Introducing "The Real Bears" Animated Short Film Takes on Big Soda

      Introducing "The Real Bears" Animated Short Film Takes on Big Soda

PR Newswire

WASHINGTON, Oct. 10, 2012

Features Original Song by Jason Mraz

WASHINGTON, Oct. 10, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Center for Science in
the Public Interest is escalating its longstanding campaign to reduce the
consumption of soda and other sugary drinks today with the release of an
animated short film exposing the drinks' unhappy health consequences.

The Real Bears tells the story of a family of polar bears who, even in their
distant Arctic environment, are not immune from sunny marketing messages from
Big Soda. The whole family is consuming too much soda… and is experiencing
everything from weight gain to tooth decay to problems in the bedroom. Only
after recuperating from a terrifying visit to Doc Fox's chilly surgical suite
does Pop Bear come to realize that soda has brought nothing but sadness to his
family. In the film's stirring denouement, he leads his family to reclaim
their health—and their happiness.

The film features an original song, "Sugar," by Grammy-award winning
singer-songwriter Jason Mraz which he wrote and performed with the San
Diego-based rapper MC Flow.

Though consumption has declined slightly in recent years, soda and sugary
drinks still are the biggest single source of calories in the American diet,
accounting for about 7 percent. And while Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, and other soda
companies spend lavishly to position the products as sources of happiness,
sugary drinks are directly linked to obesity and diabetes. Each additional
sugary drink consumed per day increases the likelihood of a child's becoming
obese by about 60 percent. Drinking one or two sugary drinks per day
increases one's risk for type 2 diabetes by 27 percent. The Real Bears family
learns—like many real American families have—that these conditions and their
complications are sources of sadness, not happiness.

"Coke and Pepsi have skillfully cultivated incredibly strong emotional bonds
with consumers around the world even though their products actually cause
quite a bit of misery," said CSPI executive director Michael F. Jacobson.
"The Real Bears seeks to get people thinking about what they're drinking. We
don't have their budgets but we do have the truth. And the truth is that soda
equals sadness."

CSPI turned to advertising guru Alex Bogusky, formerly co-chairman of Crispin
Porter + Bogusky, for creative direction when the group decided to produce a
short film aimed at repositioning soda. Among other things, Bogusky helmed
advertising campaigns for Burger King, Coke Zero, Microsoft, and the
pioneering anti-tobacco Truth Campaign. Marty and Adam Butler of the Austin,
TX.,-based The Butler Bros. served as executive producers and asked
Helsinki-based animator Lucas Zanotto to direct and design.

"I like the taste of soda and I've had my share and I don't imagine a world
without soda," Bogusky said. "But the reality is that over the years sugary
drinks have gone from an occasional treat to an everyday, every-occasion
beverage. This project attempts to contrast the marketing hype around soda
with the stark reality and it is my hope that it makes some small contribution
to a critical cultural awakening. We need to begin to connect the dots between
what we are sold, what we eat, and how sick we have become," said Bogusky.

"No one's saying you can't have the occasional soda," said Mraz. "But by
calling attention to some hazards of sugar consumption perhaps folks will
choose healthier options. I have had people close to me devastated by the
effects of over-consuming sugar and soda on a daily basis over many years. I
hope The Real Bears inspires people to think about what they drink and make a
change for the better."

"Anyone who ever chugged a soda should watch this film," said Morgan Spurlock,
the filmmaker behind the 2003 documentary Super Size Me.

The film is available at TheRealBears.org.

The Real Bears
Agency: Common (Boulder, CO) and The Butler Bros. (Austin, TX)
Executive Creative Director: Alex Bogusky
Executive Producers: Marty & Adam Butler
Writers: Ronny Northrop & Ryan Kutscher
Art Director: Stefanie Hermsdorf
Account Director: Mark Ekhardt
Producer: Amanda Fox
Director/Designer/Animator: Lucas Zanotto
Music: Jason Mraz
Guitar and mix: Bill Bell
Horn parts: Grooveline Horns
Offline/Online Editor: Travis Wurges
Sound Design: Nikolai von Sallwitz
Mix: Travis Wurges
Web Design: Cyrus Clemesen

The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) is a nonprofit
health-advocacy group based in Washington, D.C., that focuses on nutrition and
food safety. CSPI is supported largely by the 850,000 U.S. and Canadian
subscribers to its Nutrition Action Healthletter and by foundation grants.

SOURCE Center for Science in the Public Interest

Website: http://www.cspinet.org/
Contact: Jeff Cronin: +1-202-777-8370, or Clare Politano: +1-202-777-8316