In a new advertisement, Coca-Cola asks what would happen if people paid for a can by first working off the calories it contained

Coca-Cola is taking on obesity, this time with an online video showing how fun it could be to burn off the 140 calories in a can of its soda.

In the ad, the world’s biggest beverage maker asks what would happen if people paid for a can of Coke by first working off the calories it contained. The ad, which notes that it typically takes 23 minutes of cycling to achieve that, shows a montage of people on a giant stationary bicycle happily trying to earn a can of its cola, with carnival music playing in the background.

The video is unusual because it so frankly addresses how many calories are in its drink. But it also takes a frequent criticism used by health advocates and spins it in a happy light.

Coca-Cola’s video comes as soft drinks have faced growing criticism from health advocates who say they fuel obesity and chronic diseases related to diet.

Numerous cities have tried to impose special taxes on sugary drinks, although none have succeeded, in large part because of heavy lobbying from the beverage industry.

Coca-Cola, based in Atlanta, began addressing obesity for the first time in a TV ad last year. That ad took a far more serious tone, with a voiceover stating that weight gain is the result of consuming too many calories of any kind, not just soda.

It’s an argument frequently used by food companies, which tend to stress the need for physical activity and moderation when addressing criticism about the nutritional content of their products. But health advocates say that glosses over the reality that many people are simply consuming too many calories and that it would be unrealistic for them to try and offset that with exercise, especially given people’s increasingly sedentary lifestyles.

At the end of the video, which runs for 1 minute and 40 seconds, the phrase “Movement is happiness” appears on the screen, followed by- “Where will happiness strike next?”

Laura Ries, president of the brand consulting firm Ries & Ries, said that the video could backfire because people might be turned off by the idea that they would need to cycle for 23 minutes just to burn off a Coke.

“They’re showing exactly why you wouldn’t want to drink a Coke. Twenty-three minutes on a bike is not fun for most people,” she said.

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