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Nowadays, consumers are always involved with a wide range of purchasing decisions. The consumers might not realize that advertising directly influences their daily life but when consumers have to make a purchasing decision in buying a product, consumers tend to think about products that they have been exposed to in advertisements.
In general, the definition of a decision is the selection of option from two or more choices for example, a Choice between Brand A and Brand B. (Schiffman & Kannuk 1991) There are many reasons why customer buy product repeatedly; customers might be satisfied with a product form trial or past purchase; they have heard word-of-mouth suggestions from other post-purchasers; sale promotion can attract customers to repeat their purchasing. Those reasons aside, it is advertisements that can have the biggest impact customer purchasing decision (Tellis 2003).
Coca-Cola Company is one of the most popular and market leader in carbonated soft drink. The Coca-Cola Company always launched advertising campaign and one of the most famous and unforgettable, it was called "I'd like to buy the world a Coke". This TV commercial was released in 1971 but this famous advertisement of Coca-Cola was one of the most influential advertisements of all time (Jacob, 2006). Coca-Cola had a strong brand royalty due to a hundred year of advertising history and a huge advertising budget that they spend each year. So, Coca-Cola shows its commitment to using advertising as a key driver to its success. This essay will illustrate how advertising contributed to the Coca-Cola Company's success. First there is general information about the Coca-Cola Company's profile. Secondly, the various advertising which Coca-Cola uses and its successful outcomes, including evaluation of Coca-Cola's advertising. In the conclusion, demonstrate a summary of how advertising plays a critical factor of Coca-Cola's success.
Coca - Cola Company's profile
Coca-Cola is also well known as the 'Coke brand name' which is generic trademark of the company. In Atlanta, Georgia in 1886 Coca-Cola was invented by John Styth Pemberton who was the creator of patent medicines business. He devises the mixture of water, sugar and some extracts of cola leaf and kola nut. After the death of Dr. John Styth Pemberton, Asa Candler took over of Coca -Cola Company and changed the formula of this drink by removing cocaine and alcohol. It was this change in ingredients that lead to Coca-Cola becoming very famous and sold everywhere in United States of America.
There are more than 3,300 products in over 200 countries, from wide range of diet and regular sparkling beverages such as 100 percent fruit drinks and fruit juices, waters, energy and sport drinks, teas and coffees, and milk and soy based beverages. Under Coca-Cola corporate brand there are many famous and successful products: Coke, Diet-Coke, Fanta and Sprite. All products of Coca-Cola company are distributed by franchisees though various distribution in every part of the world. Coke brand seems the most famous carbonated beverage among those successful products. It is also simply showed as a logo and trademark of the company. (The Coca-Cola Company, 2006-2010)
The Primary advertising of Coca-Cola
Hayes (1996) stated that Dr. John Stith Pemberton, a local pharmacist, made the first Coke commercial. His first advertising slogan was "delicious, exhilarating, refreshing and invigorating" to promote his beverage company. Pemberton also promoted their advertisement as "temperance drink". After Asa Candler took control of Coca-Cola Company from Pemberton, he paid 20 percents of revenue on advertising to create branding. It should be noted that Candler seems like first initiators to recognize the important of advertising for Coca-Cola Company. Asa Candler has been named as the pioneer of large scale advertising which has bought huge successful to his products (Jacob, 2006).
It is apparent that, in early period, Coca-Cola spending a huge advertising budget because they believe that advertising can pervasive message reach target audience in a short time. The company needs to stimulate Coke's brand awareness and persuade primary customer demand in Coke brand. After successful in advertising, Coca-Cola has become global brand, its continuous promote and informative their product though advertising media until now.
According to "the Coca-Cola Company Heritage Timeline, 2008", in 1893-1904, The Coca-Cola Company has marketing campaign invested in both sponsorships and print advertisements. It is claimed that considering the times Candler thought out of the box with innovative ways to introduce people to this new refreshment. Such innovative thinking can be seen in his coupons promotions which saw him use complimentary sample of Coca-Cola for customer trial in the first period. Additionally, further unheard of strategies at the time are that of distributing pharmacists with calendars, urns, clocks and apothecary scales which had the Coca-Cola logo on them. Since spending huge budget on advertising, there are posters everywhere Coca-Cola was known and attracted people 'attention and these advertising worked very well.
Robert Woodruff acquisitioned the Coca-Cola brand from Candler who was retired, and managed Coke Company though the difficult time of the Second World War two periods. On the other hand, he saw the chance to advertising Coca-Cola brand to the world. Woodruff started expansion of Coca-Cola overseas by introducing it to the main sponsors of Olympic Games for the first time. In 1928 Amsterdam games, Coke continues to spend marketing budget on sponsorships and big events since then. As a result of the association with the Olympic Games, Coke's company image was promoted around the world. Its make Coke's product seems like a sporty drink that famous athletes and sportsman's most prefer to active people who love sport activity. This Olympic Games sponsorship and advertising made Coke to be a large market in the world beverages. (Jacob, 2006)
Coca-cola promoted their products though various advertising promotion such as prints advertisements, sponsorships, sample, premiums and especially TV commercial. The first Coke TV advertisement was launched on Thanksgiving Day in 1950 during a show 'The ventriloquist Edgar Bergen and his puppet Charlie McCarthy'. After that in 1956, It was transferred hands of advertising agency from D'Arcy group to McCann-Erickson .This agency produced a memorable Coke's TV commercial that one of the most famous Coke's advertisement, 'I'd like to buy the world a Coke'.
This article discusses innovative thinking of Coca-Cola that they continue use various unique advertising promotions to promote their product in their own way. Their several advertising promotion were very successful and still in customer mind. Their brand becomes one of the most famous brands in the world because Coke always reminds their branding with unexpected advertising promotion though a difference period of time. So, difference consumer generation of Coke have difference experience toward coke brand.
The most influential advertisement of Coca-Cola
In 1971, Coke launched the TV commercial called "I'd like to buy the world a Coke" This famous TV commercial was presented by many different young nationalities to promote world peace on the hilltop of Italy. They sang a song called "I'd like to teach the world to sing" which was written by Billy Davis. And then, this single has become a famous radio jingle and it becomes coke's slogan at that time. (Hayes 1996)
This advertisement was released during the time of Cold war and Vietnam War. At that time, Coke was represented as an international company that has distributors around the world. This advertising agency hopes that this advertisement can lead to peace between countries. This advertisement was described as a connection between countries even though war is painful. The jingle in this advertisement received a dramatic response by the American audience. This jingle was voted to repeatedly opened on the radio over and over, so "I'd like to buy the world a Coke has had passionate to Public audiences' emotion. (Hayes 1996)
Thus, the power of its TV advertising remains in people's memory and positive image of Coke to the customer's mind. This TV commercial was influential advertisement of all time. Coke continues to spend marketing Budget on TV commercial because advertising can reach a target audience and create brand awareness at the same time.
Advertising Campaign secret of Coca-Cola 'success
Coca-Cola always keeps the product on public eyes by creating brand awareness for over a hundred years though advertisements. Coke's company repeatedly promoted their product by several marketing communication tools from first Coca-cola print advertisement, event sponsorships, promotion such as sample, premium, coupons, free trial and TV commercial. As a result of various advertising promotion Coke have to spend a huge budget in every years.
There are report shows that advertising expense for the total worldwide spent on internet, radio, print ads and TV advertising included in advertising expense and general expense were approximately: (The Coca-Cola Company, 2006-2010)( See appendix 1, Fig1)
Consequently, the figure for advertising budget in year 1993- 2006 showed the increased continuously of Coke's advertising budget in 1993-2006 except in year 2002 -2003.
it seems fair to say that Coca-Cola continues to spend huge budget on several of advertisements and innovative ways to promotes their product can be the efficient indicator of overall success of business. From the two aspects of advertising it lead Coke Company has become successful global brand in carbonated beverage soft drink market.
Slogan is one of the important marketing tools to support characteristic for product to be outstanding and well known. Coke always uses slogan remind customer recognition toward Coke' brand. The first slogan of Coca-cola was short and easy to remember such as First slogan "Drink Coca-Cola" in 1886. After that Coca-Cola's slogan become more variable compare to the old slogans that were created by Candler. For example "Coke means Coca-cola "in 1945, "Coke adds life" in 1976 and 'Always Coca-Cola' in 1993, these short slogans reminded customer that Coke is an original Cola. Another example of famous Coke's slogan was 'The Coke side of life in 2006 and Open Happiness in 2009. This slogan which used in advertising campaigns can interpreted that people have happiness and enjoyable time while drinking Coke.
Moreover, Slogan of Coke Company always shows in every advertisement which memorable phrase, jingle, picture or films which related to coke's advertising campaign each year. Mostly Coke's slogan plays role to stimulate customer feeling to desire and coke product.
Coca - Cola target market and market share
Coca-Cola's advertisements mostly target on teenager and young generations. Because Coca-cola aims their product represent with youth and high energy people. On the other hand, later, Coke's advertisement it's changed their target market to 'Coke for all' or 'Coke for everyone' shows that not only the young generation are the their target group of Coca-Cola but everyone also is its target.
As a reason of Coca- Cola hope to change customer perception toward brand. Because of they don't need their brand image focus only teenager groups but also mass market too. Their revenue will be increase if they change their position image from beverage for teenager to beverage for everyone instead.
In the early period, Coca-Cola was first introduced in 1886; there were not many competitors in carbonated soft drink market like in the present time. In contrast, until 1898, Pepsi was jumped to the carbonated soft drink market and aimed the same target market as Coca- Cola. The competition between two rivalries of Cola market was intense which made them tries hard to promote their product though advertising as much as possible.
There was a table from Sicher (2010), made a top-ten chart of carbonated soft drink (CSD) ranking by market share between the years 2008-2009 (See appendix2 , Table 1) In the table, we can see there are many carbonated soft drink brand ,but there are only Coke and Pepsi who are market leader of Carbonated soft drink. (see appendix 2, table 1 ), It is showed in the table that Coca-Cola had a 41.9 % leader of carbonated soft drink market share and followed by Pepsi with 29.9%, which was the main competitors company. Both two companies had total approximately 70 percent of all carbonated soft drink market share. So, it was illustrated that long-term rivals PepsiCo and Coca-Cola were only two main candidates in carbonated soft drink.
Advertising seems like a superb weapon for promoting products to the target audience. It can stimulate and convince customers to make purchasing decision. There are many ways in marketing communication; especially advertising is a powerful marketing tool which can spread message to target audience. Indeed, Coke's company was promoted by advertising to be one of the most famous brand in the world. Most of the achievement was based on a hundred year of advertising history and their innovative thinking. That is no doubt that why Coca-Cola continuous spending a huge budget on advertising. Coca-cola who was market leader in carbonated soft drink successful introduces their product by launching TV commercials to attract all type of audience. Effective advertising helps Coca-Cola brand remain in consumer's mind and create brand royalty in the long term as well. Therefore, advertising is secret key behind the scene of Coca-Cola's success.
Figure 1: Advertising budget of Coca-Cola during 1993-2006
Table 1: Top 10 CSD Companies and Brands for 2009