Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Stop the Pop! Part lll

Full disclosure: I used to drink a lot of Coca-Cola. A LOT. I didn't grow up drinking it; soft drinks were strictly off limits on our house. Not only was our mom a health fanatic, she was a thrifty health fanatic. Whenever one of us might hint that perhaps having pop around would be kind of awesome, she'd say: "I'm not paying good money for sugar water!" So, naturally, the first thing I did when I moved away was to start drinking Coke, which had grabbed my customer loyalty in my formative years. If there ever was a kid who wanted to be a hippie on a hillside, it was me.

This ad captured not just my imagination, but was an advertising smash; what in today's marketing parlance would be referred to as "Lifestyle Branding." That is, the ad wasn't about the product--fizzy brown sugar water--as much as it was about the experience that the customer could associate with it; it provided consumers with an emotional attachment to a particular lifestyle.

And that was me. Every time I had a Coke, I felt I became all the things the commercial had imprinted on me at a very young age: beautiful, peaceful, independent. Laterally, it also tapped into my always-appealing rebellion against my mom and her rules, and her generation's (in my view) missteps and misdeeds. Pretty silly, isn't it? That all those things could be contained in a bottle of fizzy brown sugar water, straight out of Atlanta, Georgia.

That's where they make it.
Mindfulness means thinking about why we do the things we do. What influences the decisions we make about what we eat and drink? Are they based on emotion? rebelliousness? conformity? economics? politics? Are our children learning to make their own choices, or are their choices being made for them by the bombardment of advertising they see every day?
Our house, where even the toys were vegetables.

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