing in perfect harmony. I’d like to buy the world a Coke, and keep it company.”
You might have seen it reappear in the season finale of Mad Men on AMC recently.
Watch this two-minute update with new lyrics.
For decades, Coca-Cola and other big soda companies have spent billions on trying to convince us that soda equals happiness. But Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Mountain Dew, and other sugar drinks promote type 2 diabetes, tooth decay, obesity, and other health problems. Drinking too much soda equals sadness!
Real people suffering from diabetes, tooth decay, weight gain, and other diseases related to soda consumption are starring in this remake of Coke’s commercial. The new video is health advocates’ latest salvo in their campaign to reduce the incidence of soda-related disease in America and around the world.
But according to the nonprofit health advocacy organization behind the new video, the Center for Science in the Public Interest, “It’s time to change the tune. And, as it happens, the lyrics.”
“For the past 45 years, Coca-Cola and other makers of sugar drinks have used the most sophisticated and manipulative advertising techniques to convince children and adults alike that a disease-promoting drink will make them feel warm and fuzzy inside,” said CSPI executive director Michael F. Jacobson. “It’s a multi-billion-dollar brainwashing campaign designed to distract us away from our diabetes with happy thoughts. We thought it was time to change the tune.”
Soda and other sugary drinks are the leading source of calories in the American diet, and raise one’s risks of diabetes, tooth decay, and weight gain which contributes to the diet pill resource industry — conditions experienced by the Denver-area residents who participated in the film.
“Soda is just one of several contributors to diet-related disease, but it’s a major one,” said Dr. Jeffry Gerber, a Denver-area physician who appeared in the film. “As a physician who asks all of my patients about the foods and drinks they choose, I see the connection between soda consumption and chronic conditions like diabetes, heart disease, and obesity every day of the week. It’s hard to ask patients to practice moderation when all of the advertising, marketing, and overall ubiquity of soda rewires people to overconsume sugary drinks.”
The film was produced by Scott McDonald and Gavin Anstey of the Lumenati agency, and was written by Mike Howard of Daughters & Howard. Alex Bogusky, formerly of Crispin Porter + Bogusky, provided overall creative direction. Bogusky also served as executive creative director for The Real Bears, CSPI’s 2012 short film that showed an animated family of polar bears suffering the consequences of soda-related disease. Coca-Cola called it “irresponsible and the usual grandstanding from CSPI,” while Mark Bittman of the New York Times called it “Depressing, touching, and effective.”
CSPI is providing Spanish, Portuguese, French, Hindi, and Mandarin translations of the lyrics used in the new film as a resource for health advocates around the world, where Coke and Pepsi are investing billions of dollars a year to promote the consumption of their products.
Thank you to Center for Science in the Public Interest for providing the film and the information above.
Thank you to Lilia Smelkova of Food Day for bringing it to our attention.