We’ve all seen Coke and Pepsi‘s pro-health, obesity-prevention campaigns that insist their sweet beverages can be a part of an active, healthy lifestyle, especially given their calorie-free options. But these ads never seem to mention diabetes, which is quickly becoming an even bigger PR problem for sugary brands than obesity. As it turns out, there’s a reason for the glaring omission.
Adweek reports that information released by Wall Street bank Credit Suisse and research done by Georgetown University show that most people who saw a sugary soda ad with a pro-exercise, anti-obesity message reacted with a positive attitude toward the products’ parent brand. When the ad was changed to send an anti-diabetes message, however, participants’ attitudes toward the brand became 37 percent more negative.
That’s a huge shift in reaction.
“People are not willing to punish the brand for obesity, which seems like a lifestyle problem. But diabetes is considered a disease, and many consumers see the parent brand as contributing to it,” said Kurt Carlson, a Georgetown marketing professor who oversaw the study.
Though trying to sugar-coat the diabetes issue (no pun intended) seems to rub consumers the wrong way, the brands’ decision to simply ignore the issue won’t make it go away, either; Read more