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Coca-Cola Company’s Global Campaign Report


Globalization has had an enormous influence not only on economies, business, culture, and markets but advertisements as well. As transnational corporate capitalism grows, so does advertisement: it evolves and adapts to the rules of transnational promotion of products. Although it could be expected that transnational companies would prefer making and advertising similar products to the audience from different countries, they have decided to choose another way: instead of being homogenous, multinational companies put emphasis on difference and diversity. Since transnational corporations have to advertise their products not only at the global but also at the local levels, they have engaged in the strategy called “glocalization.” It “registers the societal co-presence of sameness and difference,… the universal and the particular, and homogeneity and heterogeneity” (Kobayashi, 2012, p. 44).

According to the strategy, dominant cultures do not “press” smaller ones, but rather localize global ideas that, in return, change and transform local culture and identity (Kobayashi, 2012). Glocalization is expected to bring the benefits of localization (responsiveness of the locals) and globalization (cost-reduction, cost-effective production, and advertisement). Nevertheless, glocalization can be considered as a complex strategy because a company needs to have serious investments to provide a product that will be both globalized and suitable for a particular area. In terms of advertisement, glocalization can be an effective tool as it can improve the responsiveness of the target market if applied correctly. The combination of global and local approaches is used to attract as many customers as possible, while attention to local customs implies the product will be interesting for local cultures (Negm, 2016). Glocal advertisement means that the company will advertise an idea that can be understood globally but is presented with attention to local specifics and features (Negm, 2016). The purpose of this paper is to analyze two variants of a commercial provided by a multinational corporation (Coca-Cola).

Company Background

The Coca-Cola Company is one of the most famous and biggest corporations in the carbonated soda drink industry. The company’s primary product is the carbonated soda drink or a syrup concentrate that is made according to a unique recipe (Coca Cola, 2016). Other products of the company include soda drinks under the brand name Fanta and Sprite, as well as different beverages, such as green tea, juices, and vitamin water (Coca Cola, 2016).

The company’s target groups vary, i.e., it does not have a specific target audience. Although some may assume that the company mostly focuses on young people, the video and photo ads of the corporation imply that Coca-Cola is a “family drink.” Nevertheless, the main consumers of Coca-Cola are teenagers or young adults (approx. from 16 to 30 years old). To approach customers on a global level, Coca-Cola uses different strategies, e.g., innovative advertisement (personalized Coke billboards, vending machines that give a customer a Coke if they agree to sing or hug the machine, viral marketing, online advertisement, and online contests) (Coca Cola, 2016). Moreover, the company also uses integrated marketing: to support the movie “Skyfall” and promote the soft drink, Coca-Cola launched a contest where consumers needed to “unlock the 007 in themselves” to win movie tickets (Coca Cola, 2016).

The company also has created company-related pages and groups in different social networks, including Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr, Twitter, etc. The company has also created its own hashtag: #cokestyle.

Global Campaign Analysis

The chosen global campaign was Coca Cola’s “Share a Coke” campaign. The company produced more than 300.000 bottles, with the most common male and female names in different countries (Ogilvy, 2013). The target audience of this campaign was young people, i.e., teenagers and young adults; as the company stated, the younger generations were not familiar with Coke, and a new ad campaign was launched to increase Coke consumption by this target group (Ogilvy, 2013). The message was that you could share the drink with your friends and relatives by buying them a bottle with their name on it. The video advertisements that will be analyzed are the USA and Pakistan commercials.

Advertisement in the Western Context

The advertisement in the USA version revolved around teenagers who spent time together; at first, two friends were shown having fun together and drinking Coca-Cola. As the video progressed, more and more people began to buy the drink together with the main character of the ad – the girl Jess. The video hinted that the boy who worked in the shop where Jess bought Coca-Cola was romantically attracted to her. However, the viewer founds out about it only at the end of the commercial when the two characters walk together hand in hand. Thus, the commercial exploits a popular plot, common for American teenage romantic comedies (Ames & Burcon, 2016).

Advertisement in Pakistani Context

The Pakistani commercial is different from the American one as it puts greater emphasis on such concepts as “being united” and “being together.” The characters in the ad spend time with their friends, families, colleagues. Moreover, the color of the bottle is also changed to match the Pakistani flag (from red to green). The name of the campaign is also presented in Urdu. The music in this commercial is completely different because it corresponds to the content of the video and reflects the idea that is transmitted – the importance of unity. According to the company, the campaign was launched to make a tribute to Pakistan and its citizens all over the world.

Coca-Cola USA Commercial

Advertisement Elements

  • Degree of Glocalization
  • Advertisement in the Foreign Market
  1. Character
  • Glocal
  • Pictures teenagers in a local common area;
  • The song is performed by a local band
  1. Length
  • Global
  • The duration of the commercial is common for all countries (1 – 2 min.)
  1. Music
  • Glocal
  • Performed by an American band that has written music for other Coca-Cola commercials
  1. Scenic Background
  • Glocal
  • Local streets and shops are illustrated;
  • Clothes and activities common for American teenagers are shown
  1. Slogan
  • Global
  • The slogan is presented in English
  1. Voiceover or Dialogue
  • None

Coca-Cola Pakistan Commercial

Advertisement Elements

  • Degree of Glocalization
  • Advertisement in the Foreign Market
  1. Character
  • Glocal
  • People on the streets are dressed according to the local customs
  1. Length
  • Global
  • Commercial duration is the same as in other countries
  1. Music
  • Glocal
  • Music is made with regard to the cultural heritage of the land
  1. Scenic Background
  • Glocal
  • Local streets and traditional Pakistani clothes and colors (green) are presented
  1. Slogan
  • Glocal
  • The slogan is presented in Urdu – Pakistan Ke Naam (in the name of Pakistan)
  1. Voiceover or Dialogue
  • None

Conclusion

As can be seen, corporate giants have moved away from the global strategies of advertising. A prominent multinational corporation Coca-Cola combines globalization and localization in its strategies. It demonstrates attention to local details to attract customers and, at the same time, uses globally recognizable messages and ideas to stay popular and visible in different countries. In the investigated commercials, the company preferred using completely different music and settings to attract customers. Coca-Cola has already engaged this approach: in Indonesia, it focused on the importance of family ties, while in the UK, it put an emphasis on a healthy lifestyle (Alcántara-Pilar, 2015).

Glocalized commercials can be analyzed by using the framework presented above. To understand glocalization, it is important to observe how a setting, a story, a slogan, music, and a voiceover correspond, and what details are used to make the commercial more local. Coca-Cola focused on different values, cultural features, and norms to create the right approach to American and Pakistani customers. Moreover, the company refused to provide a global depiction of teenagers and decided to focus on nationalities and local customs.

Coca-Cola’s campaign “Share a Coke” was hugely successful. It showed that attention to consumers’ culture could improve the company’s image; moreover, such an approach helped Coca-Cola become more recognizable in different markets, from the USA to the Middle East. It is a good example of how glocalization can be successfully used, even if it seems to be a challenging and complex strategy. It should also be mentioned that glocalization can help a company become more competitive on the market, especially if its rivals still use the strategies of globalization and do not strive for a special approach to local consumers.

References

Alcántara-Pilar, J. M. (2015). Analyzing the cultural diversity of consumers in the global marketplace. Hershey, PA: IGI Global.

Ames, M., & Burcon, S. (2016). How pop culture shapes the stages of a woman’s life: From toddlers-in-tiaras to cougars-on-the-prowl. Berlin, Germany: Springer.

Coca Cola. (2016). Web.

Kobayashi, K. (2012). Corporate nationalism and glocalization of Nike advertising in “Asia”: Production and representation practices of cultural intermediaries. Sociology of Sport Journal, 29(1), 42-61.

Negm, E. (2016). Proceedings of 35th International Business Research Conference. Exploring the Glocalization of Advertising Strategies in Egyptian Context: A Content Analysis of Television Commercials. Dubai, UAE: American University in the Emirates.

Ogilvy. (2013). [Video file]. Web.

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IvyPanda. "Coca-Cola Company's Global Campaign." October 26, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/coca-cola-companys-global-campaign/.

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IvyPanda. 2020. "Coca-Cola Company's Global Campaign." October 26, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/coca-cola-companys-global-campaign/.

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IvyPanda. (2020) 'Coca-Cola Company's Global Campaign'. 26 October.

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