“Cokespeak” Commercial Translated Into English: “If You’re Fat, It’s Your Fault!”
Coming Together: Translated
Watch the free documentary, The Cost of a Coke, here.
CSPI Press Release:
Coca-Cola may reign supreme on the airwaves but it doesn’t own the Web. There, its two-minute commercial addressing obesity was met with guffaws, incredulity, and general ridicule. Today, the nonprofit Center for Science in the Public Interest offers a helpful translation of Coke’s ad.
“Generally, when a company claims to be ‘part of the solution’ it means ‘we know we’re culpable so we must deflect the blame elsewhere,'” said CSPI executive director Michael F. Jacobson. “So we thought it would be useful for consumers and policymakers to unpack similar examples of Coke’s disingenuous corporate gobbledygook and present them in plain English.”
For instance, “for elementary, middle, and high schools, our industry has voluntarily changed its offerings,” is how Coca-Cola’s “Coming Together” ad describes sugary drinks’ departure from schools. CSPI’s translation? “By ‘voluntarily changed’ we mean after parents, school boards, andstate laws kicked sugary drinks out of schools.”
From the CSPI Executive Director
Did you ever notice how commercials have a funny way of putting things?
For example, “in order to serve you better” often means “lines are going to get longer” or “your bill’s going up.” Or if an oil company that tells you it’s “part of the solution,” it often means “oops, we made a big mistake.”
Coca-Cola shows it’s no slouch in the dark arts of corporate obfuscation in a recent 2-minute-long ad entitled “Coming Together,” which gently assures us that it’s time “to come together on something that concerns all of us … obesity.”
We thought it would be useful to consumers and policymakers if we unpacked this commercial and translated Cokespeak into plain, everyday English. The resulting video, “Coming Together :: Translated” is here. Please watch today—and take a minute to share this version with your friends, family, and coworkers via email, Facebook, and Twitter.
(You can see the original commercial here. Warning: may cause nausea, drowsiness, irrepressible laughter, or other symptoms of Cokespeak.)
Michael F. Jacobson