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English Language in Coca-Cola and McDonald’s Advertising in Russia Research Paper

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Updated: Aug 2nd, 2021

Research Design and Approach

This research focuses on the language used in advertising; it dwells mainly on English words used in Russian advertisements. The data has been collected from television commercial samples of Coca cola, a popular American soft drink and McDonald’s, a famous American fast food restaurant. In this section the paper will focus on the overall research design that was followed when conducting this research study such as the type of research design, sampling method observed results and analysis of these results.

The researcher uses the observation method of data collection; as such the research design for this particular research exercise is mainly qualitative because the dataset to be collected is mainly subjective and not numerical. The researcher compares the number of English words in the Russian advertisements for Coca Cola and McDonald’s and proceeds to explain the tendency of borrowing English words in these advertisements.

Because the objective of the research study is to investigate the nature, number and variations of the English-American words introduced to Russian consumers when it comes to advertisements of Coca-Cola and Macdonald products the most appropriate study design to use would be survey research design and descriptive research design.

Survey design is most appropriate where the objective of the research study is to obtain information from a segment of study population for a specific duration of time; what is usually referred as a historical research (Silver). Survey research designs are most appropriate where the research study intends to investigate a topic that has several issues to address as is currently the case (Newman).

In this case the duration of time that the research study will focus on is between year 2007 and 2010; during this period various variables from which to collect data would be identified. This method would be most suitable to this particular research given that it’s a retrospective study that involves examining advertisements records of the two Companies from the past.

Research Question

Research question refers to statements that outline the limits of the proposed study that a researcher intends to undertake (Salant and Dillman). In this case the purpose of this research is twofold; one, it will attempt to evaluate the impact that english-American words have on influencing consumers in advertisements of the two types of brands.

Secondly, this paper will strive to provide a rationale why that is so through provision of evidence from the research study by comparing the impact of the adverts when using english-American words and when using Russian equivalents.

One of the main objectives of this research study is to determine if there is a causal relationship between the number of english-American words used in advertisements in Russia and the resulting success of the adverts in promoting Coca-Cola and McDonald brand products. Because this is essentially a retrospective research study we should hope to see a trend as we get to analyze the specific elements of the advertisements that have been used by the two Companies over the period of 2007 to 2010.

Sampling and Research Variables

A sample refers to a subset of a particular population size; it is the proportion of population that is usually studied by a researcher since it is impossible to study the whole population due to resource limitations (Kovacs).

The study samples in this case refers to various adverts that have been run by both McDonald and Coca-Cola Companies in promoting their products in Russia between 2007 and 2010 in three areas of media focus; television, You Tube and commercial video. In the following section we shall analyze the results collected through the research study in various formats which shall lay the ground for our interpretation at a later section.

The focus of this study was on collecting data on key variables of interest that are necessary in helping us arrive at a fair judgment regarding the influence of various designed types of adverts that are used in Russia by Coca-Cola and McDonalds.

Some of the key variables of this research study are number of english-American words in the advertisement, Russia words, number of sentences, story line, year of advert, number of translated words and words count among others.

Coca-Cola TV Commercials in Russia

In the following section we are going to analyze the sentence structure of Coca-Cola adverts that were run in TV commercial in Russia over the four year duration that this research study has focused on.

The sentence structure would be analyzed in form of graphs using the following variables; year of advertisement, number of American words, Russian words, number of sentences and theme of the advertisement. The following graphical representation would indicate the trend that would emerge when we compare the Coca-Cola commercial Ads across these variables over the four year period

Graph of Trends in Sentence Structure of Coca-Cola Adverts in Russia, 2007-2010.
Figure 1: Graph of Trends in Sentence Structure of Coca-Cola Adverts in Russia, 2007-2010.

As we can see from the representation above the overall number of words that have been used by Coca-Cola in its advertisements have gradually been decreasing over the years from a high of 30 words in 2007 to 23 words in 2010. We can also tell from the graph that the Russian words used in these adverts have also gradually decreased over the years with the exception of year 2008 when it slightly peaked by three words; the trend in number of sentences also exhibits the same pattern.

Finally, we can see that the number of American words used in these adverts have more or less remained the same. In fact we can accurately establish that it has remained constant at four words for every year except in 2008 when the numbers of English words used were 5. Of note is that 2008 is the same year that the Russian words used increased rather than decreased and also the year with the highest number of words used.

Let us undertake a similar graphical analysis of McDonalds adverts in Russia over the same period of time.

McDonalds TV Commercials in Russia

The variables for this graphical representation are the same as above however there is an additional variable of words translated from English to Russian words. In this case we see that the sentence structure of McDonald adverts has several words of American that are translated to their equivalent of Russia. As before let us summarize the results of this representation.

Graph of Trends in Sentence Structure of McDonalds Adverts in Russia, 2007-2010.
Figure 2: Graph of Trends in Sentence Structure of McDonalds Adverts in Russia, 2007-2010.

In general the trend of McDonalds adverts in Russia appears to include more sentences, more American words and fewer Russian words with each consequent year even more than is the case for Coca-Cola adverts.

In fact between 2007 and 2010 the number of sentences used by McDonalds to advertise its products more than doubled from 6 to 13 sentences by 2010. Over the same period the number of English-American words that were used in McDonald adverts in Russia more than quadrupled from a low of 7 to a whooping 47 words which is by far the largest element of the sentence structure that underwent such a drastic change.

On the other hand the number of Russian words used during the same period inversely changed by reducing with each increase of American words used, and proportionally with each increase in number of sentences used. Finally, we can see that the number of words translated from English to Russian remained less or more the same.

Coca-Cola Sentence Structures of You Tube Advertisements

In this section we are going to analyze the nature of Coca-Cola advertisements in You Tube that are targeted towards the Russian market. In this case a quantitative analysis is not possible because of the nature of variables that we need to use in analyzing the designs of the Ads.

As such we shall incorporate both qualitative and quantitative analysis in order to arrive at a fair assessment of these samples of Coca-Cola adverts at You Tube. The following table summarizes the results of major variables that can readily be determined from the analysis of the adverts.

Figure 3: Summary Table of Key Variables in Coca-Cola You Tube Adverts

Year Number of Sentences Russian Words American Words Total Translated Words Theme Background features Tag Line
2006-2007 3 NA 4 NA 1 New year holidays Russian version of “holiday is Coming” song singing in the background. Holiday is Coming
2007 3 NA 1 NA NA New year holidays NA Holiday is Coming
2008 3 NA 4 NA NA New Year holidays NA Start Your holiday
NA NA NA NA NA NA Universality American Song singing in background Cheer up! Coca Cola, open up to the Happiness
NA 10 7 1 NA NA Folkloric tale NA Coca-Cola

In this summary the samples of advertisements pooled from You Tube goes back to five years: that is between 2006 and possibly 2010. At a glance we can see that the number of sentences of the adverts throughout this period were markedly low and were mostly 3 sentences.

There is inconclusive data of how many Russian and English words were used for each specific type of advert because the results section did not record the adverts in Russian language exactly the way they were run. Nevertheless, we have enough that enable us to estimate the changing trend of American words and Russian words. The analysis of these adverts on You Tube also clearly shows the trend of various elements of the Ads such as the theme, tagline and background features.

For most of the Ads in You Tube we can see that the theme remains constantly the same, albeit with minor changes, and so is the case even for tag lines that go along with these adverts. From the summary results we can see that the theme of partying during holidays is the most common depicted as “new year holidays” while almost all the taglines have the words “holidays” or “Coca-cola”.

Having summarized the elements of Coca-Cola adverts in You Tube targeted to Russia, let us do the same for McDonald’s products advertisements on You Tube.

McDonalds You Tube Adverts Structure Analysis

The figure below represent summary figures of variables resulting from analysis of video adverts on you tube for McDonalds food products that were being advertised in Russia over a duration of several years. Based on our earlier analysis we can see the similarity between the Coca-Cola adverts in You Tube and the McDonalds food adverts summarized below.

Figure 4: Summary Table of Key Variables in McDonalds You Tube Adverts

Year Number of Sentences Russian Words American Words Total Translated Words Theme Background features Tag Line
NA 20 NA 9 NA NA Eating from McDonald lifts spirits NA I’m loving it. Pa-ra-pa-pa-pa
McDonalds,I ‘ m loving it.
NA 5 NA 5 NA NA McDonalds food is a good way to start the day NA McDonald’s. That’s what I like
NA 5
NA NA NA Folkloric tales Russian song in the background McDonalds

The structure of McDonalds adverts listed above indicates that most of the advertisements were designed in Russian language, which is the reason why the number of Russia and American words used is difficult to determine.

From the analysis we can also determine that on average the similarity between the Coca-Cola adverts and McDonald adverts is very much striking which is a factor that we shall address more comprehensively in the following section of this discussion. Some of the similarities are in how the two Companies have designed the advertisement taglines to capture the interests of the consumers; in this case we can see that McDonald has used the word “McDonalds” throughout as its tag line.

Taglines of Coca-Cola and McDonalds Adverts over the Years

The following table summarizes the taglines used by both McDonalds and Coca-Cola in advertisements of their products over the years in Russia. Both sets of data used by each Company is inconclusive especially for McDonald which is missing a substantial part, nevertheless the data provides a framework from which we can derive some conclusions regarding the nature of adverts used in Russia by these two Companies.

Figure 5: Summary of Taglines used by Coca-Cola and McDonald in Russia

Year Coca-Cola Adverts Taglines in Russia Year McDonalds Adverts Tagline
2008 Start Your holiday NA I’m loving it.Pa-ra-pa-pa-pa
McDonalds,I ‘ m loving it.
2007 NA McDonald’s.That’s what I like
2006 Holiday is Coming
Holiday is Coming
NA McDonald
1993 Always
1987 You can’t fight this feeling!
1982 Coca cola is what one needs!
1979 Drink Coca-Cola and Smile
1963 Business goes better with Coca Cola!
1944 Global sign of height
1942 Worthwhile stuff!
1936 This refreshing occupation!
1929 Pause, that “refreshes”

Over the years that Coca-Cola and McDonald Companies have been advertising in Russia, we can see that Coca-Cola have strived to ensure that each year it launches a new tagline to go along with each type of advertisements.

That is probably the reason that we see Coca-Cola having a lot of taglines that it has previously used in advertisement promotions in Russia since 1929; one the other hand McDonald’s approach to advertising in Russia is structured differently from those of Coca-Cola when it comes to taglines. Based on the summaries of the table above we can see that McDonalds has over the years continuously used one single tagline; “McDonalds”.


In this section, this paper will focus on interpreting the research findings that were arrived at during this research study and which we have articulately summarized in the preceding chapter.

The intention is to provide an explanation of the results using theoretical models and literature reviews as evidence to explain why Coca-Cola and McDonalds Company have opted to formulate their advertisements as such, its impact in convincing the target market and any other factual conclusions that can be determined from the summarized data. For each category of results summarized in the methodology section, this part will provide a discussion of those results and their conclusion.

Coca-Cola Adverts in Russia

The numbers of Russian and American words that makes up the sentences used in the Coca-Cola adverts in this section were sampled from television commercials only.

The extensive examination intensively analyses the number and variations of the English-American words introduced to Russian consumers through TV advertisement over the four years. As we have already seen on the results methods, Coca-Cola has throughout strived to ensure that there are significant numbers of english-American words used in each of its adverts used in Russia.

The graph on trends in sentence structure used in TV commercials in Russia by Coca-Cola indicates that the number of english words used by the Company has ideally remained the same while Russian words have gradually been decreasing. The result is that the adverts content has increasingly been made up of higher percentage of english-American words with each passing year because of the reducing Russian words used.

When you consider the global Coca-Cola Company marketing strategy and target market this would seem to make sense; in fact, one of the six pillars of Coca-Cola marketing strategy is designed around promoting the brand “Coca-Cola” (Ullah-Khan). This is the reason why all adverts by Coca-Cola that we have seen so far has the word “Coca-Cola” that is always being part of the American words used in the advert.

The other reason is that the marketing strategy of Coca-Cola Company is very articulately stated and has identified the young generations as its core target market (Ullah-Khan). As such, Coca-Cola Company has gone to great lengths to position its product in line with this strategy. In order to effectively do that it must appeal to these young generations by appearing exotic, classy and fashionable which makes it adopt english-American words to partly achieve that (Burton and Purvis).

Other approaches through which Coca-Cola achieve this is by positioning their products to reflect youth, vitality and energy in order to capture the young generation which it has tagged as its major segment of focus (Ullah-Khan). The way that Coca-Cola categorizes its target population is through segmentation of consumers based on their product usage such as occasional, regular and daily users (Cook).

Perhaps, one of the most recent research studies done to investigate the impact of english language in influencing consumers in global advertisement where english is not the national languages has been done by Martin.

In this research study, Martin observes that “the mere presence of English associates the product with modernity, quality engineering, exclusivity, professional mobility, international appeal, and other positive concepts, depending on the product category and target audience” (Martin). The results findings of this research study is the first indication that we have which shows that the need by the Coca-Cola to have as many english words in its advertisements is a deliberate process that is psychologically designed to win the consumers in Russia.

This approach of incorporating english words with another language in advertising is what Kelly-Holmes refers as “fetishes of International english” which he notes is now increasingly being used in international advertisements for two major reasons. One, use of english words mixed with another language provides that “special effect” that is necessary to capture the attention of the consumer because of its appealing and curiosity elements (Kelly-Holmes).

Secondly, use of english words in the context of a foreign language has been seen to be effective in “producing linguistic innovations and symbolism that are specifically tailored to local audiences” (Kelly-Holmes). The use of english this way has been referred by Bhatia as “glocal” because it makes it possible for english to function as a global language that also enables use of linguistics to incorporate local values to achieve the desired effects (Bhatia).

Based on these literature reviews we can now understand the reasoning behind Coca-Cola use and even choice of english words in its advertisements strategies in Russia. In fact, another recent research study by Ustinova provides us with even compelling reasons why it is a smart strategy for both Coca-Cola and McDonald to make use of english words in their advertisements in Russia.

This research study by Ustinova states that “eighteen million Russians use the internet, 55 percent of regular users live in 11 cities with a population of more than one million people, and 73 percent of them report that they speak English enough to use English search engines” (Ustinova).

In addition, other factors have combined together to popularize english in Russia through such mediums such as internet, media and globalizations especially among the target group of consumers that Coca-Cola is incidentally most interested in reaching. This are the young generation of peoples who include, students and working professionals with buying power all of whom resides in big cities where prevalence of english language use is at its highest.

The summaries of adverts in Russia posted on You Tube shown on figure 5 by Coca-Cola is a clear indication that the Company is deliberately targeting the youthful generation that would ideally be the ones using the internet because they are conversant with the technology. Indeed, a review of Coca-Cola adverts posted at You Tube indicates that all adverts by Coca-Cola have some form of english words used when advertising their products.

What is also notable about the sentence structure of adverts used by Coca-Cola in Russia is that a significant number of english words are contained in the taglines of these advertisements; and the most common types of english words that appear in these adverts are “holiday”, “coca-cola”, “happiness”, and “coming”.

A general review of these words indicates that the choices of words that Coca-Cola opts for are usually the simplest words in english which they intend for the consumer to understand easily and which can also be easily associated with their products (Katzner).

This is part of the strategy used in creating Coca-Cola brand image as an international product which is perfectly achieved through use of english words in adverts used in Russia. This concept is an important strategy in what Johansson refers as Product Standardization; this occurs when “uniformity of product or service features, design, and styling” is achieved across several regions through use of a single advert (Johansson).

One of the most effective means of achieving product standardization is through use of language and positioning. But because product standardization has both advantages and disadvantages, the best way to achieve its advantages while at the same time benefit from unique brand positioning is to use a blend of local language and an international language (Dawar and Parker). Thus, the structure of adverts used by both Coca-Cola and McDonald in Russia in advertising their products is well thought, effective and achieves the desired effect.

Another factor that makes Coca-Cola continue to use english words in its adverts messages in Russia is in order to achieve “global flagship” which results from global branding (Johansson). Global brands refer to “brands that are well known and recognized in all major markets of the world”; to maintain this Coca-Cola has no choice but to continue using the same brand name in Russia as well as the same taglines.

This is one of the reasons that makes the most common english words appearing in Russia adverts run by Coca-Cola Company to be “coke,” “coca-cola”, “holiday” and “new year” among others. In fact, one research study states that the word “coca-cola” is the second most commonly used word globally after “ok” which said to be the most popular (Ullah-Khan).

McDonalds Adverts in Russia

In this section we shall discuss the results from McDonald’s adverts that we have already summarized in the previous section similar to what we have done for Coca-Cola Company. First let us briefly review the results of the sentence structure used by McDonalds in its advertisements; just like with Coca-Cola we can see that McDonald has throughout maintained use of english words in all of its advertisements strategies in Russia.

As we get to analyze the marketing strategy that McDonalds uses in Russia we are going to see a striking similarity between the marketing approaches used by both these two Companies as far as advertisements of their products are concerned.

And this is not by coincidence given that both these Companies have global brands; more importantly the fact that McDonald is actually one of the largest distributors globally of Coca-Cola implies that their similarities are more than just one. But because McDonalds line of products are slightly more and inform of foodstuffs we shall see how it has customized its adverts to address this uniqueness.

Compared to Coca-Cola, McDonalds has used significantly more words in general in adverts of its products in Russia; consequently the number of english words used are also significantly high. In 2010, the numbers of words used in McDonalds adverts are seen to have significantly increased to more than 65, with english words being 47.

If we look back at the data of the sample adverts for the three previous years that McDonald has been advertising in Russia we realize that the Russian words used in the advert has been decreasing over the years. One of the possible reasons that could explain this decrease in use of Russian words in McDonalds adverts can be explained by the historical entry of McDonald in the Russian market.

Because McDonald’s entry in Russia market was relatively late in early 1990s compared to Coca-Cola, it’s possible that the Company had to initially rely largely on use of Russian language in its advertisement in order to capture the market. As years went by it probably become necessary to lessen use of local language and adopt use of english in order to position their brand as global brand.

Luckily, because use of english words in advertisements by McDonalds occurs in the context of a video clip that does not necessarily require the viewer to understand the language, these adverts have become very successful in marketing McDonalds products despite the element of the foreign language.

Indeed, one of the research studies that has researched the subject of advertising in Russia concluded that “the most successful use of imperatives in Russian advertising is to explain the way the product is used through concrete action” such as through demonstrations as well as nudge the consumer to try the product (Morozova).

In this study cited by Irina which details the findings of the effects of english words in Russia advertisements, Morozova states that the best designed advert in Russia is the one that does not have all words as abstracts, but rather which adopts a mixture of both abstract and concrete words (Irina). In order to achieve this mixture it is suggested to have 80% of the Russian concrete words making up the advert and the rest being english words (Irina).

A critical analysis of the structure of both McDonald and Coca-Cola Companies shows that this is actually the case and this ratio is being closely attained in these Companies advertisements.

In fact, another reason that could explain why McDonald, as well as Coca-Cola has continued to use their taglines in english is explained by this research study to be because of the impossibility in accurately translating these taglines to their equivalent meanings in Russia (Irina).

As such many global brands that have established themselves in english speaking countries find it extremely hard to accurately translate its global renowned taglines to Russian equivalents and “life tastes good”, globally used by Coca-Cola is given as one of the examples.

A final reason why McDonald and Coca-Cola continue to use english words in their adverts in Russia is because of the limitations of Russian language; Dimshits asserts that “Russian language does not easily accept new meanings” (Dimshits). These are therefore the range of reasons, factors, market strategies and concepts that explains the structure of adverts that Coca-Cola and McDonald uses in Russia.

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Martin, E. “Frenglish for sale: multilingual discourses for addressing today’s global consumer.” Journal of World Englishes, 26.2 (2007): 170-190. Printю

Morozova, K. “An account of social usages of an Americanized argot in modern Russia.” Language in Society, 16 (1987): 509–25. Print.

Newman, L. Social Research Methods. Boston; Allys & Bacons. 1994. Print.

Salant, P. & Dillman, A. How to conduct your own Survey. California; John Wiley. 1994. Print.

Silver, D. Interpreting Qualitative Data. London; Sage Publications. 1993. Print.

Ustinova, I. “English in Russia.” World Englishes, 24.2 (2005): 239-251. Print.

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"English Language in Coca-Cola and McDonald's Advertising in Russia." IvyPanda, 2 Aug. 2021, ivypanda.com/essays/english-language-in-coca-cola-and-mcdonalds-advertising-in-russia/.

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