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Advertising Principles: Coca-Cola Ad Essay

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Updated: Apr 29th, 2022

Companies use different media in advertising their products. Their ads use certain principles in delivering their messages. Many of them appeal to certain desires among different members of the audience (Egendorf 18).

Hence, the analysis of ads is important to both the audience and companies because it helps the audience understand the ads, which enhances their effectiveness. In addition, the analysis helps companies measure the effectiveness of the ads and identifies their strengths and weaknesses.

This paper analyzes a Coca-Cola advert that involves a young man and an old man. The story starts in the morning when both men wake up to take their breakfast. The old man takes tea with bread, but the young man takes his tea with bread sandwich. The old man goes to work on a bicycle but the young man drives to work.

While in their offices, the young man uses a computer while the old man uses a typewriter. They both go back home in the evening, and their wives prepare meals for them. The young man eats meals with many unnecessary ingredients. A note on the screen reminds him to live like the old man. They later meet in a park, each with a bottle of Coca-Cola.

Jib Fowles in his article, Advertising’s fifteen basic appeals, argues that each advert follows a certain principle in passing its message to the audience. In this case, the ad uses the need for prominence and the need to achieve. The young man adopts the old man’s eating habits because the old man has lived longer than modern men.

Steve Craig’s text, Men’s men and women’s women, is also very crucial in the analysis of this ad. The ad targets men because they take Coca-Cola more than women do. It even uses men as the main characters while women only wake them up in the morning to prepare meals for them. Another relevant dimension in the analysis of this ad is the social equality dimension.

Marchand in his article, The Parable of the Democracy of Goods, argues that some ads make their audience believe that they can have anything regardless of their class. This paper analyzes the appealing principles the Coca-Cola ad uses in convincing its target audience. The ad uses the needs for prominence and achievement, the social equality phenomenon and the “men’s men” ideology in communicating to its audience, who are mostly men.

Firstly, Fowles argues that people who have the need for prominence always look up to others who excelled in certain fields (23). He calls it “the need to be admired and respected” (Fowles 22). People with this need always wish they could look like their mentors.

Many companies always take advantage of these wishes to create adverts that make the target groups believe that using their products can help them become as prominent as their idols ( Fowles 23).

In the case of the Coca Cola advert, the company realized that many youths in the contemporary world wish to have longer lifespans as it was in past centuries. They are ready to do anything to fulfill this wish. The old man in the ad is very healthy despite his age. According to the advert, the reason for his good health is good eating habits.

Coca-Cola is among the foods he eats to remain healthy. Other than Coca-Cola, he eats simple foods. On the other hand, the young man eats mixtures of foods, most of which are not healthy. Therefore, he must take Coca Cola in order to live long. Coca-Cola symbolizes the healthy foods people used to eat in the past.

Secondly, the ad applies the need to achieve in persuading its audience. Fowles, argues that “this need makes people strive for good lives and careers” (22). Ads that use this principle always associate products with winners and heroes (Fowles 22). Therefore, the target audience always buys the products because of the belief that they will help them achieve what their role models achieved (Fowles 22).

In the context of this article, the old man lives long because he eats healthy foods. He does not eat what men in the contemporary world eat. Hence, a long life is an achievement, and every young man wants to have it. Therefore, they will emulate the old man by eating simple foods and taking Coca Cola.

Thirdly, some ads purpose to create a sense of social equality among the audience (Marchand 150). They always achieve this objective by informing their audience that the products are not discriminatory.

Marchand argues that “the wonders of modern production and distribution enabled every person to enjoy the society’s significant pleasure, convenience or benefit” (151). For example, the Coca-Cola ad concentrates on the individuals and not their classes or gender. Though the women are passive, nothing in the ad implies they are neglected.

The fourth dimension ads use the sex of the audience (57). Companies design some ads for men and others for women. Craig categorizes men into two: “men’s men” and “women’s men” (59). He also categorizes women into “women’s women” and “men’s women.” Men’s men are always preoccupied with heroism and achievement (60). They never worry about pleasing women (61). In the context of this advert, both men have the qualities of men’s men.

They do not do anything with the purpose of pleasing women. Women only play a supportive role. They wake their husbands up in the morning and cook for them. When the two men go to work, the women remain at home to attend to the domestic chores. The use of domineering men appeals to many men in the world. This effect is what the creator of the ad intended to achieve because men are the largest consumers of Coca Cola.

In conclusion, ads need to consider the desires, fears, identities, and values of their target audiences. Knowing these aspects helps them play with their emotions and convince them to buy the products. This paper has analyzed the principles used by the Coca Cola Company is advertising its soda.

The ad uses three main principles: the need for prominence, the need to achieve, and the men’s men ideology. The need for prominence entails an individual’s desire to win the admiration and respect of other people. It also entails the desire for high social status. In the ad, the old man’s prominence makes the young man emulate him.

On the other hand, the need to achieve entails striving to be better than other people and to overcome certain difficulties in life. In this ad, a young man wants to live longer than all the men in his generation. Therefore, he emulates the lifestyle of an old man whose lifestyle includes taking a bottle of Coca-Cola. In this context, long life is the goal the young man wants to achieve. The ad also uses men’s men as a way to appeal to men. Both men love success, and they work hard to achieve it. They do not worry about pleasing women.

Works Cited

Craig, Steve. Men’s Men and Women’s Men. [Pamphlet]. Print.

Egendorf, Laura K. Advertising. Farmington Hills, MI: Greenhaven Press, 2006. Print.

Fowles, Jib 2014. Advertising’s Fifteen Basic Appeals. PDF file. 11. Nov. 2014. http://www.public.asu.edu/~casimmon/15BasicAppeals.pdf

Marchand, Roland 2014. The Parable of the Democracy of Goods. PDF file. 11. Nov. 2014. http://faculty.weber.edu/srogers/handouts/marchand.pdf

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IvyPanda. 2022. "Advertising Principles: Coca-Cola Ad." April 29, 2022. https://ivypanda.com/essays/advertising-principles/.

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