I Like Mike, but…

By Dean L. Jones, C.P.M.

PepsiCo Inc. is bringing Michael Jackson’s image to their soda cans in a marketing strategy to help increase sales.  I like Mike, but I am not in favor of using his picture to push the sale of a sugary-filled drink.  That is because the beloved Michael Jackson passed June 25, 2009 and it was twenty eight years ago where Michael caught fire filming a Pepsi Cola commercial.  Now Pepsi wants to use the mega star’s image to bolster their reputation as the best.

Sure, the estate management for Michael Jackson made the deal; however that does not change the fact that his image is working to push a beverage claiming to “Live For Now” when they know that some of the ingredients in a Pepsi reduces the probability for a healthy life.  Pepsi has a 25th-anniversary campaign coming up commemorating the release of Michael Jackson’s “Bad.”  Specific songs are set to be accessed through a special Pepsi soda can promotion where Michael Jackson fans can scan a code with their phone to hear a song.

Pepsi is not alone, while all food and beverage companies want to make more sales, in spite of the scientific predictions from the Centers for Disease Control reporting that by 2030, 42% of Americans will be obese and 11% will be severely obese.  I am old enough to remember when being severely obese was rare, but now it afflicts 1 in 20 Americans and at the rate we are going in just fifteen years 1 in 10 Americans will be severely obese.

I like Mike, but I am not willing to drink useless calories just to reminisce my love of his music.  The overall calories from sweetened beverages are constantly going up, where a habitual soda drinker downs an average of 144 empty calories a day from sugar-sweetened soft drinks.  Accordingly, by simply eliminating the intake of sweetened soft drinks and fruit drinks will reduce a lot of weight.  Plus, calcium minerals would not be destroyed from the processed sugar that causes bone growth to suffer.

An average bottle of Coke contains over 60 grams of sugar, while a Vitamin Water contains up to 13 grams.  Consequently, to achieve a more healthy diet, removing soda is not a new plan; however, there are more facts that show asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are linked to excessive soda consumption.  When soda is ingested, your body is often assaulted with mercury-containing high-fructose corn syrup in addition to a conglomeration of pesticides and processed sugars.  Similarly, drinking two soft drinks per day increases the risk of diseases like gout by 85% and pancreatic cancer by 87%.  Drinking just one soft drink per day increases the risk of metabolic syndrome by 44% and a child’s risk of becoming obese by 60%.


Mr. Jones is a marketing strategist with the Southland Partnership Corporation (a public benefit organization), sharing his view on mismanagement practices of packaged foods & beverages.

Author: spirit