In recent years, both of the international soft drink giants, Coca-Cola and Pepsi, have invested an amount of efforts into ad commercials, amongst which Pepsi launched a new ad commercial in this early April [annotation 1]. The video showed supermodel Kendal Jenner joined in civil demonstration right after she wiped away the make-up for shooting pictures. She thereafter handed a can of Pepsi to one of the police on alert against the masses, making a grin on his face then. The supposedly solemn mood in demonstration burst into sound of cheer and exclamation, mitigating the conflict on verge. Pepsi was to convey the message of ethnicity solidarity and peace; however, to its surprise, it failed. The commercial courted much negative appraisal from social mass and media for too much joy and sugarcoating protests. It was flash-like removed from online one day after criticism.
Why was Pepsi’s commercial discredited?
The key point for Pepsi’s fiasco is not because touching social movement issues, but being careless. If it took the ad inspiration from the past movement of “Black Lives Matter,” [annotation 2] it should be more discreet while coping with this serious subject, rather than dressing police violence and racial discrimination up as appeal for “We all should drink more Pepsi so the standoff would be ended.”
The diversity and inclusion of Coca-Cola’s ad commercial
Coca-Cola, on the other hand, hit the market with “Pool Boy” commercial praised by mass media for amplifying pleasure of drinking coke, as well as, the diversity and inclusion in enterprise culture. During the one-minute clip, only four characters were introduced: Mom, daughter, son and a bare-chested hunk cleaning the pool. The daughter, in beginning, ogled to the sweaty hunk beside pool with adoration, while the son also admired the cute guy’s back from second floor. All of a sudden, the two siblings raced to the fridge in kitchen tooth and nail in order to get a thirst-quenching coke to the guy’s content. But after a fierce race like marathon, their mom had beaten them to punch by offering the guy a coke already.
There is no dialogue throughout the whole clip. Therefore, the strong desire for coke is merely interpreted by those glances and comportments amongst characters. No matter coke serves to quench or flatter, it also symbolizes the “positive element” in people’s daily lives. “The story also includes a wink that touches on our point of view regarding diversity and inclusion,” the Coca-Cola spokeswoman Kate Hartman told The Huffington Post, “we strive for diversity, inclusion and equality in our business and support these rights in society through our work.”
Activation of “One Brand” marketing campaign
Actually, the commercial above is one of Coca-Cola newest marketing strategy serial clips. Since 2016, Coca-Cola activated a new global marketing campaign, replacing the obsoleted slogan, “Open Happiness,” used for seven years since 2009, with a new one, “Taste The Feeling.” The enterprise starts the campaign with “One Brand” strategy to garner all its brands into a united one, including Diet Coke, Coca-Cola Zero Sugar and etc., developing the coke under one same slogan to raise customers’ awareness and identification for the product.
“Taste the Feeling” will feature universal storytelling with the product at the heart to reflect both the functional and emotional aspects of the Coca-Cola experience.
Although “Open Happiness” is quite catchy and produce much glee for brand, customers would easily forget the subject is nothing but the drink contained in the bottle, coke. Coca-Cola stated that the new slogan is able to match coke up with every feeling in daily lives for remembering each precious moment. “We’ve found over time that the more we position Coca-Cola as an icon, the smaller we become,” Chief Marketing Officer Marcos de Quinto said, “the bigness of Coca-Cola resides in the fact that it’s a simple pleasure – so the humbler we are, the bigger we are. We want to help remind people why they love the product as much as they love the brand.”
In a nutshell, Coca-Cola positions its overall marketing strategy back to the product itself. Besides providing customers more access to the brand, it does not forget to prevent products from diverting too far. The notable red disc of Coca-Cola could be considered carrying bot only refreshing experience, but the coke itself that please customers the most.
[annotation 1] So far there is still a source of the clip: https://goo.gl/LjSrx8.
[annotation 2] The movement refers to “Black Lives Matter, BLM,” deriving from an event in 2012 that one African teenage was gun shot by a White-Hispanic mixed voluntary watch, stirring up bad blood in nation. The racial discrimination was also examined. Later, three women stood up autonomously for an organization named after the event. Here is the website: https://goo.gl/rtYOx4.
[annotation 3] In 2014, Coca-Cola has diffused the homosexual issues, in which two dads went roller-skating with a daughter, into commercial during the Super Bowl competition.
[annotation 4] Coca-Cola packaged the new slogan with new visual feeling, interactive digital experience, marketing hit songs and initial ten TVCs (television commercial) created by four international ads agencies, Mercado-McCann, Santo, Sra. Rushmore and Oglivy & Mather.
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