Developing brands through advertising
The Coca-Cola Company
Coca-Cola Beverage Company is an American multinational corporation with its headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia. The company was founded in 1886 in Atlanta by a local pharmacist called Dr. John Stith Pemberton. The products that the company offer are widely known to have given the world the best beverage taste (Vacker, 2008). The company has so far widened its markets to capture almost every part of the world. An Annual Report released in 2010 state that of the 50 billion beverages served and consumed worldwide per day, Coca-Cola products served are 1.6 billion (Coca-Cola, 2010). As illuminated by a 2005 Annual Report, Coca –Cola Company stretches its market of beverages in more than 200 countries around the world. An Annual Report of 2007 further indicated the gallon sales distributed by Coca-cola in various countries around the world to be 37% in Brazil, India, Japan, Mexico, and the Republic of China. Gallons distributed in the United States were 43%, and those spread throughout the rest of the world were 20%. This clearly shows how wide the company has spread its wings and how strong its brands are (Coca-Cola, 2010).
Brands offered by Coca-Cola
Coco- Cola being the number one producer of soft drinks in the world, the company offers several brands of soft drinks to meet the ever-growing demand of its customers. These brands include healthy beverages, tab, and soft drinks. Healthy beverages that are mainly the non-carbonated beverage brands were in introduced by Coca-Cola in the 1990s in response to growing consumer interest in healthy beverages (Coca-Cola, 2010). They include Dasani water, Powerade sports beverage, Minute Maid Juices like orange juice, flavored tea Nestea, and Fruitopia fruit drink among many others (Hoyer, MacInnis & Pieters, 2013).
The first soft drink development attempt by Coca-Cola was called tab. It was developed using sugar substitutes and saccharin. The introduction of Diet Coke has diminished its sales making soft tab drink hard to locate in modern days. Other soft drink brands produced by Coca-Cola include Fanta and Sprite. Initial Fanta was an orange flavored drink, and it came in plastic bottles or can. In modern days, Fanta is available in various flavors including apple, grape, strawberry, pineapple, and peach. Valore Bottled (still and sparkling water), is also a brand of drinking water released by Coca-Cola South Africa (Vacker, 2008).
How Coca-Cola has developed its brand through television adverts
To strengthen the Coke brand, Coca-Cola Company has indulged into massive television advertisements. Such adverts have enabled the Coke brand to be famous across the globe and have immensely contributed in general sales increment for the company (Brassel, 2015). The adverts are usually done through local and international television Medias like DSTV. The adverts include rocket, surfing, balloons, roller coaster, 3/37 degrees, bubbles, in the dark-happy birthday and many others (Coca-Cola, 2010).
In this advertisement, when the bottle of Coca-Cola is being opened, the circumstance is re-imagined with that of launching a rocket (Journey Staff, 2015). Then as the anticipation of opening the bottle builds, there is a mission control voice mimicking that of a rocket, and it narrates, “3…2….1…..Greetings Thirstlings.” The major objective of this advert is to draw the attention of the watching audience, or other the consumer and show how effective Coca-Cola is when it comes to thirst killing (Brassel, 2015).
This advert involves an ice-cold Coca-Cola with effervescent bubbles that rise and glide through the bottle. The bubbles are then released like tiny, little balloons. This advert tends to disclose to the viewer the enjoyment or the refreshing and uplifting experience a person will feel by drinking Coca-Cola. By watching such advert, a tired and thirsty person will be tempted to buy a bottle of Coke to experience the same feeling (Coca-Cola TV Advert, 2013).
From the two advertisements mentioned above, there are several factors that have been used to portray the strength of the Coca-Cola brand. Besides just presenting the brand to the viewer, a television advert should be able to entertain and inform the consumers of some relevant and valuable information about the brand. This will make the viewer curious and willing to watch the advert even more. When the adverts only emphasize on the hard sale without the entertaining and informative part, the viewers will turn off and lose the interest of watching the advert. A good television advert like the ones mentioned above should be able to contain some aspects that make the viewer remember the brand (Coca-Cola, 2012). One of the major aspects that can be used is humor. The advert should be funny and capable of making the viewer crack their ones with laughter. Whenever the advert is aired, the viewer will call their friends to come and watch thereby creating more brand awareness (Journey Staff, 2015). The humor should also be capable of pulling your heart strings or even have the power to rip your heart off your chest. Such advert will cause the viewer to pause and think. For an instant, the rocket advert above tends to be funny when the rocket launching is being mimicked (Donovan, 2013). When the anticipation of opening the bottle opening occurs, the thirst is given an ironic greeting that in a real sense is not friendly. The greeting translates to what is just about to happen to the thirstlings, which is their total termination by a sip of Coke.
A good television advert should also be memorable. If a viewer cannot remember any aspect of an advert, then the advert is a failure. The advert should be capable of addressing the needs and demonstrate how the brand meets the addressed needs. The demonstration of the advert should be done in a memorably compelling way. For an instant, from the Coca-Cola advert above, there is a demonstration of the refreshing and uplifting experience felt by a person after taking an ice-cold Coca-Cola. Whenever a viewer is thirsty, he or she will always remember the effervescent bubbles of ice-cold Coke that are released in the form of tiny little balloons and have the urge to take a bottle of ice-cold Coke. However, it is relatively easy to recall the mission control voices, in the first advert, that narrates the rocket launching. The humorous and ironic greeting of the thirstlings is also quite memorable (Vacker, 2008).
Using of icons and jingle will also make television advert very effective. The icon or jingle used should be unconventional for the advert to stand out and become memorable. Conventional icons and jingles tend to be boring, and they do not engage the consumer. Therefore, they are often forgotten immediately (Clarke, 2015). The rocket in the advert above symbolizes the strength of the Coca-Cola brand. Coke’s thirst quenching strength is iconized by the power of a launching rocket to inform consumers how a strong brand Coke is in the market. The jingle “…Greetings Thirstlings,” is also used to remind and persuade the consumers to buy the brand Coke. In the second advert, the ice-cold Coke with tiny little balloon-like bubble is also used to draw the consumers’ anticipation of the great taste and enjoyment they will feel when they take cold Coke on a sunny day (Coca-Cola, 2012). The advert greatly influences the consumers and reminds them of what they are missing.
Argument in favors of Coca-Cola television adverts
For large multinational organizations and retailers like Coca-Cola Company, television has always been the major medium of advertisement. This is because TV is capable of reaching a massive number of consumers within a short period compared to newspapers (Donovan, 2013). TV also has the capability of giving instant prominence and validity. Furthermore, TV can convey the intended information or message with sound, sight, and motion. In a given environment, the number of radio stations is usually higher compared to TV stations. Therefore, each TV audience is usually subdivided into other numerous segments (Hana, 2010). This subdivision enables advertising companies like Coca-Cola to reach a larger and more diverse audience. Trough TV adverts, many targeted audiences can be reached (Clarke, 2015). For example housewives can be reached during the soap operas, children can be reached during programs like cartoon network, and insomniacs can be found mainly after midnight. Finally, television advert is capable of informing many audiences about a product and further demonstrate the ownership and benefits of the product. This is because, unlike radio adverts, TV adverts allow the audience to see the product is packaged, how it works and whenever they see the product they reminded psychologically of their desire to acquire the product (Hana, 2010).
Arguments against the Coca-Cola television advert
There are possibilities that the commercial being aired on TV may not be seen by viewers unless highly intrusive to capture more attention. When the airing time is too short, there will be the limited exposure of the brand to viewers, thus leading to advertisement clutter. If the brand being advertised has a larger area of dominance, generally the production and airtime cost will be relatively higher (Olenski, 2012). Due to the availability of many viewing alternatives, there is little or no station loyalty. For examples, viewer will switch among the many offered channels depending with what they want to watch at that particular moment. When a brand is advertised on the television, besides competing with other similar brands, the brand also competes with the viewer’s environment (Olenski, 2012).
Pepsi-Cola was founded by a young pharmacist from New Bern, North Carolina, Caleb Bradtam. Pepsi-Cola officially received its first log and started operating on 28th August 1898. This new drink penetrated the market, and it became popular instantly. Its popularity motivated Bradham to develop Pepsi-Cola into a full business. In 1902, Bradham applied for a trademark and formed the first Pepsi-Cola Company. Pepsi-cola continued to expand its operations and even became the first company to modernize its delivery. In 1923, Pepsi-Cola was declared bankrupt, and all its assets were sold for $30,000 to Craven Holding Corporation. The Pepsi trademark was then bought for $35,000 from the Graven Holding Corporation, by Roy C. Megarwel, a Wall Street Broker. He then named it the Pepsi-Cola Corporation. After several years of unsuccessful struggle in the market and shift of ownership, Pepsi finally stood high in 1985 and since then it has always been a major competitor of Coca-Cola. Pepsi-Cola is still widening its markets across with its strong brands (Pepsi-Cola, 2014). Pepsi-Cola offers several brands in the market some of which includes Pepsi, Diet Pepsi Diet Pepsi Lime mountain dew et cetera (Donovan, 2013).
How Pepsi-Cola has developed its Pepsi brands through television advertisement
In this advert, two guys are sitting at a bar in a cafe. One of the guys sips green wheatgrass smoothie while his friend grabs the jar and tosses the drink out of it. The guy then sarcastically asks his friend with the white grass if he is a suspender-wearing hipster trying to grow his first beard. Little doe s the guy know that the shake got all over the hipster sitting next to them, busy speaking on the phone concerning a better sounding thing on the vinyl. The friend then insists that he drink Pepsi Max (Boaz, 2011). This advert emphasizes the influence of other on enlightening their friends about Pepsi brands. By tossing his friend’s drink away the guy tries to enlighten his friend that when he tries realize the great taste and flavor of Pepsi drink, he will never go for the white grass smoothie again (Hoyer, MacInnis & Pieters, 2013).
But only with Pepsi bear
This TV advert involves two friends buying sodas together. The one who buys a Pepsi has the chance to go to any concert of his desire by winning tickets every single hour. The other one who bought a Coke besides comforting himself with the Coca-Cola Polar Bear that he won, he has no chance of either winning a ticket or participating in a concert of choice. This advert tends to draw the viewers attention by informing them of the advantages they can acquire by buying Pepsi products. Besides just enjoying the soft Pepsi beverage, the adverts illustrate of extra benefits accompanying the drink of which is the hourly lottery ticket to a concert of choice. By showing the guy with Coca-Cola Polar Bear, the advert tries to illuminate that such benefits are only provided by Pepsi brand and not Coca-Cola (Gilani, 2015).
Pepsi TV adverts usually take the strategy of introducing propaganda to bring a strong feeling into the mind of viewers. The propaganda is usually intended to suggest an unreasonable association between ideas. The propaganda used by Pepsi usually contains unclear and unusual statements that sound attractive but have no substantial content. They are usually intended to entice and allure the viewers’ mind into recognizing remembering and eventually buying Pepsi product. There are three major propaganda TV advertising techniques used by Pepsi. Firstly is the testimonial technique. This technique generates its impacts on the admiration the public have towards a celebrity. The celebrity may know little or completely nothing about the brand, but the peoples love for him, or her is capitalized by Pepsi to make the Pepsi brand shine high above others (McClintock 665). People usually react to what is said by the celebrity on TV about the product. Due to admiration people have for the celebrity, they will do whatever the celebrity say about the product. In this kind of propaganda, testimonials as to the basis of what the product does to the people are mostly unnecessary a celebrity is there to win the hearts of the people. Since the people like the celebrity so much, they will naturally like the product.
The second propaganda technique is the transfer technique. This technique tends to portray an image in the mind of the viewer that whenever you are drinking Pepsi, the drink transforms everything that surrounds you to be better. The smiling faces, the bright sky, the singing birds and the upbeat falling rain are all happening because of the Pepsi drink in hand. In other words, the life full of joy and happiness is associated with the soft drink (McClintock 665). On the other hand, this technique also hopes that the product can be carried over by the prestige attached to the symbol. For example the blue, red and white colors on a Pepsi can symbolize what America stands for, that is, pride, unity, and freedom. This is a representation of the quality held by Pepsi and the reputation behind the product (Powel, 2014).
Bandwagon technique is the third technique used by Pepsi in its TV ads. In this technique, the advertisers tend to impose pressure on viewers to join their fellows in drinking of Pepsi (McClintock 667). Everyone is doing it, why not you? This is usually the question behind this technique. Since everyone is enjoying the pleasure of a Peps drink, u cannot afford to be left behind. As illustrated by McClintock (667), the bandwagon advertising technique is used usually used entice and lure the people to buy the product just because they believe in it. Taking from the wheatgrass shake advert above, the guy with Pepsi Max tosses his friend’s wheatgrass smoothie away and makes fun of him. He eventually forces his friend to recognize that Pepsi Max id the drink and not whatever he was drinking (McClintock 664).
Argument in favor of Pepsi television adverts
As illuminated above, Pepsi mainly applies various propaganda techniques to carry effectively out its television advertisement. The use celebrity endorsements in advertising campaigns can facilitate the building of brand equity. Brand equity is, of course, a major asset in achieving larger sales and profits. Celebrity endorsement also increases the level of remembrance of the product by the consumers (Gilani, 2015). This may eventually lead to consumer searching and purchasing that particular product leading to additional sales. Also, celebrity endorsement can link a product to skills of that particular celebrity, thereby enabling the product to outstand in the competition. By using bandwagon techniques, the emotions of the target audience are usually manipulated enabling the company to sway its opinion concerning the product (Powel, 2014). In marketing, the bandwagon effect is capable of creating a higher demand for the product since its consumption in higher. It can also enable the product to be more popular which intern leads to higher sales volume. Successful execution of bandwagon effect leads product shortage with constantly rising demand (Gilani, 2015). Consequently, there will be chances of more profitability and additional job creation due to manufacturing boost. Use of transfer techniques is also effective in creating product positivity in the mind of the consumer. By use of symbols like colors to symbolize the flag of a particular nation, the consumers will acknowledge the power of the massage passed by the advert and will be compelled to acquire that particular product (Powel, 2014).
Argument against the Pepsi television adverts
The techniques used by Pepsi in their television ads not only have merits, but they also have their demerits. For instant arguing from bandwagon technique, when the demand for Pepsi product is high in the market, the comparable products of the competitors are usually around the corner waiting for such opportunities. It is vital for a business venture to have quantifiable product awareness needs, and turnaround times (Gilani, 2015). This will ensure that the consumers’ demands are satisfied as the retailers are restocked in time. The company must not allow any delays that will give competitors the opportunity to steal the market share with their comparables. On the other hand, competitors may also invade the market using the same technique but with a greater persuasion power (Powel, 2014). This may lead to the division of market share on even forcing one company to drop out of the market. The prices may also be lowered thereby limiting the profit margin. Use of celebrity endorsements can also create public relation issues for the celebrity sometime down the line. A product mistake that may lead to negative customer perception can damage the public image of the celebrity involved (Boaz, 2011).
Both Pepsi and Coca-Cola brands can be clearly considered to be a perfect and classic business success story. Both companies started from a single individual’s invention and gradually grew into multibillion dollar enterprises with their operations stretching all over across the globe. Both companies being the world’s largest producers of soft drinks and major rival in the market, they both greatly emphasize on satisfaction of their stakeholders (Gilani, 2015). They both recognize and understand the value and needs of their stakeholders. Therefore, both companies strives to develop effective dialogue and other communication systems to enable them resolve consumer issues and further develop their strong standing product brands (Boaz, 2011).
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