Coca-Cola obesity initiative ignores the ageing consumer

The ‘Coming Together’ TV ad excludes older people even though an American report referred to obesity among older Americans as an ‘epidemic’.

As this is the first of two TV ads, we can only hope that the second one includes older people.If you look closely at the rapid cuts around the 1:30 mark in this commercial, there’s an older chap. Blink and you’ll miss it.

As detailed in my new book ‘Marketing to the Ageing Consumer‘, at the global level, maximum rates of obesity tend to be reached at around 40 years old. Obesity among older people is exacerbated by their slowing metabolic rate meaning weight control becomes more difficult with age.

Coca-Cola’s move comes as the soft drinks category faces an increasingly tough regulatory environment. Later this year, New York city is to ban the sale of large sugary drinks in restaurants, cinemas and stadiums.

The first of the new Coca-Cola ads, ‘Coming Together’, is a two-minute spot now airing on US cable channels which draws attention to the company’s record in developing, distributing and marketing low- and no-calorie drinks.

A second, 30-second spot will air on US TV from today. ‘Be OK’ features various activities, such as walking a dog or dancing, that can burn off the 140 calories in contained a can of Coke.

Come on Coke! If you’re going to do a public service on obesity, remember that you have loyal consumers over 50.