Coca-Cola is one of the most established brands in the world. One of the primary reasons for the brand’s success was its marketing strategy, which ensured customers’ interest throughout the years. Slogans were a big part of the company’s marketing, along with its famous television advertisements. In this essay, I want to examine the brand’s 1939 slogan: “Whoever you are, whatever you do, wherever you may be, when you think of refreshment, think of ice-cold Coca-Cola.”
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First of all, this slogan is an excellent example of the use of poetic language in advertisements. There are several key linguistic components in this slogan, including parallelism, repetition, and triple listing. Parallel structures: “whoever you are,” “whatever you do,” and “wherever you may be” are the foundation of the first part of the slogan. They create a certain rhythm of the sentence, which instantly catches the audience’s attention.
Sound repetitions of “w” at the beginning of each part of the sentence reinforce the effect and stress the words “whoever,” “whatever,” and “wherever,” emphasizing the idea of unity and thus the product’s popularity among different groups people. The quantity of the parallel structures is also essential. The slogan presents them in double triplets: in the first two parallelisms contain three words, and there are three parallel structures in total.
Repetition and listing in triplets help to establish the idea in the audience’s minds, thus ensuring that the phrase is memorable. Repetition of the word “think,” on the other hand, increases the persuasive effect of the slogan: in the last section, “think” is repeated as a direction, which becomes more efficient due to the previous mentioning of the word.
Finally, the last few words of the slogan present a consonance: “ice cold Coca-Cola.” The repetition of staccato “c” sound somehow breaks the overall continuous flow of the slogan, thus attracting the customer’s internal attention to the brand’s name. This segment of the slogan is also important as it is easily memorable due to the sound repetition. By making the audience remember this simple phrase, the marketers not only ensure that people will recognize the brand but also that they will memorize the best way to drink the beverage: ice cold.
The most important effect of the use of poetic devices in that they attract the attention of the audience to the central message of the advert. The idea of all-inclusiveness was relevant to the brand’s strategic goals at the time. The drink was relatively cheap and could be perceived as something only acceptable for the low to middle-class populations. By emphasizing the idea that everyone should drink Coca-Cola, the marketers were able to address the issue and promote the drink to all segments of the potential audience simultaneously. The abundance of poetic language also helps to avoid losing the customers’ attention due to the size of the slogan, which is considerably longer than the company’s previous advertisement statements.
Overall, I believe that this slogan is one of the best historical examples of the use of poetic language in an advertisement. The linguistic devices used by the marketers are varied in their structure and length and have different effects, thus helping the slogan to be efficient in promoting the brand and its product.