Awareness Is Not an Objective

If you’ve watched any of the Vancouver Olympics, you’ll probably recognize this Diet Coke ad.

The ad is certainly charming enough. It establishes an instantly recognizable graphic platform for a campaign. And, dare I say it, Coke’s heart is certainly in the right place. But listen closely to the copy: “Join Diet Coke in supporting programs to raise awareness of heart health.”

Awareness should never be a objective, as the instructors in my strategic communications program at Columbia continually hammer into my head.

Coke’s real goal should be to help consumers become “heart healthier.” And buried deep within its website is the key: “We’re here to help with tips and ideas for a well-balanced life you can love.”

Think of how much more powerful that message would be: Diet Coke can help you achieve more balance in an increasingly hard-to-balance world.

That would resonate a lot more with people I know who constantly struggle (often stressfully) to juggle personal and professional demands.

Achieve more balance. Reduce the stress in your life. Now those are real motivators. (And reasons to switch to to Diet Coke, too.) Achieve those objectives and it truly would be a “heart healthier” world.