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Just for the teeth of it

14 Aug 11 | Re: Tacit selling point

For me, there’s one reason and one reason only for choosing Diet Coke. It has nothing to do with diets or weight control, since I do not need to shed pounds. It has nothing to do with “the taste of it”, because I can’t even be bothered to make up my mind which I think tastes better. I’m busy! No, the reason is teeth.

I can’t be the only one. People are quite conscious of oral health these days, and Coke (regular) does have a lot of sugar in it, so much that you can sometimes feel it on your teeth, like a hostile, tingling film. No dentist I, but that can’t be good. I’d even say that one of the big drawbacks of giving up alcohol is all the sugar you end up drinking: you feel mean sticking to lime and soda all the time, so it’s got to be either fizzy drinks or sweet, duplicitous juice which is really no better. Coke (diet) is a good, tooth-friendly solution.

Yet you will never see Coke (diet) advertised on the grounds of its tooth-friendliness. Why? It comes from America, the land of tooth obsession, so they must have thought of it. They must have! I think it must be because they think they’d be implicitly saying (admitting?) that Coke (regular) is very, very bad for teeth. And if that’s the case, it must be really bad, since they have no problem playing up the diet-friendliness of Coke (diet), which must go some way to implying that Coke (regular) makes you fat. Or is it that people are more worried about losing teeth, which you can never get back, than putting on weight, which you can always lose again (but probably won’t)?

Either way, they are keeping a lid on this tooth benefit to try and avoid frightening Coke (regular) drinkers. But at the same time they are trumpeting the slimness benefit, hoping that Coke (regular) drinkers won’t notice or care enough to be frightened off. It’s a fine balancing act.

Finally, what about Coke’s leading spokesperson, Father Christmas? He is a fat man, suggesting regular Coke, but has great teeth, suggesting diet. So which is it? Or is this another of those unrealistic, idealised images that are so prevalent in advertising today?

Posted by DAWLISH at 16:59

PS Since I wrote that, I’ve looked at some of those ads with Father Christmas and in all of them he has a distinctly gummy smile, with few if any visible teeth. So I think it must be regular Coke.

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