Posted by Linda Bonvie
October 2, 2014
If there’s one thing for which you can’t fault the soft-drink industry these days, it’s procrastination.
While the nation’s three largest soda manufacturers – Coke, Pepsi and the Dr. Pepper/Snapple Group – may have given themselves until the year 2025 to reduce individual consumption of “beverage calories” by 20 percent, they seem to have wasted no time in getting that effort off and running.
In fact, no sooner had this corporate trio announced its long-range plan at the annual meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative last week (described in our previous blog), than they rolled out what appears to be the first phase of the plan – a slickly designed commercial campaign on both the airwaves and the Internet whose apparent target audience consists of teenagers, the biggest consumers of their products.
The newly launched program is called “Mixify,” described as “a new project from America’s beverage companies that’s all about making balance easier. Because even if your body is feeling less like a temple and more like— say, a truck stop—balancing the calories that you eat and drink with the calories you burn is key to finding the right mix to keep you feeling like the majestic creature that you are.” Its website also contains “Tips, tools and inspiration to help find a balance that’s right for you” and to “share your mix with mymixify,” the term used in the website’s address.
But why the “my” added to “mixify”? One reason, of course, is because it’s always more effective to personalize this sort of campaign. But there’s obviously another as well – the fact that the name “Mixify” is already in use at the website mixify.com, where it’s described as “a never-ending electronic music festival where DJs stream live to fans around the world.” It’s even got its own app that allows you to chat 24 hours a day with DJs and other attendees.
So right from the get-go, the ingredients of a ‘Mixify mixup’ are already in the mix.
And we couldn’t help wondering — was this identical identity accidental, which would seem to indicate a failure on the part of the creative team behind it to do fundamental research, since the music-based “Mixify” site was launched back in late 2012 with accompanying media hype? Or was it deliberately meant to use a term that’s already familiar to many teens, and perhaps even confuse them into thinking there’s somehow a connection?
Whichever the case, the new name – the one being used by the makers of carbonated beverages – also has a “TM” designation next to it, meaning a trade mark application is already in the works. So don’t be surprised if you should hear that the name “Mixify” has become the subject of a copyright dispute in the near future (unless, of course, that issue has already been settled behind the scenes).
‘Those little buggers matter’
Such concerns aside, however, the newly introduced site has all the elements talked about in the announcement for the calorie-cutting initiative. For example, on its :Find Your Mixify” page, it offers the following “Realtalk: Coke, Dr Pepper and Pepsi understand that balancing your mix of foods, drinks and physical activities can get a little tricky. And since our products can play a part in that equation, we’ve teamed up to help make it easier to find a balanced mix that feels oh so right.”
It then goes on to provide advice about how to “stay active” (“Chase a wild animal. Dance till it hurts.”) and “mind your mix” on days that you might just spend on the couch, and various “resources” such as the U.S., Department of Agriculture’s ChooseMyPlate.gov, the “Smart Snack Calculator” from the Alliance for a Healthier Generation (one of the initiative’s sponsoring organizations), and the Calorie Control Council’s calorie calculator.
Besides this calorie coalition, it also offers the services of a panel of unnamed experts who know “what’s up,” ranging “from nutritionists and dieticians to coaches and athletes,” all of whom are “standing by to make dreams come true and answer all your balance inquiries,” complete with several sample questions and answers. And then there are “tips and tools,” which include advice to “get real about calories – because those little buggers matter.”
Something else that matters even more than calories, however, is the continued presence of the obesity-and-diabetes promoting artificial sweetener high fructose corn syrup in carbonated beverages. And rather than chasing wild animals or dancing till it hurts, the best way to “get real” about that — no matter what age you are — is to keep the products containing it from playing a part in your “equation.”
Once you do that, the calories will most likely take care of themselves. And you can limit whatever “mixifying” you do to music festivals.