Films Show the Impact of Sugary Drinks
A Nashville family's rap video is the winner of a contest aimed at raising awareness of the harmful health effects of overconsumption of sugary drinks. The winning video "Just Pour One Out" features an original rap song from the Sullivan family, inspired by 41-year-old stay-at-home dad Peter Sullivan's personal struggle with soda consumption.
"I was surprised by how much the process changed my drinking habits," Sullivan said of making the film.
Announced by the nonprofit Center for Science in the Public Interest in October 2012, the Pour One Out video contest invited the public to produce short videos demonstrating the pouring out of sugary drinks in a creative way. Advertising pioneer Alex Bogusky joined CSPI staff in judging contest entries based on creativity, originality, and effectiveness of the health message. CSPI offered a $1,000 prize for the winning film, and $500 and $250 prizes for the second- and third-place films.
The runner-up video was produced by 5th-grade students in teacher Laurel Frederick's after-school club at Incline Elementary School in Incline Village, NV. "They calculated the amount of sugar in selected drinks and did hands-on activities to help drive the point home," said Frederick.
Third place went to Dennis Nguyen, an IT professional from St. Metairie, LA, who worked with friends to create "One For My Boy," drawing inspiration from childhood memories of the ubiquity of Kool-Aid advertisements in his neighborhood.
"Coke and Pepsi spend billions of dollars on television advertising and other forms of marketing, so it's exciting to see so many budding filmmakers take to the Internet to lampoon an industry whose products promote obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and other health problems," said CSPI executive director Michael F. Jacobson.
Participants sought inspiration from the viral success of CSPI's The Real Bears, an animated short film in which soda-guzzling, disease-ridden polar bears decide to pour out their sodas. The film, which features an original song, "Sugar," by Grammy-winning singer-songwriter Jason Mraz and rapper MC Flow, has been viewed more than two million times.
CSPI has since released a new video "translation" of Coca-Cola's recent two-minute-long Internet ad addressing obesity. The widely jeered original gave the impression that all sources of calories are equal, when in fact liquid calories are more conducive to weight gain than solid calories. While Coke's ad congratulates the soda industry for "voluntary changes" in schools, CSPI's translation points out that those changes came only after parents, school boards, and state laws started pushing soda out of schools.