Coca Cola addresses obesity in new ad campaign

Coca Cola is addressing obesity head on. In its latest ad campaign, the soft drink king highlights its transparency by pointing out its choice to label the calorie counts clearly on cans and vending machines.

The Atlanta-based company on Monday will begin airing a two-minute commercial during the highest-rated shows on CNN, Fox News and MSNBC in hopes of becoming a stronger voice in the intensifying debate over sodas and their impact on public health.

The ad lays out Coca-Cola's record of providing drinks with fewer calories over the years and notes that weight gain is the result of consuming too many calories of any kind - not just soda.

From a marketing perspective, Aaron Hugo, a Syracuse advertising executive with Pickney Hugo Group, says it's an innovative approach with an empowering message.

"I think its telling people that you can make decisions for yourself. You are in charge of what you intake. If you know and are educated about what's in your products, you can make healthier lifestyle decisions on your own," says Hugo.

From the health perspective, Dr. Donna Bacchi, with Upstate Medical University, says there is still no room for soda in a healthy lifestyle.

"Coca cola is water with chemicals and sugar or an artificial sweetener. It has no nutrients and has no place in a healthy diet," says Bacchi.

While training for his new job in Armory Square, Patrick Little said he already drinks diet coke and doesn't think the new ad campaign will change his mind one way or another.

"I've been drinking diet coke for a while so I'm probably going to stick with it, so the advertising wouldn't impact me at all," says Little.

Rebecca Lerman of Syracuse says she drinks the occasional diet soda but doesn't think the advertisements will have much impact on her choices.

"I don't think that will influence me at all to drink something different. But it may helpful for someone who may be a heavier soda drinker," says Lerman.