In this short satirical brand video on YouTube, Coca-Cola pokes fun at the way social media and mobile devices divert us from real life human interaction. We all like to poke fun at stuff on social media and Coca-Cola now getting the joke has made a successful campaign out of it.
Coca-Cola has historically positioned itself in our hearts and minds as “the real thing” and as a personable brand. In this video they are in essence going against the grain of the ‘head in mobile’ culture and standing up for their real world brand values. All done in a comical way that suits the tone of voice on YouTube/Facebook and it’s own brand identity.
Coca Cola is the 2nd most valuable brand in the World, After Apple
Through big time spending on advertising over many generations, Coca-Cola’s brand value has been put between $60-80 Billion. For the last 13 years the brand has held top position as the world’s No1 brand. It was only last year it slipped to third place with a Value of $73.2 billion dollars. Apple currently holds first place, Google Second. More details can be found here as to the valuation of the World’s No1 brands, provided by Bloomerberg.
Generations of campaigns have positioned Coca-Cola, using slogans recognised globally in their time, such as the current ‘The Real Thing” and the vintage “Have a Coke and a Smile”.
Every year we know Christmas is coming thanks to the chanting Coke Ads singing “The Holidays are coming, the holidays are coming…” This positioning Coca-Cola across all ages as the brand of Coke to buy over Christmas. At the time when friends and family come together to celebrate. Celebrate in the old fashioned sense of human interaction whilst putting mobile phones down on the coffee table.
The Holidays Are Coming
Coca-Cola is a brand that has always had people in the heart of its messaging. Campaigns involving endorsements from public figures in sports and music show how personable Coke is. Using images of endorsement & people sharing Coca-Cola, being cool, hanging out and having fun. Their advertising is consistently around events that bring people together and placing Coca-Cola into that image, this has been their winning formula. Sporting events, sporting figures, celebrities and seasonal holidays have been the successful bedrock of Coca-Cola’s advertising.
Coca Cola’s branding is in direct contrast to Coke Zero’s. It becomes easier to see how the saccharine image of Coke is constructed when put in contrast to the ‘brother brand’, as shown below. Although Wayne Rooney as an individual could straddle both brands because of his off-field behaviour.
A Quick Deconstruction:
Ad on the left Indicates 3 people, as hand in bottom right is of a 3rd person. Eyes also on 3rd person from Rooney and Coleen. This indicates they are social, popular – also unthreatening as they are not looking directly at the viewer, i.e us. Two products shown – to appeal to both preferences for bottle and can. Retro T-shirt appeals to old generation and trendy young generation.
Ad on the right has no people in it, no product and unapologetic in tone and puts emphasis on product attribute of Zero x at all costs. It is the voice of a young male, with attitude. In contrast to the happy social couple on the left showing off their status as a happy couple.
Coca Cola Branding is the Polar Opposite to Coke Zero
With a brand portfolio as broad as Coca-Cola’s it is important to have clear distinction between brands and markets. They manage them well through the differences that can be seen in their positioning.
Coca-Cola is one of the original brands to use the power of advertising and social behaviour to place its products. Linking their brand to what is commonly recognised as being popular, of the moment, to reach mass audiences via TV, Billboards, Radio, Magazines etc…and now Social Media.
Coca-Cola’s Historic Advertising Staples
Looking back at their advertising in the 1970’s the product was always placed in a social dialogue between friends. Friends you’d like to have, slapping high fives and having fun, no doubt with a bucket of cokes in the foreground.
In the 80’s they progressed into an almost philanthropic position with the “I’d like to teach the world to sing” ad. Which now looks extremely dated, not just in look/feel but also the content and context of the advert. It’s far too Idyllic for today’s realism. Times have changed and so too has Coca-Cola’s advertising. If it didn’t change, they wouldn’t be one of the worlds most valuable brands today. Have a look at the branding in this advert in the YouTube clip below and image the satirical backlash if they released this alongside the adverts on TV today.
A Classic Coke Advert – “I’d Like to Teach the World To Sing…”
Coca-Cola and Social Media
Coca-Cola has adapted their brand advertising strategy to incorporate new technologies, including Social Media. In many ways this isn’t such a big step, as they have always been a socially aware product, with people at the heart of their brand advertising. What can be difficult for such a large brand is the scale to which they have to execute new approaches.Just see what it took to pull off the Share a Coke campaign.
The Coca-Cola share a coke campaign enabled people to share a coke with both your name and the person you want to share it with. The personalisation of cans and bottles were used in a social media promotion to get personal and reach a younger audience who’d never tasted coke before. Coca-Cola also started bottling with peoples names on their soft drinks for supermarkets and their distribution networks, so the campaign has been further reaching than just the campaign. It’s become a part of their long term brand marketing.
Share a ‘Coke’ with…. Campaign yielded some fantastic results. Selling over 250 million personalised packs of CocaCola.
Coca-Cola and Social Media Campaigns
This required Global co-ordination from all agencies and stakeholder. In Australia for example, Coca-Cola wanted to reach the half of the teenage market that hadn’t had a Coke in the past year. Working with Wunderman the beverage company created a guerrilla social marketing campaign. They printed 150 of the most popular names of people in Australia on Coke bottles and cans and invited Australians to ‘Share a Coke’ virtually through Facebook and mobile. Fans could add new names to cans. Coca-Cola Australia saw its Facebook traffic increase 870%, and earned 121 million impressions on the social network. In addition, the campaign had 76,000 virtual ‘Coke’ cans shared and 1,001 unique names on the interactive billboard in 17 hours.
Social Media has clearly been a success for Coca-Cola. To achieve such a campaign in multiple regions across the Globe is a major achievement not just in the results, but in accomplishing a difficult feat. Unlike other companies that may just bolt social media onto their communications, Coca-Cola adapted their product manufacturing process to facilitated the campaign execution.
It will be interesting to see how Coca-Cola integrates and balances social media with other marketing channels going forward. As they have adapted well to all mainstream forms of advertising, social media should be no different.
What else could they do after the ‘Share a Coke’ campaign? Where can they take it to next? Perhaps in the future we could 3D printing a coke to your friend, hmmm maybe this is some way off just yet.