Coca Cola Research Paper

Topics: Coca-Cola, Caffeine, Advertising Pages: 5 (1398 words) Published: March 22, 2012
General Psychology 10143

Portfolio Assignment

The government charged the Coca-Cola Company with marketing and selling a beverage that was injurious to health. They charged the company with producing a beverage that produced serious mental and motor deficits due to the use of synthetic caffeine. They also claimed that Coca-Cola was misbranded because its name implied that the product contained coca, yet it did not contain the whole coca leaf (because the cocaine was removed) and the name constituted a false and misleading design. The government hoped to prove that Coca-Cola caused cognitive, sensory and motor deficits and that Coca-Cola was adulterated because it’s caffeine content was an added ingredient and injurious to health. (Pendergrast, 1993)

The purpose of the research in the government case against Coca-Cola was to determine the effects of caffeine on cognitive, sensory and motor abilities-(e.g.-hand steadiness, reaction time, mental calculations, color discrimination, and speed in a cancellation task). (Hutt, 2001)

The control group in the study received placebo capsules, not actual caffeine. The experimental group in the study received the caffeine capsules and later, actual doses of the Coca-Cola syrup.

The purpose of the double-blind study during the first week, which involved no caffeine consumption, was to acquire base-line data on the subjects and the dependant measures. During the following weeks, caffeine was given by capsule, then with Coca-Cola syrup, some with caffeine and some without.

The results of the study found that Coca-Cola acted as a mild stimulant for both motor and cognitive performance, with no evidence of the deleterious effects on mental and motor performance that the government claimed. (Ludy T. Benjamin Jr., 2009)

The research was difficult to conduct because the government only had facts on animal research and knew that it need research that spoke to the effects on humans, and many of the experts they interviewed to do the research declined. Alas, they found Harry and Leta Hollinsworth. Harry Hollinsworth was an instructor at Barnard College and accepted the research project. The research was itself was difficult only due to the time constraints. The results were need in a matter of weeks, giving Mr. Hollinsworth little time to get a control group and experimental group convened, initiate the study, and document the findings.

The relationship between Coca-Cola and the citizens of South Africa is a powerful, long-term commitment. Coca-Cola has invested and spread its business network into all segments of the South African market. Coca-Cola and its affiliate brands are present in shopping centers, retail outlets, and small shops in rural villages, including front porches of run down, dilapidated villages. Coca-Cola provides signs and coolers for businesses, as well as employment and income for South African citizens and tax revenue for local and central government. Coca-Cola also sponsored the FIFA world cup in South Africa in 2010. South Africa is the largest Coca-Cola market in Africa and ranks among the best performing countries in the world of Coca-Cola. (Division of Research: Moore School of Business, 2005)

Coca-Cola advertising has changed tremendously over the last 100 years. Coca-Colas advertising started with fliers and signs. In the early 1930’s, Coca-Cola started a holiday advertising campaign that included Santa Claus. It is still used today. In the 1950’s, Coca-Cola attempted “subliminal” advertising and television advertising. In the 1970’s, it came up with a radio jingle that quickly fizzled until it was paired with a visual commercial, which quickly became popular and was then requested on the radio shows. Whereever you go, you are sure to see a Coca-Cola billboard or sign. They are everywhere and incorporated in virtually every retail store there...
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