New America Media Launches “Soda Sucks 2″ Creative Contest for Youth

Round two of the Soda Sucks contest -- an opportunity to beat the advertisers that are ruining our health.

Picture this: Stylish, athletic and beautiful people are dancing in the street to hip-hop beats. The camera pans out and B-boys are demonstrating their intricate skills to the crowd. The sun is shining and couples look dreamily into each other’s eyes. Someone takes a long, satisfying drink of soda.

It’s the latest ad for a popular soda. You get the feeling that these soda drinkers got it good. They’re having fun, they have cool friends and don’t have a care in the world. Makes you want to pick up a can of your own, just to see if you can get that good feeling, too.

But a good feeling is not what you get if you regularly drink soda. Today, we have been made well aware of the health effects of drinking soda, but have not made a move to tone down the way it is being sold to us and the younger generations.

Here’s your chance to talk back to the marketers and tell them what you think about soda. New America Media, a non-profit news service  has launched Soda Sucks 2, a creative contest for youth that asks you to peel back the marketing veneer, do a little research and make your own ad.

Years ago, cigarettes were advertised in the same way soda is now – with a lifestyle that didn’t match the reality that smoking cigarettes can create for a person’s health. A movement helped change advertising about cigarettes and made it not acceptable to advertise cigarettes to kids.

Today, while soda is linked to preventable conditions, it is one of the top drink choices for Americans of all ages with more than 9 billion cases of carbonated soda sold in the US last year alone, according to a report from the Beverage Digest.

“Young people are exposed to an incredible amount of advertising for a product with no nutritional value and which has been linked to serious medical problems,” says Allen Meyer of New America Media. “The Soda Sucks 2 contest gives young people a chance to have some fun and hopefully to think critically about what is being marketed to them,” he said.

The contest is open to Californians between the ages of 15 and 25. There are two categories: poster art and rap/music/video/skit. The second category is open to any kind of performance that can be recorded either as an audio or video file. One grand prize of $1000 will be awarded to each category. Entries must be received by November, 2012. For all the details visit www.whysodasucks.com

Soda Sucks 2 is a sequel to the successful and much talked about Soda Sucks youth creative campaign held in the summer of 2011. Winners from that contest will be featured in The California Museum’s “Health Happens Here” exhibit this fall.

For more information about the contest please contact Allen Meyer at ameyer@newamericamedia.org.

About Liz Gonzalez

A San Jose based writer and mental healing instructor, Liz Gonzalez writes on health and spirituality and its interplay in the daily world.

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