Coke and Pepsi: How and Why They Hide the Truth

Ethan Aily

Coke and Pepsi: How and Why they Hide the Truth

New York City recently started unveiled a $277,000 anti-advertising campaign against the use of soda. $277,000 in a city which has an alarming budget already is such a hefty price tag that one cannot help but ask oneself is it that important? Is soda that bad for you? Is all of this talk about pounds, calories and health problems legitimate? Coca-cola and Pepsi try hard to keep you from seeing that side of the issue; but the fact is, soda is just terrible for our health and Pepsi-Cola Co. and Coca-Cola co. Do whatever it takes to keep the health risks as far from your mind as possible.

Coca-Cola is known for many seasonal advertisements; advertisements which have almost nothing to do with the product itself in regard to quality or taste. They attempt to attach themselves to things such as seasons or yearly events. Coca-cola comes out with collector edition Easter bottles for spring, and they advertise the refreshment of coca-cola in the hot summer days, but by far their most notable advertising campaigns come out in what is known as “Christmas season”.

Since 1931 Coca-Cola has been on its mission to become the image with the christmas season. It was in this year that Santa Clause was first seen in various magazine ads. Since 1931 Coca-Cola has become synonymous with the Christmas season. They have advertised and sold almost anything you can associate with this great American holiday. Why not? It is the season of spending and gifts after all. If there would be a time for someone to buy a useless “collectors item” Christmas would be that spend happy time of year. Though it is common conception that Coca-Cola created the image of Santa Clause, all Coca-Cola did was popularize him, and secure him his distinct red and white colors. Before Coca-cola began to use Santa he was viewed wearing green suites as well but now because of this vast advertisement, Santa is known for his jolly red coat. It is Coca-Cola though, that really seems to enjoy year in and year out its attachment to the legendary and seasonal figure. He is anywhere and everywhere in the time period from Thanksgiving to New Years Day. He is first seen at the end of the ever-famous Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, then on street corners and movies everywhere. It is hard not to feel the great holiday spirit when good ‘ol St. Nick is everywhere. Since It is Coca-cola that has artificially attached Kris Kringle every time one sees him, subconsciously the thought of Coca-Cola always appears in ones mind.

Santa Clause is not the only legendary commercial figure which has been created from the massive advertising campaigns of Coca-cola in the christmas season. The cute and cuddly Coke polar bears are figures that are adored by all. America is a very multi-cultural community after all, and even though having a christian based figure like Santa Clause may attract an audience of young and old, it still ignores many cultural groups. It is these polar bears that every person regardless of religion or race that everyone loves. Commercials for these polar bears too have nearly nothing to do with the product of the popular drink. A great commercial example of this is a video in which Penguins are seen dancing to music and the polar bears viewing from afar. It is a mother, father and an as cute as can be, baby polar bear. The baby then clumsily slides down the hill upon which they were watching this party of penguins and lands right in the middle. Awkward silence follows until a baby penguin presents to the baby polar bear what seems to be a nice cold Coca-cola in its traditional glass bottle. After opening the soda, the party resumes including the polar bears. This advertisement again does not address the taste or any factual part of their product but instead tries to say that by drinking Coca-cola you can bring people closer together than could ever had imagined.

Coca-cola is not the only company that attempts to advertise heavily in order to keep their product afloat; Pepsi-cola, Coca-cola’s premier rival attempts to do the same in very similar instances. Pepsi instead of using yearly holidays chooses to use sports as a whole year round to do the base of their advertising. They fight wars with Coca-cola to be the “official sponsor” of baseball teams, use beautiful women who attract to the average male sports viewer, but in even more outlandish circumstance, they have provided two minute and a half commercials in two separate years during the most viewed event of the year…the superbowl. It is the moment in which they combine the women and the sports and the event in one massive package. A prominent figure for Pepsi-Cola in past years has been the very beautiful pop star Britney Spears. In 2002 the at the time twenty year old sex symbol stared in a one and a half minute commercial music video during the Super Bowl. It was a commercial unlike any other seen at the time and turned many heads in the process. The video begins in what seems to be a storage room with Britney’s back facing the camera. She then turns around and evocatively takes off her coat to show a quite revealing top with jeans that are meant to for a lack of a better word “accent” her figure (image shown to the left) The video proceeds as any other music video would with her as the sexy dancer in the center among a legion of dancers in the background. Her visually suggestive act was bound to attract the attention Pepsi-Cola desired. Britney also starred in Pepsi-Cola commercials with the slogan “the joy of pepsi…for those who think young”

By Pepsi-Cola using beautiful women in their commercials like Britney Spears or the countless other models and actresses who show up in Pepsi and Diet Pepsi’s advertisements may greatly attract to the audience of teenage and pre-teenage girls. It starts them thinking that if Britney Spears or the many other beautiful women in these advertisements could drink Pepsi and still be so beautiful then they could too. She, after all, is seen in these commercials drinking and enjoying Pepsi-cola and at this time was also the spotlight and central sex icon in pop culture.

Role models like Britney Spears are very prominent in soda ads like the ones done by Pepsi, and so are the feelings like togetherness and holiday warmth attempted to be brought up by Coca-Cola. These advertisement are meant to try and get their very large audience to think of these beverages as something that is positive. Every year these two rival companies try to out-do one another by coming out with more and more outlandish advertisements. They compete for official sports team endorsements, super-bowl commercial spots, magazines and billboards. One thirty second commercial spot for the superbowl costs a listed three million dollars. Pepsi not only aired one, minute and a half commercial (nine million dollars) during the superbowl,  but did it in three separate years. Coca-cola Company has reported having a global advertising budged of one billion dollars a year and thirty seven percent of that is being spent in American markets. If anything it must bring up questions of what are they proving? and more over what are they hiding?

The artificial attachments to feelings, role models and times of year are exactly the only way that the Coca-cola Company and Pepsi-Cola Co. could stay successful. They are hiding behind these massive expenditures because they know the harm that Coca-Cola and Pepsi can do to a persons body. Side effects from drinking too much soda include: Obesity, osteoporosis, type II diabetes, reduced kidney function, and dental erosion. I mean who doesn’t remember the elementary school experiment of dropping a tooth in a cup of soda and watching the enamel on the tooth decay in a matter of weeks?

Phosphoric Acid and caffein which are both very common ingredients in cola based sodas like Pepsi and Coca-Cola are major culprits for both the osteoporosis and the dental erosion. Phosphorus, which is an important mineral in our bones, when consumed disproportionately with calcium can be detrimental to the density of ones bones. Caffein on the other hand is not a chemical which will eat away at your bones, but it will reduce the amount of calcium that your bones can intake. Research shows that women who consume three or more beverages of cola day had a 4% decrease in bone density in their hip.

Studies have also shown that may lead to a substantial decrease in the function of a woman’s kidneys. A recent study sampled about three thousand women with a median age of 65 between 1989-2000 and tested to see how their diets effected their bodily functions in comparison with one another. At the end of the study 11.4% of the women suffered a decrease in kidney function of 30% or more. When looking at the thirty percent’s nutritional habits, what was consistent was that the entire block of women consumed two or more diet sodas a day.

Studies also link cola drinks to type II diabetes. A major ingredient in  both Pepsi and Coca-Cola along with caffein and phosphoric acid is high fructose corn syrup. Studies have linked high fructose corn syrup, which is exactly how it sounds, high in fructose which is very high in sugar made from corn syrup. This constant ingredient in cola has been proven to lead to type II diabetes by causing high blood glucose and raise the risk of insulin resistance.

Finally and arguably most detrimental to our American society is the correlation between these beverages and childhood obesity. This is where my anti-advertisement shown above stems from. Though at first glance this picture may inspire you to laugh or at least giggle a little the issue it addresses is a very serious one. The obesity rates in this country are rising dramatically. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 16% of children from the ages of 6-19 are overweight or obese. This statistic has tripled in the past twenty years. According to a study done by, for each additional serving of soda per day a childs chances of being obese increase 1.6 times. We have to stop the bleeding as it is and really get the message across that allowing a child to drink excess amounts of soda like Coke or Pepsi can be detrimental to the child’s health.

The anti-soda campaign in New York City may total $277 million but that is in the contrast of the billions that these two companies pay each year to advertise their product. They try as hard as possible to get the public to ignore the very serious health effects that drinking Coca-cola and Pepsi can cause. Along with trying to get the public to ignore these effects, they try and lure in new and future customers who are very easily influenced. Santa Clause and Britney Spears may be two iconic figures in the world, but its just difficult be able to feel a warm heart toward these companies knowing what their product does to their consumers.

Works cited

Its Cool To Smoke

Its Kool To Smoke

By: Tim Riney

Ad’s are created for one reason, to manipulate. When a company hires people to make an ad for them they want it to be as persuasive as possible. Even if sometimes that means mis-representing the truth. The product that the ad is advertising can even be detrimental to your health, yet the ad makes it look like it can really help your life out. An example of one such ad that tries to paint an ugly product in a good picture is the Kool cigarette “B Kool” ad campaign.  The ad campaign is successful in manipulating the true impact of the product on the person smoking it. It takes only one topic and runs with it, while leaving many more important topics out.

The article does a great job of down playing the negative effects and shifting the viewpoint of the ad to strictly positive aspects. It’s obvious that cigarettes are bad for you (there is even a surgeon generals warning down at the bottom of the ad). How ever in the ad you do not see anything about how bad cigarettes truly are for you. In the ad I chose from the campaign there is a beautiful girl riding at the back of a scooter, there is a man driving the scooter. The woman on the back, however, is look back at a man who is holding a pack of kool cigarettes. In my experience every choice a guy makes in his life is to attempt to attract a female. So its obvious that if a female seems to be completely distracted from another guy because there is someone near her smoking cigarettes, the man might think about buying that product. This is the positive aspect of the product. Like the name implies, a lot of people think that smoking is cool. Some girls might be attracted to smoking because of the “bad boy” image it personifies. No only is the attention of the girl a useful tool in the image manipulation of the product but the way she is turning helps also. The women is on a scooter with another man, one can assume they’re together, I am sure that was the goal of the makers of this ad. If a man can choose a product that will make girls take notice of them even when their with their man, they will obviously choose that. It makes the product that much “cooler” because you’re “stealing” another man’s girl.

Along with down playing the negative affects of the product the ad uses other rhetoric to get its message across. The color green is used for the pack in the man’s hand. The most common association with that color is nature, when people see green they think of health or vitality. Also the ad has a certain green undertone, it gives the entire ad a happy, healthy feeling. The ad company would want the viewer of the ad to associate health and nature with smoking because the truth is much worse. Smoking kills and hurts nature, but using the color green gives the ad a different feeling then that. The way that “B Kool” is written is another way the ad tries to connect with its target audience. The phrase “B Kool” is written in a spray paint writing using a cut out to form the phrase. The target audience being a younger generation, it makes sense that the company would try to use a “hip” script. The script that the phrase is in makes even more sense with the background. The ad is set in what looks like New York or a city like it. New York has been known to be a epi-center of fashion and style. Setting this in New York is a good idea because it connects with a large audience of people trying to be “cool” in a big city. The cigarette almost seems to be a way in with certain people, according to this ad. Even the guy driving the scooter helps the message of the ad. He looks like what most girls would call a “bad boy”. If the girl of a “bad boy” is looking back at you then you must be pretty cool to draw that kind of attention, or the ad would have you think. This is the obvious cognation of the “bad boy” guy riding the scooter. The people that made this ad could have put anyone on the back of that scooter but it wouldn’t have quite the same effect. This way the man holding the pack of cigarettes looks like an even “badder boy” because the girl with the guy on the scooter is looking at him.

There are many aspects that this ad downplays in order to raise the image of the product and make it more appealing to the viewer. One such aspect is the risk of catching a deadly disease. To be completely truthful with people the ad would have to show the health effects smoking has. Although in ads you can only capture one time period, the viewer should be made aware of the health risks. Furthermore, the ad over exenterates the interest of the women in the ad. Although some girls might find smokers attractive, a vast majority of girls do not like smokers. A lot of negative effects come from smoking yellow teeth, bad breath, and quick aging faces are all long term effects of smoking. I am not a girl but I think it is safe to say that many girls would not find these qualities attractive.

In the ad the target audience is that of younger males. The woman is around the age of twenty-one to twenty-five. This is around the age of legal smokers so it makes sense that they would target their main audience. Attacking an older generation of smokers is not a smart move because by a certain age if you aren’t already addicted to cigarettes it’s a safe bet you’ll be staying away from them forever. They need to appeal to the generation that is still young and fresh. In my anti-ad to this advertisement I chose to target the same audience that the cigarette companies target. It’s my goal to bring about the truth of the cigarettes to the audience that is being manipulated by these ads trying to make cigarettes “cool”. Much like the ad company if I made the appeal to older generations it would already be to late. No point of trying to get people who have already become addicted to smoking to believe that the product hurts them.

The main focal point of my adivertisment is the girl on the scooter. This is the most obvious things to spoof because it is the first thing that draws the readers attention. Another reason why this is the main image I spoofed is because it was the ads man ploy to make the product seem appealing. Spinning it and making that the negative part of the advertisement will help me get my message across. The next image that I used in my anti ad is the mans hand and pack of cigarettes. Messing with the actual apperance of the product can turn people off. If you make the carton unappealing then maybe people will not show as much interest in the cigarettes them selves. Also I showed some of the some health effects on the hand and the girls face, adding yellow and aging the faces to show what smoking can do. The girls face was changed to more accurately show what being around a smoker or smoking your self can do to you. I added wrinkles because according to the Mayo Clinic “Smoking can speed up the normal aging process of your skin, contributing to wrinkles.” Also I changed her teeth from the normal color, white, to the more appropriate color for a smoker, yellow. This is all in attempt to discourage young females from picking up cigarettes in the first place. Young girls will be put off by something that will eventually make them ugly. From my knowledge beauty is a big aspect in a girls life, this is why this technique will be effective in combating the cigarette ad. The mans hand was changed by adding aging to it and also by changing the finger nails yellow. It’s common knowledge that smoking affects your body in every way. Even your nails turn yellow because of this. I used this in my ad because I want to inform the young people looking at this ad that nothing good comes from smoking. The pack of cigarettes was changed into a pack with a skull and cross bone pack. If something on the shelf of a gas station looks like poison it would most likely turn away a lot of people. This is one of the key points in my anti-ad. The pack being turned into a skull and cross bone pack might finally persuade someone into realizing that cigarettes are noting more then a box of poison. If they finally make the connection then my ad will successfully accomplish its goal.

Cigarette companies are all trying to do the same thing, make a buck. They don’t care about you or your loved ones. They sell the story short. Ad after ad comes out where people are holding a cigarette and having a good time or some girl is looking over the smokers way. Cigarette ads are dead set on getting you into a product by selling the “coolness” of it. Their one-sidedSmoking can speed up the normal aging process of your skin, contributing to wrinkles. slant ads work amazingly well. If we were to go on just by what the ads told us, we would all be smoking cigarettes. Why wouldn’t you? They always look like the people having the most fun or getting the girl. No way anyone could turn that down. But that’s how they get you in. They draw you in with all the flash and the “coolness” of the product but forget to tell you everything about it. The health effects of the product make it a surprise that anyone would every try it. It’s almost criminal that these companies are allowed to run ads without having to warn people that it could potentially kill them. There are surgeon general warnings, however it would be another story to see an image of a man with a hole in his throat telling you how cigarettes are “cool”.

Cigarette ads are extremely persuasive. They use many different techniques to draw a person in. Although many techniques are used, one overlaying theme can be agreed upon. The ad always tells half the story, be it by misrepresenting the truth or flat out leaving out one side of the story. Cigarette companies will stop at nothing to get people into their product. The ruthless onslaught can only be combated but informing people with the truth, giving the other side of the story.

Work Cited

“Quit Smoking.” Mayo Clinic., 24 Oct. 2009. Web. 15 Nov. 2009.

McDonalds is one of the most recognized fast food places worldwide. McDonald’s advertisements are also some of the most recognized advertisements worldwide. The campaigning done for McDonalds brings in an audience of all ages; families, singles, teenagers, and the elderly. McDonalds uses all aspects of the media, including radio, television, movies, newspaper, magazines, and billboards. McDonalds even sponsors athletic events such as the Olympic Games. McDonalds is very well represented, McDonalds has made a huge publically noticed symbol for themselves and has their golden arches everywhere in the United States and worldwide. McDonalds is most recognized for their golden arches and Ronald McDonald himself, ever since the original McDonalds back in 1940 these have become the symbols of McDonalds and you have come to realize that you won’t see one without the other. McDonalds is also known for having very catchy slogans, they have gone through twenty-three different slogans in the United States. Its current being “I’m lovin’ it”, some others have been, “Look for the golden arches”, “Good time, great taste”, and “Put a smile on”. All of McDonald’s advertisements have a slogan and the golden arches on them, most are attended by Ronald as well. McDonalds advertises its dollar menu and its new healthy aspect fairly commonly. The dollar menu draws in an audience that appeal to people who would rather get something quick and easy, especially to college kids, the younger employed, and low income families. The healthy choices provided an audience of families, and normally the younger mothers and younger business women take advantage of these healthy choices. These advertisements are good for business but deny their audiences of the actual product being received. The healthy choice option makes you think that McDonalds is one of the healthier fast food restaurants out there, this not being the case. McDonald’s advertisers have done a good job on this are to have drawn in a huge audience allowing McDonalds to branch out to over 31,000 locations worldwide. Some of McDonald’s advertisements can be misleading. Specifically, one of McDonald’s advertisements, being one of the healthy choices advertisements, which portray a sense of freshness and health. In the advertisement it states, “we pick them one by one… we wash them one by one… a very light lunch, only 210 kcal…” with a picture of one of McDonald’s salads and the golden arches upside down spelling out “WOW’. This advertisement leads the consumer to believe that McDonalds is all about freshness and low calorie meals. Although this advertisement could be true, it still denies the fact that most of McDonald’s products are high in calorie intake and extremely bad for you. So even though McDonalds is providing healthier choices for its consumers, when a consumer goes to McDonalds for lunch on average, the majority go for their more famous selections, of the Big Mac, french fries, and soda. This specific advertisement also gives the consumer the misleading thought of “fresh”. Now most people know that McDonalds has each burger and nugget premade, and then just heated up and served to their consumer. But this advertisement lets the consumer think that McDonalds freshly makes everything by the text on this advertisement. The images and text alone on this print ad provide a quick and to the point statement about how fresh McDonalds is. It doesn’t offer much color, besides the vegetables and the golden arches, which therefore stands out and makes a statement. The golden arches in this advertisement provide the only truthful fact about McDonalds as a whole. The “WOW” statement, gives the consumer a thought of surprise, McDonalds itself is surprised that they have something on their menu that actually might be healthy. This advertisement gives off the wrong message to McDonalds consumers.

Another thing McDonalds does, is not only advertises but sponsors sports. McDonalds sponsors many different sporting events, including the Olympic Games, NCAA basketball championships, and even sponsors neighborhood little league baseball teams. McDonalds’ sponsorships are misleading themselves, McDonalds is a very unhealthy fast food restaurant and sporting events are for athletes that are in top shape. One of McDonald’s advertisements shows a football player and displays the text “Enjoy McDonald’s dollar menu before, during or after the game”. This is a very ironic advertisement for McDonalds. Not only is it horrible for athletes to eat any junk food before, during or after a game, McDonalds is already an extremely unhealthy place to eat. If this advertisement is pointed towards sports fans, it definitely goes along with the stereotype of at a sporting event junk food is what you eat. This advertisement also provides an eating special with new deals, which would bring a larger audience into McDonalds to eat. At the very bottom of the ad it displays the locations in which this special is accommodated. The text at the top of this advertisement would make you think that you would see this advertisement at sporting events, but with the locations at the bottom that means these advertisements were not just at sporting events. Which then brings up the question as to, why would McDonalds place an athlete on their advertisement. Because by eating McDonalds this is unhealthy and not likely for athletes to be doing. The text by itself shows a lot of misleading information along with the picture. The entire image is of football, it is on a football field with a football player and a football included with the golden arches. This is another one of the many McDonalds advertisements that gives off incorrect and deceiving information to the consumer.

McDonalds is a very unhealthy place and if you ever look at the calories in what you eat you might be surprised, I know I was. A Big Mac for example has 570 calories, a medium fry has 450 calories, and just a McDonald’s cheeseburger has 320 calories. McDonalds received a dose of their own medicine when the book and documentary “Supersize Me” came out in 2004. This documentary was shown throughout schools to teach the kids about the health issues and risks of McDonald’s food. That fast food industry is taking over America and approximately 60 million Americans are obese today. A perfect anti-advertisement for McDonalds is “I’m Luggin’ It”. This advertisement shows an obese man without his shirt on and his stomach being wheeled around in a construction site. This also being an ironic advertisement in the sense that many construction workers while on their break consume unhealthy products from McDonald’s menu. The new and improved slogan of “I’m Luggin It” being a spoof off the original “I’m Lovin’ It”. It is perfect in displaying that by consuming McDonalds you will be “luggin” it, “it” being the weight that you gain from McDonalds products. This advertisement might be a little harsh and insensitive, but this advertisement can put in perspective to consumers that McDonalds is not healthy and can cause serious problems. The image on this advertisement is perfect and ideal and draws the consumers’ direct attention to the huge stomach. Although this advertisement is funny, it’s the truth and is not misleading like the other McDonalds advertisements. The detail on this image is really superb, the construction worker even has a farmers tan from working which is noticeable because of the lack of his shirt.  The advertiser behind this advertisement was really very brilliant in the matter of the image and the text and connecting the two. The colors are also perfect; the colors are the yellow and red of McDonalds and really depict the effect of a real McDonald’s advertisement. This anti-advertisement is what is needed to show fast food consumers what McDonalds really is and how unhealthy it is. Many of McDonald’s commercials are of really skinny healthy looking people enjoying the great taste that McDonalds serves. By McDonalds choosing to use these skinny people to be in their commercials, McDonalds shows their audience yet another misleading fact of their products. Although yes there are skinny people that eat McDonalds, a majority of their consumers are at least a little overweight, just look around the next time you go to McDonalds. By having healthy looking people in their commercials it could allow the consumer market to believe that McDonalds is not unhealthy and could actually be either good for you or one of the better fast food restaurants available. If McDonalds would just use at least an average sized person in their advertisements it wouldn’t look as bad and wouldn’t be as misleading as the current commercials and advertisements. The obese man in the Anti-advertisement I would say is a little much, and I’m not saying to use obese people in their commercials, but this anti-advertisement does point out the fact that these healthy skinny people in McDonalds advertisements is not the reality of McDonalds.

Luxury & Age

That’s Fake

Michael Hutchinson

Josh Mehler

November 18, 2009

That’s Fake

Gatorade is America’s number one sports drink year in and year out. Their success can be traced back to the successfulness of their advertising campaign over the years. A staple athlete that has been sponsored by Gatorade for his entire career and into his retirement is Michael Jordan. Known for his greatness on the basketball court and style off of it, Jordan is currently the face of Gatorade’s newest campaign. “That’s G” is Gatorade’s current advertising campaign to attract new customers as well as maintain the old ones. Jordan is now the face of six signature flavors ranging from berry cherry blend to just regular berry blend. All of these bottles feature a picture of Jordan and the signature names, “Championship Blue” or “Championship Red” and so on. Drinking these drinks will give you Jordan like ability and celebrity status wherever you may go, except not at all.


In the September 7th issue of ESPN the magazine there was an ad featuring Jordan for the “That’s G” campaign. This is not your typical one page full color ad with the Jordan silhouette which practically sells itself but rather this ad folds out into a full two page, double sided ad. The front is the main focus and the side that features Jordan in all his glory. It is a picture of him high flying through the air on the way to the hoop for a dunk. His mouth wide open a staple in the Jordan basketball years of his swagger on the court. His face is excited, he is ready to make this dunk and give the fans what they came to see. There is no worry or uncertainty on his face but rather just pure confidence. Jordan was always borderline cocky but who could argue with him, many have called him the greatest to ever play the game. The muscles of his legs are clearly evident as they propel him forward to his goal. The bright blood red of the Chicago Bulls’ uniform contrasts his black skin and accentuate him in his muscularity. The odd part of this ad is that the crowd behind him is not featured in color but rather it is black and white. You cannot make out any face or anything about the people in the background. Jordan’s figure is the only feature of the ad and the crowd in the background could as easily have been a plain black screen. Gatorade does this however to show that all eyes are on him. In that moment before he scores nothing else matters besides him. He is the king and everyone in the arena is forced to focus on him. Then there is the text, “That’s G” which is pasted over Jordan’s body.

“That’s G” is printed in large white text over the center of Jordan’s body. This is an odd place for the text. Usually located in a corner of the ad, with the text in the center it is hard to miss. It is clear to the reader what the ad is selling and that is Gatorade because the “G” is in fact Gatorade’s new logo which consists of a “g” with a lightning bolt. But the text also raises questions about Jordan and Gatorade itself. Is Jordan’s athletic ability and achievements are they all thanks to Gatorade? The ad itself would suggest this. Rather than hard work and practice the ad is saying that with Gatorade anyone can become Jordan.


The back side of the ad is images of three of his six Gatorade flavors. The background of the ad is black and draws attention to the bright colors of the Gatorade. The red, blue and yellow colors form a great contrast to the black backdrop.  Each features a picture of him and a short paragraph about one of his accomplishments he has had of his illustrious career. The bottles are also dripping wet with water. The water represents sweat and tears, two key concepts in become successful. A person has to go through hard times and struggles before become great. This image is different than that of the front of the ad where everything is all about Jordan and his greatness. Above the bottles is a paragraph explaining “What’s G” in respect to how Jordan has epitomized the phrase. “When you’re the best offensive player in the world and you make the all-NBA defensive team 10 times…that’s G.” G is very vague in its existence. Will “that’s G” someday replace more common sayings like “that’s cool” or “that player is dirty?” or is “that’s G” just apply to Jordan and his feats and accomplishments?

This ad does a great job attracting consumers to the product because it works on so many different levels. Sports drinkers will continue to drink Gatorade no matter what their ads are. The only difference between Gatorade and PowerAde is taste which people themselves can determine which is better. Basketball fans will look at this ad and be inspired to buy Jordan’s Gatorade flavors because he is an icon in their sport. His legacy will prompt people to collect the 6 once in a lifetime bottles. The main focus group of this ad however is athletes across America. From teenagers to adults anyone involved in sports is tempted to try these Gatorades with the false hope that maybe they can be like Jordan, maybe they can be a “G.” it is the athletic demographic that is most impacted by this ad campaign. Although in people’s minds they know a sports drink will not make them the greatest basketball player of all time but that is what Gatorade is selling so that is what the customers are buying. Maybe this drink will make them one step faster or give them ability to jump one inch higher is often what goes through consumer’s head. Gatorade does hydrate athletes and gives them the ability to perform athletics without cramping and prevents dehydration. It does not impact in anyway the ability of the athlete.

The target group ad is teenage athletes and therefore the anti ad will also be directed at their demographic. Athletes see advertisements like this and are prompted to buy the product that does not do what it is selling. On Gatorade’s website it says, “When athletes sweat, they lose electrolytes such as sodium, potassium, and chloride that are essential to hydration and muscle function. Unlike water and other beverages that are not scientifically formulated, Gatorade is lab-tested to ensure it replenishes the electrolytes lost in sweat while maintaining thirst so athletes will adequately ingest enough fluid and electrolytes to stay well-hydrated.”( it says nothing about making you like Michael Jordan but rather just talks about hydration. Muscle magazines feature a countless number of ads for supplement that feature large, defined body builders. The problem with the ad is that the body builder most likely took steroids and not the supplement that they are selling. Same thing happens here with the Jordan ad although it is less extreme. Jordan spent his entire life to get to the pinnacle of his career. He was cut from his high school basketball team and vowed to be the greatest ever. It was this vow that led to his dominance and greatness not Gatorade. Athletes need to be aware of what they are buying and need to focus on the product not on the great athlete selling the product. Just as in the print ad, Gatorade uses star power in the commercials as seen below. The ad stars legendary college basketball coach John Wooden as the narrator and features video clips of Dwayne Wade, Kevin Durant, Bill Walton and of course Michael Jordan. All of these men were great college as well as professional basketball players.

My anti-ad is very different from the ad featured up above. It combines new elements and messages that actually apply to the athletes it is selling to. Yes, Michael Jordan is still present in my ad but in a much diminished way. He is no longer the sole focus of the ad and the “That’s G” tagline is removed from him. Now my ad features a basketball practice and a person lifting weights, two key elements in become better athletes. Just by adding these two new pictures it changes the entire message of what being a “G” is. “G” is not what is given to you but rather it is what you work for day in and day out to become the best you can be. The ad is no longer selling Jordan but rather it is selling Gatorade and its ability to help athletes stay hydrated. Gatorade did not make Jordan who he was a player but rather it just helped him perform night in and night out. “Hard work and practice” are now the words that go along with “G” rather than Jordan.

Athletes today need to separate what they see in front of them in advertisements from what is truly being sold to them. Michael Jordan is the new face of Gatorade with countless other professional athletes but simply drinking Gatorade will get you nowhere. However, there are benefits to drinking Gatorade. It can help you stay hydrated when you are working hard in practice or in games. Because companies refuse to market what they are actually selling it is the job of the consumer to separate what they are being sold from what they are actually buying. I hope that my anti- ad shows you are not buying Michael Jordan abilities but rather a product that can help you in your quest to be like Mike.


  1. Maughan RJ. Fluid and electrolyte loss and replacement in exercise. J Sports Sci 9:117-142, 1991.
  2. Passe D, et al. Impact of beverage acceptability on fluid intake during exercise. Appetite 35:219-229, 2000. (Full disclosure: GSSI study)
  3. Wilk B and O Bar-Or. Effect of drink flavor and NaCl on voluntary drinking and hydration in boys exercising in the heat. J Appl Physiol 80:1112–1117, 1996. (Full disclosure: GSSI funded study)

What really happens when you use body spray?

There are many different advertising techniques employed by marketing teams from a multitude of companies. They spend millions of dollars every year to get their product in your mind. Why? Because there is money to be made from you. Everyday we see TV commercials, radio advertisements and magazine advertisements, not to mention the countless billboards lining our roads. Their aim is to use combinations of colors, sounds, images, songs and words to get your attention and get you thinking about what they’re selling.

I’m going to be analyzing a magazine advertisement ran by the Tag Body Spray company. There most popular advertisements are that of the young guy innocently applying Tag Body Spray in the interest of possibly increasing his chances of meeting a girl. Little does he know shortly after applying Tag Body Spray, he will be pounced upon by hoards of young attractive girls hell bent on removing his clothing. Then, at this point, there will be a freeze frame of the image of the guy being attacked. Whap! A warning label is slapped on the screen and under it is a comical disclaimer stating the hazards of applying Tag Body Spray. It warns that the Tag Body Spray company will not be held accountable for any female attention received by the user.

This is extremely similar to the advertisement I selected with some minor differences. Since it is a picture advertisement, it is only the freeze frame shot with the warning label and disclaimer. However it carries the same message. We see a young guy being pinned to the floor of an indoor volleyball court by an entire women’s volleyball squad full of young attractive girls. There are mixed expressions on all faces pictured. They young male victim has what is supposed to be horror and agony written on his face but under closer inspection it proves to be an almost happy sort of anguish. Some girls just look extremely ferocious, air born and poised in positions imitating lions of the African savannah, while others look carefree and happy to be committing assault and battery.

The disclaimer reads “the makers of the new tag body spray will not be held liable should any girl on girl on girl on girl on girl on girl on girl on girl on girl on guy action occur.” This is ironic in a way because most young girls do not actually like the smell of men’s body sprays, which leads you to think, “How likely is it that you would be attacked by gorgeous girls if they don’t even like the smell?”

The original ad i made had word art written into the picture reading, “Warning, As with all men’s body sprays, you are definitely more likely to get tackled by dudes then hot chicks” but technology sux! and try to imagine a little can of Tag Body Spray.

Advertising by some companies is used to try to attain many things. In some cases, they are merely trying to get you to see how great the product is or how much better your life could be with the product or even how much you may need the product just to survive. However, other companies advertise to distract you from the negative aspects of the product. This is the case with cigarette companies and in some cases alcoholic beverage manufacturers like beer companies and liquor companies. Although its highly prevalent in companies selling dangerous products it is not exclusively used by them. Sometimes the ads are used to make you forget what you know about the product from experience. This is the case with men’s body spray companies. All their commercials involve women being extremely attracted to the user of these products. This is contradiction to the truth that most women don’t like the smell of these popular body sprays. So why do guys buy them? They buy them because the advertisements have convinced them that this isn’t so, that women will fling themselves at you if applied correctly.

My Anti-Ad is a parody of the Tag Body Spray theme of advertisement. In most of their ads there is a young guy being savagely attacked by throngs of women madly trying to take his clothes off followed by a comical warning and disclaimer. My parody ad is of a scene of a football play being ended by the ball carrier being dragged to the ground by the opposing team. This is in reminiscent fashion of the Tag Body Spray commercials except it is the reality of the actual product use. Athletes who use Body Spray are more likely to be in aggressive physical contact with other men then with women.

In my ad, we see a Washington Redskins football player being forced to the ground by several Philadelphia Eagles football players. I have applied a strong Warning label just like the Tag commercials. I have also applied a disclaimer that reads, “As with all men’s body sprays, you are definitely more likely to get tackled by dudes then hot chicks.” In the lower left hand corner I have placed a spray can of Tag Body Spray. At first glance this would instantly register in your mind as a Tag Body Spray commercial but once more closely observed, it is found that this is a parody. While in the original advertisement, the guy being victimized might enjoy it, in the more realistic and parody version, the most likely of victims is an athlete being forced out of play by the opposing team.

Break glass in case of adventure?

Ben Holland


Josh Mehler

Break glass in case of adventure?

            Advertisements can be helpful to a consumer, yet they can often leave out important aspects, messages, and values of a product. In the ad I am analyzing, the Nissan Armada is advertised as a vehicle ready for adventure, but the underlying characteristics of the SUV are that it is not fuel-efficient and it is bad for the Earth’s environment.

The first thing the viewer of the ad sees is the Armada inside a giant glass box, similar to one that would hold a fire extinguisher. The side of glass in front of the car reads, “BREAK GLASS IN CASE OF ADVENTURE,” playing on the usual “break glass in case of fire” label. This label immediately lets the viewer know there is a direct correlation between the Armada and adventure. The Armada is seen as a necessary tool for one to have a chance to do something out of the ordinary that breaks the mundane, daily routine.  Most people in the world value adventure because they don’t want to be seen as boring or they are tired of doing the same activities everyday of their lives. People don’t want to be seen as boring because of the negative social connotations that can result such as lack of friends and an unfulfilled life. Human beings naturally get bored of repetitive action. This tendency is evidenced by the replacement of humans on assembly lines by machines. Society looks down on “boring” individuals, pressuring them to find adventure. Adventure allows people to escape from what they know into a world of the exhilarating unknown. The whole point behind the ad is to engage the viewer’s imagination about how they can use the Armada to have themselves an adventure.

There is a man in the ad starring at the giant box that seems to be in awe of the results the box can bring him. He seems dull and ordinary, wearing dark clothing and glasses. Someone wearing glasses is stereotypically seen as having a boring life with no excitement. Nissan uses the man in the ad as a contrast to the exciting glow of the giant box. Just as differently contrasted color-wise the man is from the box, the man’s adventure in his life is miniscule compared to the level of adventure he could achieve with the Armada. The man is effective because the viewer can sense his desire for adventure and begin, either knowingly or unknowingly, to identify with him because they naturally desire adventure too. Adventure can mean different things to different people. To a mother, shopping can be an adventure. To a businessman, a trip to Las Vegas can merit the title of being adventuresome. Why did Nissan choose to place a man in their ad and not a woman? One possibility could be that there is already a stereotype of the “soccer mom” who drives around her many children with her SUV. By leaning towards the idea of adventure, Nissan is attempting to get viewers away from the stereotype and to focus on a different capability of the Armada.

            The Armada is shown in an urban setting, with the glow of city lights to the left in the distant background. To the right of the box and SUV, there looks like there is a factory-type building. The creators of the ad might have meant for the onlooker to think about breaking the everyday routine of a 9 to 5 job in the city and escaping into the wild, where adventure is everywhere. The wild can be anywhere the person who buys the Armada wishes. The SUV is even pointed in the opposite direction of the city, signaling where it will be headed; away from responsibility and the hassle of the workplace. To the right of the SUV, there are industrial buildings and factories. These factories could represent assembly lines and repetitive motions which the man is hoping to escape from as he seeks for adventure through the Armada. The SUV and its box are, also, conveniently located on the road as if to say the Armada is ready for action at all times. Another possibility is that the adventure the lackluster-dressed man will have if he breaks the box will be through venturing off into the nightlife of the city. With room for eight, the man has the potential to invite seven others, possibly girls, to come along with him. This idea is in direct contrast with the typical viewpoint that SUVs are normally used by soccer moms driving around a large number of kids.

Advertisers for this ad were very clever in making the Armada a tempting item to the average consumer. This ad is very successful because it creatively plays on the idea of a fire extinguisher box while at the same time saying that if someone buys the Armada they will experience immediate adventure. The reason this ad is alluring is that adventure is an important value to both the maker of the Armada and the consumer. The fact that adventure is emphasized points out that the target audience will value adventure as a desirable trait in their vehicle. As human beings, most people desire to have exciting lives filled with thrilling events. Therefore, people will desire to have the tools that will create the possibility for an adventurous life. Adventure is also important to Nissan in the ad, because they know that the consumer desires to find a way to make his or her life more exciting. By making the car in the box the center of the ad, Nissan hints that the central element of having an adventurous life is through the Armada.

But, is adventure all Nissan values? By making their ad all about adventure, Nissan has completely avoided how fuel-efficient and Earth-friendly their Armada is. I researched the fuel economy of the Armada on Nissan’s website, and found out the 2010 Nissan Armada only gets on average 12 miles per gallon in the city and 18 miles per gallon on the highway. This SUV is definitely gas-guzzling with the average mpg (miles per gallon) of an exotic sports car. According to the Union of Concerned Scientists, “the average truck on the road today emits 47 percent more smog-forming exhaust and 43 percent more of the heat-trapping gases that cause global warming than the average car. SUVs are a critical part of the light truck problem. While pickups and minivans are bad enough, SUVs are generally worse.” This aspect of the Armada makes it seem as if conserving gas was not a top priority when designing the vehicle. This careless flaw of the Armada is hurtful to our environment and pollutes the air much more than smaller-sized vehicles would. In fact, according to the U.S. News and World Report, “transportation is thought to account for about a third of the global-warming pollution America produces each year, and America, as everyone knows, is the world’s largest emitter of greenhouse gases.” They even go as far as saying it is “socially irresponsible to buy and drive an SUV.” This assumption is possible because SUVs are among the worst of any class of vehicle at conserving gasoline. The Armada also has three available rows that can seat up to 8. What is a person going to use seven other seats for in their car? “Nissan Armada. Live big, with adventure for 8,” reads the header for the Armada page on Nissan’s website. Nissan repeatedly wants the Armada to be seen as a method of finding adventure and now a social aspect to the eight possible seats is shown. I searched Nissan Armada on Google Images and almost all of the pictures show the SUV with either a rocky terrain or a bunch of trees in the background. Seeing all the pictures might make one think the outdoors is the Armada’s natural habitat. Why is the Armada shown in an urban setting in this ad?

Because adventure is the main point to the ad, most other aspects of the Armada are ignored. The fact that the Armada is a sports utility vehicle and uses a lot of gasoline is completely overlooked because of the ad’s content. Dependability, safety, and price among other things are left out too. The target audience for this advertisement is males who are able to drive. The man in the advertisement indicates that the ad is aimed at men, hoping they are searching to break the routine of their normal lives. Would the ad have the same effect if there was a woman in the picture or if the man was with his family? I hope the adults viewing this ad are able to look beyond the central message and see the underlying negatives within the SUV industry.

            In my spoof ad, I want to expose the fact that the Nissan Armada is still a sports utility vehicle and is damaging our environment by emitting greenhouse gases into our atmosphere and depleting our ozone layer. I want to bring forth the importance of saving and maintaining the world we live in because I feel ads like this one are hiding some of the causes of the Earth’s destruction. I am using the same idea as the original ad, but with a twist. I will have the glass read, “BREAK GLASS IN CASE OF DISREGARD FOR THE EARTH’S ATMOSPHERE.” This change will immediately make the reader aware of the intentions of the spoof ad by pointing out the careless attitude one has in buying the Armada. I want to make the viewer remember that they should research the miles per gallon of vehicles he or she is interested in and not just be tempted by ads guaranteeing adventure. Also, in the background to the left of the box I will put a green power plant, releasing toxic waste into the air. The power plant will emphasize the destructive nature of the vehicle. The change of the background of the ad is important because the new power plant is replacing the glow of the exciting city. I am placing Nissan’s logo on the power plant to demonstrate that the smoke coming out is directly Nissan’s fault. I am also changing the word in the bottom-left corner, “THE NEW FULL-SIZE NISSAN ARMADA” to “THE NEW GAS-GUZZLING NISSAN ARMADA.” The words are changed to emphasize the low gas mileage that the Armada gets because the original ad didn’t even mention it. There is also smoke inside of the box instead of bright lights. The Armada, instead of being shown as something magnificent, will look like a pollutant ready to clog up our air with smoke. In the top right corner I will have a bright red sun beating down upon all of the advertisement. The sun will indirectly represent the affect the Armada will have on the Earth’s temperature. The red color underlines the heat the destruction will bring. The man, instead of having a look of wonder will have a look of disgust at the absurdity that the box has. I hope the viewer of my spoof ad will have the same reaction.

The nature of the original ad disguises the negative aspects of the Armada, making it seem as nothing but an adventure tool. The Nissan ad makes the Armada seem all about adventure and carelessly neglects to reveal the negative results the SUV can have on our Earth. My spoof ad is exposing the Nissan ad, revealing that the Armada isn’t just about adventure, showing that it is hurtful to our atmosphere as well.

Works Cited

Horn, Michael.  “Sinning in an SUV.” U.S. News & World Report.  16 Dec. 2002: ABI/INFORM Global, ProQuest. Web.  18 Nov. 2009.

Mark, Jason. “Taming the SUV.” Nucleus The Magazine of the Union for Concerned Scientists. Vol. 21 No. 3 (Fall 1999): 1. Web. 18 Nov. 2009.