Now as I come to marvel at the simplicity and effectiveness of Coca-Cola’s television advertising and look in detail at ten particular shots from this advert I have already noticed a pattern in the company’s marketing strategy. I have discovered that in advertisements, Coke entices and coerces you not only to choose their cola, but to make a lifestyle choice. They encourage you to choose the young, affluent, athletic lifestyle they deceptively persuade you into thinking you can get from a bottle of their cola, rather than anybody else’s.
I will now look at the television commercial for the same cleverly created images of the Coca-Cola lifestyle.
The ad for Coke I observed consisted of twenty five shots, all very carefully scripted and produced. The sound track is loud, energetic and the beat is very fast. After watching the advert all the way through I felt refreshed and energised. The advert’s up tempo music stuck in my mind and the lyrics left me in no doubt as to wether Coke is the ‘Real Thing’.
I will examine in detail just ten of these shots because I feel this will be enough to give me a general overview into the Coke ad and an insight into how the individual scenes work together to produce one large, clear image of Coca-Cola.
The first shot is of a darkly dressed dancer, who stands out against the red/pink background of this, the first shot, and the caption ‘Dance’ appears at the bottom-left corner of the screen.
The colours are the colours of the Coca-Cola logo and the caption was purposefully chosen because it epitomises and promotes everything Coke is about, youth, energy and fun. The camera angle of this shot happens to be’medium long’.
I will now look at the third shot in the series of twenty-five that compose the Coke television ad. The man in this shot is wearing a leather jacket and jeans- casual clothing-standing on a subway station. He starts to dance, using quick, robust moves. He is quite young, almost certainly in his twenties, and there is a Coke vending machine in the background. This shot is telling us that if we drink Coke we will be happy, energetic and feel like dancing too. Coke have very successfully promoted youth and healthy living in this ‘big close up’ shot.
The next shot I will examine is of a woman and child in a field. This shot does not fit in with the others, as although it has a small child running in a field, it also has an older woman, possibly her grandmother, standing behind her. The main colour is yellow, to emphasise warmth and the child is smiling, showing how happy she is. In this shot it is clear that whilst emphasising youth and energy, Coke is also trying to communicate the more timeless appeal of it’s product. This is a ‘medium close up’ shot.
This shot is number seven in the series of twenty five and cleverly portrays youth with Coke’s more timeless appeal. The shot shows bar staff going about their daily work. The staff are all dressed in white, and their shirts look fresh and clean. A young attractive woman, whilst working behind the bar, finds time for an impromptu twirl, showing how Coke can help you have fun in the workplace too. She and her associates stand out against the grey background of the bar in which they work. The uniforms they are wearing look old-fashioned, as if the bar were back in the 1950’s era. This is not in keeping with the rest of the images in this advert which mostly show youth in the more recent years of Coke’s production. However it does help to illustrate the more everlasting side of Coke.
This is a close up shot of a woman drinking a bottle of Coca-Cola and smiling, showing Coke has satisfied her thirst. There is a very bright light shining on the woman’s face to show her expression clearly and making it a sharp contrast between the dark blue background and her enlightened face. This is telling us how we will smile too, just like the woman in the shot once we have tried Coke and also showing us how with Coca-Cola our lives can be happy too.
This is shot nine, a ‘long’ shot of four dancers in a warehouse. The background is black and there is a red light from above shining down on the dancers. I suspect red was chosen because it is the main colour of the Coca-Cola logo. The dancers move in synchronisation with each other and the music. The colour choice was deliberate and the Coca-Cola company want us to see how we too will dance when we have embarked upon the Coke lifestyle, and how we too will dance once basked in the colours of Coke.
A man in a brown suit against the grey background of the American subway station features in this, a ‘medium long’ shot. Again, the man is dancing energetically around using moves that show how Coke has inspired him to dance and show us the youthful and healthy lifestyle we can have with Coke. In this ‘close up’ shot all the dancers are wearing white costumes so they stand out from the grey background and so that the laser lights used would reflect easily on the uniforms and enable us to see all the bright colours as the dancers move individually in time to the music. In this shot Coke are promoting their youth and energy and giving the impression that if we drink Coke, we too will be filled with energy and feel the uncontrollable urge to dance.
In this ‘medium’ shot, a young woman dressed in skimpy underwear is dancing around a bathroom. Again, the main colours are warm, in this case yellow, used to communicate happiness and the girl in the shower room is dancing to the music of the commercial. Coca cola have ingeniously placed a parasol with red and white stripes, very similar to the stripes of the American flag, in the corner of the rest room to show that Coca-Cola is a patriotic drink and as much a part of America as the president himself. In this shot Coca-Cola have decided to promote sex and the American dream to help them sell their product. This, the final shot is of a young woman with blonde hair, against a white background. The woman has a huge smile and the caption underneath her reads ‘You can’t beat the feeling!’. This suggests that if you drink Coke you will be happy too. The Coca-Cola trademark features at the bottom of the screen just to remind us of the product we are being sold.
After I have looked at both the magazine and television adverts, I have come to the conclusion that Coke does not only stress images of youthful energy and health to convince us to buy their merchandise, but also a more timeless appeal. Young and old images coexist in harmony and make sure that Coke is for all, whatever the age. The company has cleverly shown us images of youth, love and romance, healthy living, sex and the images of several favourable lifestyles, (college education, a life of abundance but not extravagance) and also managed to link Coca-Cola with all aspects of America as well as the rest of it’s global community, making it the world’s number one selling soft drink.