Coca-Cola has been on sale for over 100 years. In fact it was first sold in 1886. It’s success abides with the way that Coke has advertised. Coke has not only utilized the more established and traditional mediums of television, billboards and magazine but has also used more unorthodox methods of selling Coke. In Victorian times the company sold it’s product from soda fountains in the lobbies of theatres and not only advertised on the fountains, but on clocks, matchbooks, light fittings, every square inch of available space was covered by the Coke logo.
Coke even had special wallets and playing cards made to help Coke become a well known household name. Today Coke is still utilising the more unusual places, places we do not expect to find brand names to help sell their product. Some of these include litter bins, vending machines, corner shop signs and even clothing. However it is the more conventional area of television and magazine advertising, upon which I have decided to concentrate.
After learning so much about the ingenious way the company has advertised in the past, I decided to study some advertising campaigns made by Coca-Cola and scrutinize the way in which they depict youth and healthy living. The way in which the company promotes its products is especially ingenious as the Coca-Cola name has now become synonymous with health, youth and the American way of life. This is especially apparent in one of the company’s more recent pushes on Coke, which is what I will now investigate.
The first of five magazine adverts I am to explore is of a young girl sitting at the window of her studio apartment at night reading a book and drinking a bottle of Coca-Cola. The girl has light brown hair and is wearing jeans and a T-shirt. The colours inside the house are very warm oranges and reds. This alternates with outside the house which has cold, dark colours including black and blue. The slogan states that
‘Coke is it!’ and the whole advert is a pronouncement of youth, the book the girl is holding indicates that she may go to college. The choice of colour scheme was deliberate, used to show how with Coca-Cola you can come out of the cold night and into the warmth of the Coke consumers’ family. It is also promoting a wealthy, happy lifestyle, the college education, the nice apartment, Coca-Cola is telling us that if we buy a can of Coke, we too can live this illustrious lifestyle. The Coke logo is placed at the bottom of the shot, in the centre of the screen.
The second is a picture of a young man and woman pushing a rail full of clothing, they seem to be running. The couple are both smiling and laughing. They are both wearing light white and grey clothing and the photo is taken on a bright sunny day in the open air. The advert uses very bright colours and the white of the woman’s clothing appears crisp and clean, and the grey that the man is wearing compliments the white. Both of them are holding bottles of Coke. The Coca-Cola logo appears in the corner of the advert and the slogan tells us that ‘You can’t beat the feeling!’. This advert is telling us that if we drink Coca-Cola we can all be as happy as these two people are. Again Coca-Cola are pushing the idea of a happy, successful, affluent lifestyle upon us. The logo is in the bottom right hand corner of the screen.
This advert is a picture of two young people, probably in their late teens, a male and a female. The boy is lifting the girl up above into the air and she has a huge smile on her face and a bottle of Coke in her hand. In the background lying near the young couple, there is an old motorbike and sidecar and above their heads there is a bridge. The colours are bright and the weather is warm and sunny.
This advert implies that if you drink Coca-Cola you will be full of energy as the young man is lifting the girl with ease, illustrating that he is an exceptionally strong and healthy individual. The logo declares that ‘You can’t beat the feeling!’. This advert is very energetic and differs from the two previously mentioned in that Coke are not only promoting a lifestyle of multitudinous wealth by showing us that the couple in the advert own nice clothes and a vintage motorbike, but are also promoting the idea of love and romance too. The logo is in the bottom right hand corner of the screen.
The fourth still picture I am to analyse is of a young man wearing a pair of blue rolled-up-to-the-knee jeans and no shirt. Although he is a well tanned young gentleman, the colour of the sunshine in the advert silhouettes the man and casts a yellow hue over everything. He appears to be tinted yellow. He is seated upon a motorbike and has a ring on his hand, but not on his wedding ring finger, emphasising the young, free and singleness of Coca-Cola. The slogan is ‘You can’t beat the feeling!’. This advert is clearly advertising a healthy and again, lavish lifestyle as the man in the picture could not be described as destitute. As with the last two adverts, the Coca-Cola logo is in the bottom right hand corner of the screen.
A dark-skinned boy in a white football shirt features in this, the last of the magazine adverts, as he is pictured drinking a bottle of Coke. The rays of light from the sun reflect on his shirt and sweat glistens on his forehead, indicating that he has been hard at work on a hot sunny day and has taken a break for a long, cold, thirst quenching drink of Coca-Cola. The bottle helps to give us a better understanding of how hot the situation is and how ice cool the Coke is as it has condensation pouring down the side and dripping from the bottom of the bottle.
This picture is showing us that hard workers drink Coca-Cola which also ties in with the American dream to which the Coca-Cola brand has allied itself. Once again the ‘You can’t beat the feeling!’ slogan is visible at the bottom of the page. The boy is in a football stadium with a huge football painted on the building directly behind his head. This advert is used to show how all nationalities can play football and Coca-Cola supports each and everyone. This image is obviously promoting a vision of healthy living and energy. Coca-Cola is sporty! Again the Coke logo is placed in the bottom right hand corner of the screen.