Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Let's watch some funny commercials!!!

These videos are advertising soft drink products: Coca Cola and Pepsi. As you can see what the two of them have in common, is that they are leading brands in the world market, and in these opportunities they employ humor as an advertising technique.

In the case of Coca Cola, the multinational beverage corporation, its product quality is highlighted under its brand. It was founded in 1892 and there is no doubt that it is the biggest company in the soft drink industry. It controls about the 59% of the world market, not only with Coca Cola brand, but also with the rest of its products that include different varieties of soft drinks, juices, teas and water; depending on the target market, that is, considering the culture of the country. It offers more than 500 brands in over 200 countries or territories and serves over 1.7 billion servings each day.

Coca Cola believes that what people want in a beverage is a reflection of themselves; who they are, where they live, how they work and play and how they relax and recover energy. Therefore, a student in the USA will enjoy a Coke, while a woman in Italy, a tea break, a child in Peru a juice or a Japanese couple a bottle of water: Coca Cola’s brands will be there in any case. Coca Cola major brands are: Coke, Sprite, Fanta, Diet Coke, Aquarius and Dasani. Among these, the trademark "Coca Cola" or "Coke" accounts for approximately 78% of the company's total gallon sales.
In order to attend to this demand, the Coca Cola franchising system has more than 16 million customers around the world that sells or serves their products. The company only produces syrup concentrate which is then sold to various bottlers, companies that mix drink ingredients and fill up bottles and cans, throughout the world that hold an exclusive territory. The Coca-Cola Company owns its anchor blottler in North America, Coca-Cola Refreshments.
Among the countless marketing strategies worked by this company, we can refer to:
·         Different packaging sizes to satisfy consumer demands.
·         During special seasons, as winter, when the consumption of this beverage falls; there are several special promotions. For example, when you open a Coke’s bottle you have the possibility to win a prize, from another free bottle to an international trip or a car.
·         In order to impose the brand, the company purchases shelves in big department stores, which show their product clearly and more attractively to their customers. In the same way, their salesmen place their freezers with their products in eye catching positions, near the entrance of the stores.
·         The company also sponsorships not only in different sports events, as the Olympic Games or World Cup football games; but also in music events: Coca Cola Concerts.

We can say that target market of Coca Cola is basically, the young generation. The company wants to represent Coke with the youth and energy, but they also consider older people who are taken as a co-target market. In most Coca Cola’s commercials we find kids, teenagers and families. Most families are shown gathered around the table, sharing something that is a “must” in such a precious moment: A “Coke”. Besides this, every year during Christmas, Coca Cola launches their best commercials in which Santa’s clothes are identified with Coca Cola’s packaging red colour.
Nevertheless, we can see that there is omission when talking about the negative aspects of the product. The Coca-Cola Company has been involved in controversies and lawsuits related to human rights violations and other unethical practices. For example, there have been a number of lawsuits in relation to the company’s monopolistic and discriminatory practices. Besides this, there have been criticisms in relation to the Middle East and United States foreign policy. Furthermore, the Company has been criticized on a number of environmental issues. In 2003, an issue with pesticides in groundwater brought problems for the company, when an Indian NGO, Centre for Science and Environment, announced that it had found cancer causing chemicals in Coca-Cola as well as other soft drinks produced by the company, at levels 30 times higher than the ones considered safe by the European Economic Commission. This caused an 11 percent drop in Indian Coca-Cola sales.
In spite of this, If we finally analyze the Coca Cola’s commercial uploaded to this blog, the main message we can get from the commercial is that no matter how different we are, our political views or opinions, even if we are enemies, we can leave aside all those differences and share a Coke. This is due to the fact that Coca Cola’s mission is not only to sell products but to create a better world. We can say that there are 3 main aims in this company: to refresh the world, to inspire moments of optimism and happiness and to create value and make the difference. They have created such a brand loyalty among its customers that the most recognized word on the world after O.K is “Coca Cola”. This is also shown with the fact that its customers are increasing day by day, as well as the company´s per capita income.

On the other hand, we have a Pepsi commercial which as we all know is Coca Cola’s major competitor. Among the main factors which cause this, we have the price factor. Pepsi has always been cheaper than Coke since it was invented in 1893. During the Great Depression, Pepsi gained popularity following the introduction in 1936 of a 12-ounce bottle. Pepsi encouraged price-watching consumers to switch, referring to Coca-Cola. Coming at a time of economic crisis, the campaign succeeded in boosting Pepsi's status. From 1936 to 1938, Pepsi-Cola's profits doubled.

PepsiCo is a world leader in convenient food and beverages, with revenues of about $27 billion and over 143,000 employees. The company consists of the snack businesses of Frito-Lay North America and Frito-Lay International; the beverage business of Pepsi-Cola North America, Gatorade/Tropicana North America, PepsiCo beverages International and Quaker Foods North America, manufacturer and marketer of ready- to- eat cereals and other food products. PepsiCo brands are available in nearly 200 countries and territories. Many of PepsiCo brand names are 100 years old, but the corporation is relatively young. It was founded in 1965 through the merger of Pepsi-Cola and Frito-Lay. Tropicana was acquired in 1998 and PepsiCo merged with The Quaker Oats Company, including Gatorade. The new name Pepsi-Cola is derived from the two of the principle ingredients, Pepsin and Kola Nuts. The first advertisement praised the drink as “Exhilarating, invigorating, aids digestion”. Pepsi-Cola beverages are available in more than 190 countries and territories, and the Company’s soft drink operations include the business of Seven-Up international. Pepsi products are: Pepsi, 7up, Mirinda, Teem, Pepsi Max, Pepsi Lemon, Pepsi Blue and Mountain Dew.

Within some of the most important marketing strategies we can refer to the 1940s when Pepsi’s President, Walter Mack, who supported progressive causes, noticed that the company's strategy of using advertising for a general audience either ignored  or used ethnic African Americans stereotypes in portraying blacks. He realized African Americans were an untapped niche market and that Pepsi stood to gain market share by targeting its advertising directly towards them. Besides this, in the 1990s the advertisement of Pepsi changes to “You got the right one baby, Uh-Huh”. Moreover, with the extensive usage of the stars in the advertisements, as the case of the several adverts starring Michael Jackson, the popularity of Pepsi increased. Nowadays, a lot of sports stars as Lionel Messi, are part of their commercials. Here, we can see that they employ celebrity endorsement as regular advertising technique, as well as name calling as a way to persuade people not to buy their direct competitor’s product. Another thing very important is the use of slogans throughout the decades, as a way of making people feel identified with the product. For example their last slogan is"The Best Drink Created Worldwide". Apart from this, we can say that the Company shares a lot of marketing strategies with Coca Cola, as well as the target market.

However, there are some negative aspects of the company which are omitted. For example, we can take into account that in 2011, for the New York Fashion Week, Diet Pepsi introduced a "skinny" can that is taller and has been described as a "sassier" version of the traditional can that Pepsi says was made in "celebration of beautiful, confident women". The company's equating of "skinny" and "beautiful" and "confident" drew criticism from brand critics and consumers who did not back the "skinny is better" ethos, and the National Eating Disorders Association, which said that it took offense to the can and the company's "thoughtless and irresponsible" comments.

Finally, if we analyze the commercial uploaded to this blog we can see that the message tried to accomplish is that to be part of your community and to be accepted, you must change a lot of things and within them; start to drink Pepsi. This brand has to be part of you, of your lifestyle, which is shown when a kind of logo is “tattooed” on the boy’s forehead. In my opinion, name calling as a strategy to persuade potential consumers is again being used. The company is trying to say that there are things which are difficult to do, for example, changing from a beverage’s brand to another one, but in the end it is something good which brings happiness and membership of a selected group.

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