Tuesday, October 16th, 2012
A video just debuted last week from the Center for Science in the Public Interest addressing the dangers of drinking too much soda. Called “The Real Bears,” it stars a family of animated polar bears and it’s set to an fun original song by Jason Mraz. The backstory to the video is getting lots of attention, because it’s the creation of an advertising legend named Alex Bogusky, whose former clients include Coca-Cola. In fact, he helped make that famous Coke commercial starring four different animated polar bears, but he’s not discussing any comparisons. (“They’re just some bears,” he told USA Today. “I leave it up to people to decide if they see a parallel.”)
I definitely recommend watching it and sharing it–but it’s not for young kids, as it depicts the major hazards of consuming too much sugary soda, including obesity and diabetes-induced amputations. (!) The target audience, says Bogusky, is us moms: “Guys give up when things get tough,” he said in the USA Today interview, “but moms figure it out. I want moms to see it and get passionate about it.”
I’m far from a health-food fanatic–and I looooooove Diet Coke–soda is completely off-limits to my daughters, ages 4 and 7. (Well, there was one time last summer when I plied them with Shirley Temples in order to buy me and my husband a little more time at an outdoor beach bar, but that was it. Really.) I’d kind of assumed most parents felt that way, but it surprises me how many children’s birthday parties I’ve been to where soda is served to the kids themselves.
A note about the very end of the video, which I found a little jarring because it shows the bears dumping their soda into the ocean instead of drinking it. It wasn’t meant to be taken literally, but apparently lots of people felt the way I did. Says Bogusky: “That was the number-one reaction we got to the ending: What will happen to the fish? That’s so wild. We’re willing to drink cola and serve it to our kids, but we’re concerned the moment we put four bottles of it in the ocean.”