Grandstanding is a tool politicians and advertisers alike use to impress the general public or, as it usually plays out, to get press (not necessarily about a certain subject, but rather about themselves).
So it goes like this. Pick a large uncontested issue – like the obesity problem in America. Create a media feast. Become the champion, the hero, the advocate that is only looking out for our best interests – unless we happen to sell supersize soda.
As Mayor Bloomberg seeks center stage in his mission to make New York City a healthier place by banning ”sweetened drinks over 16 ounces,” his political grandstanding seems a bit obese. Is his latest spotlight nutrition for himself or for New Yorkers?
But that aside (not to be confused with, say, a side of fries) Mayor Bloomberg’s serving up the idea to ban supersize soda in New York conjures up three supersize thoughts about the mayor’s chosen arena and the inspiration it may generate:
- Is legislating a consumer’s consuming choices, even if they may not be smart choices – (not to be confused with the brand, Smart Choices) the best idea that the Bloomberg brand can come leverage for itself? Perhaps, after such a long time in office, Brand Bloomberg is in search of something refreshing…like a big, cold soda!
- Is there nothing more dangerous in New York that deserves this intense coverage – oh, like drugs, bedbugs, sub-standard bagels, safe parks, guns, pollution, cramped back seats in taxis, trash, traffic, and whatever else is on your menu of New York needs?
- If Bloomberg’s supersize soda ban somehow passes, it could energize a marketing gusher, like shaking a can of carbonated soda just before opening. Pop! Whoosh! Think of the value-adds and buy-one-get-ones. How about: “NO SUPERSIZE SODA SOLD HERE! BUT, BUY ONE MEDIUM and GET TWO FREE!” or “FREE FRIES WITH TWO MEDIUM SODAS!” or “JOIN THE FREE SODA CLUB! UNLIMITED REFILLS WITH EVERY TEN DOUBLE WHAMMY CHEESEBURGERS AND FRIES!”
I take it all back. Thank you Mayor Bloomberg. I thought the big soda ban was the last straw in limiting our freedom. But it’s a supersize idea! Applause for bringing more attention to a weighty health problem and stimulating fattening fast food sales all at once. Wow! Talk about big!
But I’m feeling kind of thirsty now from talking so much, myself. Let’s grab a soda. Small, please. Diet. Caffeine-free. Maybe with a large side of fries. No, make that a side of corn chips with melted cheese-like stuff on top. No, make it one of those huge only-in-New York deli sandwiches that’s four inches think and could feed a mid-sized family for a week.
Just like the Mayor, we have some really great choices to make. Know what I mean?
What do you think about Bloomberg’s proposed supersize soda ban?