Online Custom «Coca-Cola: The Marketing and Advertising Campaigns» Essay Sample

Coca-Cola: The Marketing and Advertising Campaigns


At the present moment, marketing and advertising play a significant role in the formation of the audience’s attitudes to the brand. Companies spend millions of dollars to use unique solutions and decisions to increase loyalty to their brands, attract new consumers and hold the existing ones, expand the new markets and strengthen their positions. The current paper will provide the description of the marketing and advertising campaigns of one of the best-recognized brands in the world, Coca-Cola. Much attention will be paid to the depiction of the history of its commercials in course of time and their changes in the future. These commercials were created basing on the behavior of consumers and align with their core values. In addition, this essay will pay attention to the positioning of the brand against its closest competitor, and examine the differentiations in commercials in various locations all over the world. This information forms understanding of the success of Coca-Cola over the years and its effective expansion all over the world.


Nowadays, brand becomes the means of communication between the company and the clients, which is used with the aim to attract new customers and to hold the existing ones. It is driven by the great variety of modern tools, such as advertising and IT technologies, which are used both globally and locally. These tools present the product’s uniqueness and distinguish it from other products available on the market. At the same time, they add value by increasing the customers’ goodwill, trust, and loyalty. The current essay will show how the marketing and advertising campaign of one of the global companies, Coca-Cola, attracts attention and builds value.

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The Change of Advertising over the Years

Coca-Cola was launched in 1886 by John Pemberton in the USA (Advertising Age 2011). At this time, the company was already ahead of its time in its marketing campaign. It introduced the first newspaper advertising in the Atlanta Journal (Advertising Age 2011). The product was presented by the following slogan: “Delicious! Refreshing! Exhilarating! Invigorating!” (Advertising Age 2011). In addition, the company widely used the coupons for purchasing and brand promotion in 1887 (Advertising Age 2011). Coca-Cola spent enormous sums of money on advertising at that time. For example, in 1892, the budget of the brand advertising made about $ 11,000.

At the beginning of the 20th century, the budget of The Coca-Cola Company comprised more than million dollars. It had expanded its advertising campaign and resented the first magazine advertising in 1904 (Advertising Age 2011). However, the efforts of the company’s employees were considered to be insufficient. Hence, top management made the decision to employ the services of the special advertising agency for the further promotion of the brand in 1906 (Advertising Age 2011). It is notable that this campaign was rather successful. In 1911, the annual budget of the company officially reached $ 1 million (Advertising Age 2011). Coca-Cola decided to move beyond and become recognized among the broader audience. It became one of the major sponsors of the Olympic Games in 1928, which were held in Amsterdam (Advertising Age 2011). Since that time, it sponsors Olympic Games. The company preceded its policy of impressing and amazing the consumers by commissioning the famous artist Haddon Sunblom for painting Santa Claus in 1931. This image became rather popular and even formed the image of St. Nick in the popular culture (Advertising Age 2011). The company also used other imagined heroes for the introduction of its production. For example, the Sprite Boy was presented to promote the word “Coke” (Advertising Age 2011). Notwithstanding the fact that the company developed and used new means of promotion, it still was widely presented in the press and was searching for new fields and areas. Coca-Cola became the first product that was shown on the cover page of the Time magazine and that was broadcast on the Thanksgiving Day in the USA (Advertising Age 2011).

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The effective marketing strategy promoted sales of the product, and the increase of popularity formed the background for understanding the necessity of the further raise of expenses on the brand. In 1953, the company’s annual advertising budget comprised $30 million (Advertising Age 2011).  

The successful advertising campaign of the nearest competitor Pepsi in the middle of the 20th century forced the company to stay strong in the pursuit of the new goals. In 1963, it introduced the new company with the slogan “Things go better with Coke” (Advertising Age 2011). In the next year, it presented its first color-TV advertising under the name “Refrigerator – Man” (Advertising Age 2011). In 1969, the company changed its slogan for “It’s the Real Thing” (Advertising Age 2011).

In the subsequent years, the company actively worked on attracting of the youth. It was reflected in the debuting of the “I’d like to buy the world Coke” campaign. In this advertising, the company showed several young people from different locations all over the world who sang on the hilltop in Italy (Advertising Age 2011).

At the same time, it still holds the emphasis on sport and the strengths of its advertising. For example, one of the most popular Coca-Cola advertisements ever was the debut of “Mean Joe Greene” introduced in 1979 (Advertising Age 2011). This commercial is also widely known under the name “Hey Kid, Catch!”. In this video, a child who followed the football game offered the injured sportsman Joe Greene his Coke. The footballer took the battle and drank it down. Then, he turned to the child, smiled and tossed the child his T-shirt with the team logo with the words “Hey Kid, Catch!”. It is notable that the company decided to adapt this advertising to other countries by changing the major sport stars in it: Diego Maradona in Argentina, Zico in Brazil, Michel Platini in France, Michael Tuck in Australia, Dino Zoff in Italy, Harald Schimacher in West Germany and Niwat Sriawat in Australia.  This commercial even won the 1979 CLIO award and was turned into the made-for-TV movie two years later (Shontell 2011).

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The company also worked on the expansion of the range of offered production. In 1982, it introduced the diet Coke. Unfortunately, some of its endeavors were unsuccessful. For example, the company failed in introducing New Coke. The company introduced the sweeter taste, which was not as popular as the old one. Within less than 3 months, the company was obliged to bring back the original formula and reintroduce the old product under the name Coca-Cola Classic (Diaz 2016). After this failure, the company proceeded to search unique ways of the advertising with the use of the modern technologies. The new star of the 1986’s advertising became a computerized character Max Headroom with a synthesized voice (Advertising Age 2011).

Later, the company preceded its work with the animation. One of the most notable events in the history of Coca-Cola advertisements was the introduction of the animated commercial developed by Creative Artists Agency in 1993 (Advertising Age 2011). The iconic polar bears were the main heroes in the animation under the name “Northern Lights”. The advertising company created 27 commercials depicting different small stories.

In 1995, Coca-Cola and the agency W.B. Doner launched the seasonal advertising campaign “Christmas Caravans” that was devoted to the Christmas and New Year holidays. A fleet of twinkling Coca-Cola trucks was making the way across the snowy area showing that the holidays are coming. The sides of the trucks were decorated by the Coca-cola Santa (the image of the artist Haddon Sundblom mentioned above). Soon, this commercial became very popular and was widely recognized as Christmassy icon (Diaz 2016).

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The company continued to strengthen its position by using the means of mass media and the growing popularity of TV shows. In 2002, it was introduced as the major sponsor of American Idol and was periodically observed by the millions of people all over the world (Advertising Age 2011). Coca-Cola spent more than $ 35 million for one season of this show (Kardes, Cronley, & Cline 2014). The company directed its efforts to attracting attention of people who are not only interested in TV shows but also the people who are involved in business. This initiative enabled the company to have “the winning combination of consumer devotion and a surplus of revenue – generating opportunities” (Kardes, Cronley, & Cline 2014, p. 7). In 2005, the new low-calorie product Coca-Cola Zero was specially developed for men. Its black covered label was specially oriented for attracting men by decreasing the association of the diet drink with women. In addition, in contrast to Diet Cola with red coverage, Coca-Cola Zero was announced to have the same taste as Coca-Cola Classic (Diaz 2016).

The animation was also successfully used in the “Open Happiness” campaign where the cute insects in the park steal a bottle of Coca-Cola and drink it. The company laid emphasis on the fact that its production is enjoyed and associated with something positive and motivational. Hence, this commercial encourages the consumer to use it more. This commercial was aimed at attracting the attention of teens, young people and adults who enjoy their life and positive emotions. This advertising won several rewards, such as the 2009 Emmy for the Outstanding Commercial, two D&AD Yellow Pencils for advertising and design, and the design Gran Pix in Cannes.

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At the beginning of 2016, the company made the decision to replace the “Open happiness” campaign by “Taste the Feeling” (Diaz 2016). More emphasis was made on music (a jingle) and its connection with emotions through the creation of the music history. Coke released six ads, which depict various life situations such as passionate couple break-up and personal struggles of youth. Additional attention should be paid to the fact that some of the used songs are already well-recognized (such as “Under Pressure”) while others are completely new (such as “Hey, brother”) (Diaz 2016).

Marketing and Advertising Strategies

Marketing strategies of Coca-Cola are represented by a systematically planned set of business activities that aim at attracting clients. In the course of time, the company used a great variety of strategies.

The first and the most obvious one is the use of the image of the product. The logo for its production was untouched wince 1923 (Feloni 2015). This makes the logo “imprinted in the minds of people around the world” (Feloni 2015). Additional attention should be paid to the bottle design. The current design of the product was introduced in 1915 and has the shape similar to a cocoa pod (Feloni 2015). It serves as the signal for consumers that it is a premium class product that cannot be confused with any other beverage that has the same color.

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Coca-Cola actively supports and invests in sport events such as Olympic Games. This makes the product widely recognized by the mass audience that is interested in sports.

Special attention should be paid to the wide presence in the means of mass media. At the beginning of its history, Coca-Cola was one of the first companies that placed their advertisings in printed media (newspapers and magazines) and on TV. In addition, the company is constantly working on making its advertising unique and up-to-date through the application of the latest technological solutions such as computerized characters and animations, which demonstrate strong recognition.

The above described history of advertising of Coca-Cola indicates that the company successfully uses the strategy of global concept and local adaptation. It develops “a single conceptual formula for the entire world” and at the same time, adapts this formula “for carrying local values” (Alstiel and Grow 2013, p. 54). As it was mentioned above, the company announced the global campaign under some particular slogan such as “Northern Lights”, “Open Happiness”, and “Taste the Feeling”. These slogans depict some particular matter, which the company focuses on to attract the attention of a certain audience. These campaigns appeal to a great variety of emotions and attitudes, but all of them have joint purposes: attract people, stipulate them to buy the production of Coca-Cola and improve the recognition and the brand image. After setting some particular concept, the company develops the set of several small commercials, which depict different stories but align with the set concept. As it was discussed, for the “Northern Lights” advertising campaign, the company created 27 commercials depicting different small stories while “Taste the Feeling” has only six commercials. However, it the campaign was presented only this year; hence, some new commercials can be added.

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It should be highlighted that Coca-Cola seldom adapts the global formula to the local values of the audience in the different areas all over the world. As it was mentioned, Coca-Cola shoot several variants of the advertising “Hey Kid, Catch!” with different sport stars, which are popular in certain locations. As per personal understanding, this was a rather circumspect step because it enabled the company to become closer and more valuable to local audience.

Coca-Cola also uses the strategy of the development of brand extensions. The introduction of Coca-Cola Zero has the aim to attract the attention of the uncovered audience – men who take care of their health and body image. Before the development of this product, red covered Coca-Cola Diet was perceived as the low-calorie beverage drink for women only. The black cover of Coca-Cola Zero changed this association by representing it as the pure male brand (usually men are drinking this product in commercials).

One of the main advertising strategies of the company is that it develops the commercials, which relate to positive emotions, feelings and impressions. The majority of the campaigns were targeted on young people and adults who are characterized by the active life style and involvement in sports activities. At the same time, the company pays much attention to family values by showing the relationships between in a couple or between brothers in its advertisement. The advertisement under question is creative and introduces fresh views in such aspects as action, music, and high-quality graphics.

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Being the global corporation, Coca-Cola uses the long-term market leadership strategy. The long history, the strong market position and the financial performance endue the company with the asymmetrical power (Kardes, Cronley, & Cline 2014). In addition, its products have very long life cycle. This strategy contains the segmentation of the market into various groups of consumers. Coca-Cola is oriented towards attracting attention of men and women, young couples and people who have active life style.

The company expends much effort to study the consumers’ behaviors and attitudes through special research projects. For example, in the second decade of the 21st century, such project was introduced in the form of “three-week promotional campaign in some Burger King restaurants in Richmond, Virginia” (Kardes, Cronley, & Cline 2014, p. 19). The company intended to identify the customers’ attitude towards frozen drinks combined with kids’ snacks.

The purchasing of Coca-Cola is characterized by the high involvement and high habitation decisions of the consumers. These decisions are emotional and are based on the company’s image and status. This recognition was formed due to the unchangeable image of the production.  The consumers’ loyalty is closely connected with the emotional appeal that is presented in the company’s advertisings. The company addresses a great variety of emotions, from motivations and impressions to family values. It uses well-recognized figures (such as sportsmen), Santa Claus, and even animated animals and factious creatures to enhance these emotions.











The consumers are directed by the bandwagon effect when they purchase Coca-Cola because they want to buy something that everyone else is buying. The advertising campaigns of the company show that Coca-Cola is rather popular among active young people who have strong live position and aim at achieving success in their studies, work, hobbies and relationships. Hence, the customer also wants to become the part of the successful, active and positive group of people. This also represents the psychological desires of self-reflection and belonging.

The consumers are characterized by active behavior. They are oriented towards obtaining the new emotions and struggling against their life challenges for reaching their personal goals. These people are always positive and surrounded by family, friends, peers, colleagues, and boyfriends or girlfriends. They like music, holidays and relaxation.

Coca-Cola and its consumers follow the modern trends such as participating or viewing the leading sport events or TV projects. They are in the thick of actions and are actively acknowledged and involved into the modern streamlines including popular music, appearance of colorful video, and etc.

Both the company and its clients highly value the quality and the loyalty. They prefer to use the best and well-recognized products, which represent the long and reliable history. On the one hand, they highly value the innovative approaches and unique solutions such as introduction of a new design. On the other hand, they prefer well-recognized quality in the form of the unchangeable image and taste instead of constant innovations. 

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The consumers and the company have shared a common belief that all the challenges can be overcome by the desire, efforts, self-belief, support of the family members and peers, adherence to goals in combination with positive attitude to life and listening to the heart. All these beliefs were directly or indirectly expressed in the company’s campaigns. The appeal to believe in a better tomorrow and try harder is close to consumers and is supported by the fact that Coca-Cola is the No.1 brand all over the world for decades despite the economic challenges and different cultural perceptions of people in various locations.

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