The Real Bears: polarising opinion
As if polar bears didn’t have it hard enough with the Arctic melting.
An animated video featuring a polar bear family guzzling brown soft drinks while dealing with increasing health issues has taken off online.
To the sounds of “Sugar”, a sweet tune by Grammy-winning singer/songwriter Jason Mraz with MC Flow, the three-and-a-half minute video shows the bears growing increasingly obese while their teeth rot.
Daddy Bear cops it worst, getting type 2 diabetes, which leads not only to him suffering erectile dysfunction, but also getting his leg amputated. By chainsaw, no less. (Cute chainsaw though it may be.)
The bears eventually give up their fridge-full of soft drink, pouring their bottles out into the ocean.
Coca-Cola executives are fuming about the video, a sly reference to the soft drink giant’s iconic polar bear mascot dating back to 1922.
"This is irresponsible and grandstanding and will not help anyone understand energy balance," said Coca-Cola spokeswoman Susan Stribling. "It also distorts the facts while we and our industry partners are working with government and civil society on real solutions."
The Real Bears is produced by the US-based Centre for Science in the Public Interest, and was directed by Alex Bogusky, a Miami advertising guru who had previously helmed a campaign for Coke.
"Coke and Pepsi have skillfully cultivated incredibly strong emotional bonds with consumers around the world even though their products actually cause quite a bit of misery," said CSPI executive director Michael F. Jacobson.
"The Real Bears seeks to sever some of those bonds, and to get people thinking about what they're drinking. We don't have their budgets but we do have the truth. And the truth is that soda equals sadness."
Check out the video below.