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Water Your Body: Crystal Light continues to appeal to women’s health January 4, 2010

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Crystal Light, made by Kraft, has launched a new campaign featuring fit actresses stressing the importance of drinking water, and the role that the sweetener can play in improving health. The voice over in one ad has caused some controversy, claiming that “Our bodies crave water, and women who drink Crystal Light drink 20 percent more of it.” While the point might seem somewhat bogus to some skeptics, it is backed by data from Kantar Worldpanel Beverage, a consumer research agency that is a subsidiary of TNS global.

Still, critics have been bashing the recent ads. Jennifer LaRue Huget from The Washington Post, for example, has argued that the campaign has neglected that the additive contains aspartame and acesulfame potassium. The two sweeteners have been targeted by the Center for Science in the Public Interest as two ingredients that everyone should avoid because they are “unsafe in amounts consumed or is very poorly tested and not worth any risk.”

This is not the first time that Kraft has associated Crystal Light with women’s health. This strategy was quite popular in the 1980s. For more, watch the following ad:

Discussion Questions:

1.  Do you agree with the campaign’s skeptics? That is, is the Crystal Light advertising campaign referenced above deceptive? Why, or why not?

2.  How could Crystal Light effectively address the resistance to its use of certain controversial sweeteners? What messages could it employ in future ads?

3.  What other kinds of beverage products could effectively copy Crystal Light’s strategy?

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