The New York City health department has a new ad campaign aimed at reducing consumption of sodas and other sugary drinks. The campaign takes an interesting tack: Gross people out to the point that they reach for a glass of water instead of a Coke.
Called "Don't Drink Yourself Fat," the series of ads, which will run in subway cars for three months, depict disgusting globules of fat flowing out of bottles of cola, iced tea and a sports drink.
Will they work? Well, the images certainly are eye-catching and shocking. Kudos to the ad team for creating a really, really disgusting image that I'm not likely to forget.
I wonder, though, if the people targeted by these ads will really care? Will these gross-out images really connect and make any difference? Maybe so.
But maybe not much. Several years ago, New York sought to discourage smoking with TV ads depicting a man with a hole in his throat and a woman with missing fingers. Smoking did decline, says the New York Times, but it wasn't until the city hiked taxes on cigarettes that rates really plummeted.