Advertising proves to be a very useful marketing strategy in any business environment worldwide for companies, firms, corporations and financial institutions among many others. There have been many factors affecting the business environment such as globalization, high competition levels, volatile economic conditions and increased variability in costs. With such conditions inherent in many business set-ups, companies have to fight for survival through employment of certain unique strategies. Failures to do so, many are at the risk of collapsing out of the market because of the now fragile state of business environment. One such strategy is the advertising aspect a core tactic in any businesses’ marketing plan. Advertisements are forms of persuasion that have proved to be most pervasive towards the target market. The success or the effectiveness of an advertisement ad or campaign is largely dependent on initial plan. Such initial steps include the execution methods, target market, area of coverage, costs, expected returns and passage of information/message amongst numerous others (Kotler & Armstrong, 2010).
Considered as the world’s biggest beverage company, Coca-cola manufactures’ the valuable brand in the world (coca-cola), has the largest system to distribute beverages worldwide and has operations in at least 200 countries. For such an international company, marketing their products is costly, sensitive and key in realization of profits. Over the years, the company has launched numerous advertisements campaign characterized of ads and commercials on televisions, radio and print media. One such campaign was the “coke side of life” launched in 2006. During this time, the company was experiencing a downward trend in sales, as competition from non-carbonated beverages was intense. The situation was compounded further by the global economic recession influencing consumers to shift their spending habits towards the non-carbonated drinks. The campaign was to employ different types of execution methods and information/message dissemination techniques. Such strategies were geared towards the revival of coca-cola sales that by then were recording a decreasing trend. The global rollout of the new campaign was intended to boost the company’s global sales and prevent further poor performance. The main objective was to pass the information to the consumers worldwide that they were able to live positively only by choosing to have coke brand. The campaign aimed further to create in markets a multi-cultural platform by making consumers globally to perceive the coke brand as more relevant (Nash, 2000).
Among the major execution methods used in this campaign was the invitation of consumers to explore and contribute towards the development of music, art and videos for the campaign. In an attempt to redefine the marketing platform of the company globally, such invitation was done through easy navigation tools and visual effects. The campaign did develop user-generated content as the center of inviting the many-targeted people globally. Through this, art creations presented in characters and wallpapers and commercials’ video clips developed by coke-fans were presented for watching to visitors. Such video clips of commercials and works of art were listed every month on the site for visitors to watch and view. More and more coke-inspired pieces of art and wallpapers were also enlisted and the visitors could share the information with friends. The user-generated media site was easy to navigate, creative and full of colors and images portraying how the “coke side of life” is joyful. An enthusiastic message supporting the coke brand relative to user interaction was delivered by this creative site. A Website was developed during the campaign where people were invited to support the development of good things in their respective communities. Through the Website, people did obtain resources to use in promoting active living, protection of the planet and educational support. As the campaign progressed, new set of ads were developed to invite consumers’ participation in projects for the community. The television and newspapers featured the innovative ads that presented the corporate citizenship role of the company. Viewers were invited to come to the coke side of life meaning they should live on a life side that was positive. Through the purchase of the products, the company would be featured in the society as socially responsible. The campaign strategies and methods presented it as being optimistic, refreshing and a colorful energy explosion. The message that in a bottle coke one will find happiness was presented easily, simple and understandably. Further, the information presentation through commercials was non-violent, not sex-filled and an inspiration to consumers to join efforts in their communities to bring a difference. Such positive and inspiring messages helped largely attract loyalty towards the brand (O’Guinn & Allen, 2008).
The campaign was indeed successful and effective because of the execution methods used, resource availability and the passage of information. The company then facing competition from Pepsi and other smaller companies improving brand awareness was a crucial aspect in market positioning in the attempts to boost sales. The “coke side of life” campaign did carry out advertisements and commercials towards the improvement of brand awareness. The campaign did make to the people a universal appeal towards the recognition of coke brand that seemed to have lost connection and meaning. The message dissemination was effective in that people regardless of where they live, whatever their culture and whatever their beliefs could live positively by buying the coke brand. It is evident that the campaign was effective internationally hence helping the company to boost sales and withstand competition from non-carbonated drinks.
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