Coke Ad Suggests Maybe You Should Pay For That 140-Calorie Soda With Some Exercise

Either Coca-Cola is crazy like a fox or just the kind of crazy that means showing people exactly how long they’ll have to exercise in order to work off the calories in a 16-ounce can of Coke. Speficically, its new campaign points out that it takes the average person 23 minutes of cycling to “pay” for those 140 calories, at which point a Rube Goldeberg-esque device will deliver the goods.

“What if there were a new, fun way to pay for a Coke? And what if you could do it with your energy?” Coke asks in the description for its new promotional campaign.

The video explains how a Coke used to cost 5 cents — “but what if a 12-oz Coke cost 10 calories?”A Coke used to cost 5 cents.

Cut to scenes of rapid cycling, excited onlookers pointing at things and a dog barking, with a countdown clock running on each cyclist to see exactly how long it takes them to earn that drink.

Yes, because people who want to drink a soda want to work up a sweat first, and wash down all that hard work with a nice, sweet soda…?

The message is a little bit confusing — biking for 23 minutes is no picnic, and could dissuade some customers from drinking a Coke now that they’ve seen the workout evidence, says one expert.

“They’re showing exactly why you wouldn’t want to drink a Coke. Twenty-three minutes on a bike is not fun for most people,” the president of one brand consulting firm tells the Associated Press.

A Coca-Cola spokeswoman explains that this video — which will be promoted on social media but not on TV — is meant to show “moments of delight and surprise” with Coke, and to address the theme of energy balance in a lighthearted way.

Similar ads were banned in the UK last summer, but it seems Coke was willing to take another stab at it.

Coke ad: It takes 23 minutes to burn off a soda [Associated Press]