New Coca-Cola Ad Campaign Takes Aim at Obesity (Video)

Do you buy it?

And so, it happened: Big Soda has officially dipped a toe cannonballed into the anti-obesity pool.

Yesterday, Coca-Cola unveiled the first ad from its latest campaign, one which takes aim at obesity. The two-minute spot, which debuted last night on cable-news networks, is replete with stats and sound bites about how the company is making it easier for you to cut back—or at least, make informed decisions about—calorie consumption. “All calories count. No matter where they come from, including Coca-Cola and everything else with calories,” says the ad. “And if you eat and drink more calories than you burn off, you’ll gain weight.” It stresses that of the company’s more than 650 beverages, 180 are low- or no-calorie options.

A second ad will run during tomorrow night’s American Idol broadcast. That ad “makes it perfectly clear right up front that a can of Coca-Cola has 140 calories,” according to the release. “This spot also encourages people to have some fun burning those calories off.” The second ad, by the way, couches Coke’s calories as “happy calories.”

Um, what?

Critics, of course, wasted no time blasting the new campaign. The ad “is a page out of Damage Control 101, which is try to pretend you’re part of the solution rather than part of the problem,” Michael Jacobson, director of the Center for Science in the Public Interest, told USA Today. In a statement on his group’s website, Jacobson elaborates, saying, “What the industry is trying to do is forestall sensible policy approaches to reducing sugary drink consumption, including taxes, further exclusion from public facilities, and caps on serving sizes such as the measure proposed by Mayor Bloomberg.”

Check out the video for yourself below, then tell us of what you think in the comments.