How and why is Coca-Cola using the theme of happiness and celebration in their advertisements to increase sales? Introduction and background:
Coca-Cola is one of the world’s largest beverage companies. It started its journey in 1886 as a small one-man business with modest average sales of nine servings per day. Since then, it has grown into the world’s most powerful brands with more than 1.9 billion servings sold each day in 200 different countries. Furthermore, Coca-Cola was ranked third in Forbes list of the most valuable brands in the world. Huge part of the success the company is enjoying and its impressive global presence, I believe, stems from its focus on advertising and weaving a universally relevant theme throughout their communications: happiness. As stated on the Coca-Cola Company’s website, ever since the 1970s, “Coca‑Cola’s advertising started to reflect a brand connected with fun, friends and good times.” This advertising strategy has proven to be a success and have increased Coca-Cola’s marketshare considerably as shown in Figure1 below. But how did incorporating the theme of happiness in their ads help Coca-Cola become the dominant power of the market? This is what this I will investigate in this paper. 102870015240Figure1. Relative market share of Soft drinks in the US (1970-2000) 00Figure1. Relative market share of Soft drinks in the US (1970-2000)
This is an interesting topic because it tells us how the Coca-Cola Company maintained a strong brand identity in the global markets over the years and how it built that brand image in the first place. It also tells us about how Coca-Cola could persuade various people with different cultural backgrounds and ideologies to buy the same product. The Coca-Cola Company comprises nearly 500 brands and 3000 beverage products; however, this paper will focus on the communication artifacts and advertising campaigns associated with one of its core products, the Coca-Cola drink. The campaigns I have picked to analyze are the “Live the Coke Side of Life” and “Open Happiness.” I chose these two in particular because they are recent and are used world wide, unlike some other campaigns that were developed for individual regional markets. As previously stated, ever since the 70s, the campaigns main aim was to promote Coca-Cola as a drink that is associated with happiness and good times. This suggests that most the campaigns, since the 70s, carry the same messages. For that reason, the findings of analyzing the communication artifacts of one campaign can be generalized to other campaigns created since the 70s. I have looked at more than 10 print and video ads for each campaign. Given my research question and the preliminary nature of this research, I have sampled a total of 4 ads, one print and one video ad, from each campaign that best represent each group. All the ads are retrieved from the Internet, from and http://www.88phases.com/node/7, two websites that have a wide collection of Coca-Cola ads, and the Coca-Cola official YouTube Channel. 331470016065500
33147003181985Figure2. The chosen ad for analysis from the “Live on the Coke Side of Life “ Campaign.00Figure2. The chosen ad for analysis from the “Live on the Coke Side of Life “ Campaign.The “Live the Coke Side of Life” is a global campaign that was launched in 2006. According to Rachel Arandilla, author of the Coca-Cola Advertising Through the Years article, “[t]he campaign has optimistic and positive vibes, and it captures the very essence of life. It encourages people to love spontaneity and to see the world in full color.” Basically, the main purpose of this campaign was to persuade consumers to buy and try the product because the coke way of life is better. Most of the print ads in this campaign included a bottle of coke with a burst of colors and random things exploding out with a happy smiling people among of all the different hues (See Figure 3). The ad I am going to analyze is presented in Figure2....
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