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The Power of Unity

Posted: March 16, 2015, 11:00 a.m.
by Ethan Wiggins.

For over a decade now, organizations have been creating campaigns to combat childhood obesity. Most of these campaigns were backed by the American Beverage Association (ABA) or one of the three soft drink conglomerates (Coke, Pepsi or Dr Pepper). Never before have the three companies worked together with the ABA to encourage healthier lives for children, until now.
On Sept. 23, 2014, the companies announced a pledge to cut the number of sugary calories Americans consume by one-fifth by 2025. The commitment is made possible through packaging, marketing and distribution efforts by the companies. The united campaign has been dubbed “Delivering Choices”.

There have been many campaigns similar to this one, but none have ever been reinforced by the most important decision makers in this issue. According to a
NY Times article, the commitment made by the companies was an acceptance of their products’ role in the increasing obesity rates in America. The Coca-Cola Company and Pepsico had already eliminated their advertising of soft drinks to children under 12, as a part of the Children’s Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative. The most recent and social initiative of the campaign is called Mixify.

Mixify encourages families to balance what they eat and drink with physical activity. The companies have come together to talk to teens about making healthy, balanced decisions in their daily habits.

Mixify is a more updated, engaging approach to reach out to teens through social media, events, and language and themes that appeal to teens. The initiative emphasizes a heavy use of social media because the companies understand that teens are very engaged on many different social media platforms. In communications, this is a textbook example of understanding your target audience.

Another way the initiative’s social media team is appealing to teens is through #MyMixify, in which teens can share their healthy habits with others. The goal of this hashtag is to foster inspiration and ideas among teens.

Photo courtesy of Syvwlch (Flickr)
Photo courtesy of Syvwlch (Flickr)

All of this social media engagement could not have been possible if it weren’t for the three companies working together with the ABA. Three is always better than one — not because it’s a magic number, but because it creates an even front without competition. The companies are united together to work toward their commitment to a healthier generation.

So will we see Mixify logos at Crossfit events or the 2015 SXSW? Probably. Both appeal to the target audience of the initiative, and Crossfit definitely applies to the physical activity end of Mixify.

At the end of the day, you can lead a teen to the water, but you can’t make them drink it. But the more powerful the unity, the larger the following. And the larger the following, the better chance America will have at being healthier by 2025.

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