If you had any doubt that soda companies like Coca-Cola are unequivocal masters of the art of seduction, look no further than this recent article in New Republic. In it, Corby Kummer, senior editor at The Atlantic, describes visiting the World of Coca-Cola in Atlanta, Georgia, alongside Marion Nestle, public health advocate and author of Soda Politics. Both entered as steely eyed skeptics and emerged hours later "mesmerized, thrown back to a state of childlike wonder." Such is the power of Coke.
What crumbled the reserve of these two seasoned professionals? A movie theater inside the museum showing endless reels of Coke commercials. That, and apparently some very nice Coke-patterned bed sheets in the gift store.
While the article is written in a humorous tone, it does a good job of underscoring just how stealthy and pervasive Big Soda's marketing campaigns can be. It's hard to advocate public policy changes and pass regulations when a company like Coke has done such a good job at winning over the hearts of its consumers and becoming a part of our cultural fabric. As Kummer says, "Fighting hard power with taxes and regulation is one thing; soft power is another."
Read More: The Hard Power of Soft Drinks by Corby Kummer in New Republic