For the first time ever, the legendary brand of Coca-Cola will address the problem of obesity in America.
Starting Monday, Coke is airing TV ads, some as long as 2:00, in hopes of becoming a stronger voice in the debate over obesity and the impact soda has on health.
"The Coca-Cola Company has an important role in this fight," said Stuart Kronauge, general manager of Coca-Cola North America's sparkling beverages division, in a statement.
The ad lays out Coca-Cola's record of providing drinks with fewer calories and notes that weight gain is the result of consuming too many calories of any kind — not just soda.
Monday's debuts ads will be followed by another commercial during FOX's American Idol. That ad, called "Be OK" is a shout from the rooftops that a single can of Coca-Cola has 140 calories and that burning them off can be fun.
Diana Garza Ciarlante, a spokeswoman for Coca-Cola, said the new ads aren't a reaction to any negative public sentiment but the company felt it needed to address "the issue of the times" and be part of the discussion on obesity.
Previous studies have found links between obesity and sugary drink consumption, including research that found drinking sugary beverages interacts with genes that affect weight gain and a study that found swapping sugary drinks out of a child's home for water or diet drinks may lead to weight loss.
In the Coke ad, a narrator notes that obesity is an issue that "concerns all of us" but that people can make a difference when they "come together."
Watch the first ad at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zybnaPqzJ6s