Brita is the latest brand piling on the beleaguered soda industry, which has become a punching bag for health advocates and competing beverage brands.
In a new TV ad breaking this week, the Clorox-owned water-filtration brand dramatizes the sugar in sodas by building a city made from sugar cubes. The all-white metropolis is meant to symbolize the amount of sugar consumed during the average lifetime of a one-can-a-day soda drinker. That, according to Brita, amounts to 221,314 cubes.
The national TV buy includes networks such as ESPN, Weather Channel, TV Land and Discovery Channel.
Also, starting today, the brand will erect a "sugar cube city" in New York's Chelsea Market made from nearly four tons of sugar. That amount represents sugar consumed by a family-of-four during a lifetime, according to Brita. The event will include an appearance by actor Jesse Tyler Ferguson and runs through Thursday. The marketing stunt will be used to generate content for a social-media campaign scheduled to run for much of 2015.
The TV ad is from Omnicom's DDB, which handles the brand from its San Francisco and New York offices. Interpublic's Jack Morton agency is producing the New York sugar cube event, while IPG's Current Lifestyle Marketing is handling PR and content strategy.
The campaign follows a Brita ad from earlier this year called "Cola Rain" that showed pedestrians being pelted by soda cans falling from the sky.
"We've seen what soda companies are doing to combat the issues around sugar consumption and overall brand relevance, but we believe it's saying something when for-profit companies like Brita are stepping up to educate Americans on the other (smarter) beverage choices out there," Brita said in a statement.
Soda brands have emerged as a major target of politicians and health groups that have blamed sugary drinks for America's obesity problems. Companies such as Coca-Cola and PepsiCo have sought to blunt the criticism by coming out with lower-calorie sodas while promoting smaller-portioned packaging. The two companies, along with Dr Pepper Snapple Group, recently pledged to reduce beverage calories consumed per person nationally by 20% by 2025.