We thought we’d seen everything in the health-department scare ads department until Fork in the Road told us about the Department of Health’s “Don’t Drink Yourself Fat” poster, showing grisly lipids ‘n’ veins emanating from a thinly-disguised Coke bottle.
The American Beverage Association is complaining about it in a depressingly legalistic way (“Like most foods, soft drinks and other sugar-sweetened beverages are a source of calories. Simply naming one food source as a unique contributor minimizes a disease as complex as obesity”). This, we think, shows a failure of imagination. Our first reaction to the ad was one of annoyance, but eventually we came around to a sunnier view: pretty soon you’re be able to show anything in an ad if its purpose is to hector citizens into good health. It’ll make advertising fun again!
Here are five extremely crude mock-ups — just running them up the flagpole, folks, to see if anyone salutes — of ads we expect to see: