2,000,000 View "The Real Bears" Film
Video, With Original Jason Mraz Song, Connects the Dots Between Soda Consumption and Disease
More than two million people have now seen what USA Today called "the video Coca-Cola doesn't want you to see": The Real Bears. Conceived for the Center for Science in the Public Interest by advertising pioneer Alex Bogusky, The Real Bears is a moving (and sometimes harrowing) portrait of a polar bear family's struggle with obesity, diabetes, and other soda-related health problems.
The film features an original song, Sugar, by Grammy-award winning singer Jason Mraz, which he performed with rapper MC Flow.
"Manipulative marketing techniques position soda as a life-affirming source of happiness, when in fact out-of-control soda consumption is fueling an epidemic of disease," said CSPI executive director Michael F. Jacobson.
The Real Bears web site calls attention to a number of what CSPI says are lies told by soda executives, including one that the group says will go down in history: "There is no scientific evidence that connects sugary beverages to obesity," a statement made by senior Coca-Cola executive Katie Bayne to USA Today.
"Denying any connection whatsoever between sugary drinks and obesity is reminiscent of the famous 1994 congressional hearing at which the nation's top tobacco executives testified that nicotine was not addictive," Jacobson said. "When one blandly states what one knows to be false, it truly crosses the line from spin to a lie."
As The Real Bears reached its two-millionth view, Coca-Cola clawed back with an animated short film produced by Ridley Scott and his late brother, Tony Scott, entitled "The Polar Bears."
"It's a shame that with all of its financial resources, Coke is trying to take back the bears with such a bloated, boring production," Jacobson said. "They should have called it 'The Corporate Bears.'"
The Real Bears is "the kind of video that would make anti-smoking campaigns proud," wrote ReelSEO.com, which named The Real Bears one of the top 10 viral charity video campaigns of 2012. Besides Bogusky and Mraz, the film's creative team included the Austin, TX-based agency The Butler Bros. and Helsinki-based animator Lucas Zanotto.
Contact Jeff Cronin (jcronin[at]cspinet.org) or Ariana Stone (astone[at]cspinet.org).