Analysing the forms of communication

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The communication is one of the key factors in the companys success. We have different terms like advertising, public relation, promotion, merchandising which are all different forms of communication, but as stated by Hiebing Jr and Cooper (2003) it will be an error to bunch all these as the same. Advertising is a form of communication intended to catch attention of a target (consumer, user, user, voter, etc) to encourage it to adopt a desired behaviour: purchase of a product, election of a political personality, etc. Advertising, action to make public or state of what is public took actual meaning of ' all means used to introduce a product, a firm to the public by 1830. Therefore this date links the development of advertising to the industrialization and to the development of big consumption markets.

I. Advertisements

Advertising can be defined as any paid, non personal communication through various media by business firm, non profit organizations, and individual who are in some way identified in the advertising message and who hope to inform and/or persuade members of a particular audience. (De Pelsmacker, Geuens and Van Den Bergh; 2004).

Intangible advertisement

The intangibility of the advertisement is due to the fact that we cannot keep it, but we always remember by something.

Early print advertising concentrated on displaying the colourful Benetton garments being worn by its youthful target market the models always multiracial and multinational. They underlined the Benettons message of world peace and racial and national harmony. Some years ago double page advertisements, which featured only multicoloured condoms, were banned by some US magazines. More recently, advertisements which showed a black woman breast-feeding a white baby caused a furore amongst American blacks. The banned advertisements were replaced by the far more innocuous images of parrot sitting on the back of a zebra or multiracial Pinocchio puppets. The most recent campaign included an advertisement featuring a photograph of a newborn baby still attached to the umbilical cord. The advertisement was displayed as a poster in London.

Tangible advertisement

The tangibility of the advertising is most of the time associated with the promotion. We have chosen the commercial of Coca Cola. This ad has a jingle which went through so many generation whenever there is a fun, always Coca Cola. Coca cola advertising could be seen as a story. It has affected American culture, it is credited by the invention of Santa Claus images in 30s adverts (appendix 1), before Santa Claus in 1890s it was a young actress Hilda Clark who was illustrated the campaign. In 1941 advertising of Coca Cola was informative. The name changed to coke people can still remember Billy Davis song I'd Like to Teach the World to Sing which became a hit single. From 1960s Coca cola movies, sports, popular singer in theirs commercial. The most recent advert of Coca Cola is the associated with the recent World cup in South Africa, showing a famous Cameroonian Footballer, Roger Milla, dancing and celebrating a goal. (Coca Cola Website)


According to the financial times (august 2010) Coca cola revenue has decreased to 3% from December 2008 to the December 2009, which put its revenue at 30990.00 million in 2009. This company is one of the oldest one. Coca is in our culture. The world cup advertisement is one within the hundredth advert launched the companies. However these advert really affected the consumer mind.

1. Market share, rivalry and positioning

In 2009, the Coca Cola Company is the world largest marketer, distributor and manufacturer of soft drinks. The table 1 shows challenger of The Coca Cola Company is PepsiCo.

Table 1: Share of Coca cola and the main competitors


coca cola 43

Pepsi co 31

Cadbury Schweppes 18

other 8



Fig 1: market shares of the non alcoholic drinks

2. Product life cycle

The life of Coca Cola started in 1986 in USA. Its formula has always been well � kept secret and has not changed through the years. However, Coca Cola has been always developing to maintain the brand in the number one position. It is normal for a product to reach the decline stage after being introduced to the market. This is a Product Life Cycle (PLC). The Company is constantly developing its product and/or the brand to extend its life cycle and to delay the decline

3. The target market and the audience

Coca Cola takes every customer as target, and every person who is thirsty as potential customer. All age groups are being target but the most potential is the age group from 18-25 that covers around 40% of total age segments. During the world cup, the target audience was all the supporters, the people aware of the world cup, the people wishing to win prizes and there was no limit of age.

B. Benetton

The advertisements are designed to be noticed and provoke reflection on the social issues of concern to the Benetton. The baby advertisement was described as �a documentary-style bit of social reality� symbolizing �the beginning of life how all human beings come into the world in the same way�. The advertisements also seem to be effective in selling clothes.

1. Market share

If Benetton had a theme song, it could be �We Are the World.� .Italy's largest clothing maker, The Benetton Group pushes a global attitude in its ads while colourfully dressing customers in about 120 countries through some 6,300 franchised Benetton stores, department stores, and megastores. In 1977, 2 per cent of sales were to markets outside Italy. By 1986. This figure had swelled to 61 per cent of which 40 per cent went to other European countries and 15 per cent to North America. The proportions are similar today with total sales in 1990 reaching $1.7 billion.

2. Competitors and positioning

Benetton operates in a highly competitive, mature industry characterized by a fickle consumer base demanding an increasing variety of products. The market is volatile and risky. Competitive activity can render one's product fines unfashionable overnight. Product life cycles are planned to be short to maintain consumer interest. Benetton�s main competitors are: H&M, The Gap and Inditex. In fact, Benetton plans for eight fashion collections on top of the two basic fashion seasons, that is, a complete change of product lines ten times a year. The logistics system needs to operate at a high level of competency to support this incessant pace. (Benetton website). A recent analysis of the overall performance of the top European companies has ranked Benetton third after Glaxo and Reuters Holdings.

3. Product life cycle

The turnover of Benetton has increase from 2005 to 2008 by 32,3%. However, since the recession the sales are going down. (Fig 2)

Fig 2: Trend operation Cycle

The company has started a new campaign to reboost its sales at the top. (Appendix 2b)

4. Target market and audience

The advertising philosophy of United Colors of Benetton is based on Luciano Benetton's belief that �communication should not be commissioned from outside the company, but conceived from within its heart.� (Benetton website, 2010). Benetton detractors have often labelled its global products as the fast food of fashion. McFashion as it has been called. Benetton's strategy is a truly global one. The same garments are sold throughout the world through the same small boutique-style shops, merchandised within strict corporate guidelines, and supported heavily with print media using identical advertisements worldwide. The strategy is to brand a �total look�, from the colour co-ordinated garments to the ambience of the small stores rather than individual products. That illustrates that the target audience are the young people.

C. Intended Objectives

The notion of advertising as broadened on the basis of customer attraction. These advertisements whether it is Coca Cola or Benetton have basically the same main objectives.

? Provide information about product

? Enhance positioning

? Influence attitudes and behaviour:

? Build a brand equity

? Overcome dissonance of customer


? Sustain the increase in sales

II. Marketing communication theories

A. Hierarchy of effects

Consumers progress through a step by step process, as they receive marketing information and move toward a decision.

Fig 2: hierarchy effect

The basis of the hierarchy model is AIDA developed by E.K. Strong (1925). Many variations have been made from the original mode including Colley�s DAGMAR model with sequence as follow: awareness, comprehension, conviction and action. (Appendix 3)

B. Information Processing Model (IPM)

According to McGuire (1978), this model (appendix 3)consider the issue of retention or the customer�s ability tor retain that segment of message that he/she accepts as valid or being relevant to his/her environment.

By using a celebrity like Roger Milla, who is a star in the football world, and who is African in their communication strategy, Coca Cola wants to communicate the core value which is the celebration of the world cup with Coke.

United Color of Benetton in the printed advertising, in appendix 2b, is using young multiracial people, wearing colourful clothes. In fact, the core value here remains the same, colours, youth, multi, etc.

C. Foote Cone and Belding grid (FCB)

FCB is the advertising company where Richard Vaughn has incorporated model that allow to understand people�s attitude toward advertising (1980). It is based on two dimensions:

? Level of involvement

? Thinking/feeling related product

The table below shows the place of Coca Cola and Benetton according to FCB model,

Source: R. Saxena Marketing management, 3rd edition

Fig 3: FCB Grid

III. Communication process model

The communication is a dynamic process involving a series of actions and reactions with a view to achieving a goal. (Yadin, 2000)

A. Coca Cola

1. Message structure

Verbal versus non verbal: Coca Cola uses a story of Roger Milla as a footballer to illustrate how to celebrate after a goal, by dancing. In the commercial, (refer to Coca Cola/commercial) we can see people dancing and celebrating a goal in many ways by drinking a coke. And the non verbal is represented by the printed poster of Coca cola for the world cup.

2. Message Appeal

This ad has a humorous appeal, showing people dancing in different ways, might be found funny by the audience. It is very easy to be remembered but the audience can only watch the commercial and see the print poster during a certain period of time (during the world cup 2010).

3. Message format

The broadcast ad � copy uses Roger Milla to testify that we can enjoy Coca cola, while watching a football match. The slogan used in the broadcast was �the new way of celebration�. And the ad is not more than a minute because the cost.

? Message source: the source in this advert is Roger Milla, who shows to the people the �new way of celebration�

B. Benetton

Benetton advertising strategy is very controversial.

1. Message structure

The first campaign showing the new bay born, the multicoloured condoms or the black women breastfeeding a white baby has a two sided structure. The audience was more confused than informed and some people were really angry accusing the company of racial distinction. This campaign has been banned and the second and most recent ones showing young people dressed with colourful clothes has a refutational structure, trying to overcome the dissonance of the public. (

2. Messages appeal

Although the first campaign is concerning the clothes industry, it has this emotional, sex and fear appeal. Emotion is shown by the new baby born (appendix 2a), the sex appeal with the multicoloured condom (appendix 2a) and the fear appeal with the human hearts with black, white and yellow written on them. (Appendix 2a)

The second campaign can be seen as rationale and emotional because it represents the world with young multiracial people who are in joy and who are showing their clothes (appendix 2b)

3. Message format

The format ad � copy for printed media for the both campaign. Using the same printed posters worldwide. (Appendix 2)

IV. Analysis and ethics

A. Ethics

1. Benetton

Benetton first campaign has been seen has non ethical. Double page advertisements, which featured only multicoloured condoms, were banned by some US magazines. More recently, advertisements which showed a black woman breast-feeding a white baby caused a furore amongst American blacks. The banned advertisements were replaced by the far more innocuous images of parrot sitting on the back of a zebra or multiracial Pinocchio puppets. A burst of 800 complaints from the public in less than a week caused the Advertising Standards Authority to ban the poster but not before it had raced to the top of the UK Marketing magazine's top ten list of spontaneous recall advertisements.

Although Benetton claims the provocative advertisements are not designed simply to attract free publicity, it does not deny that the attention is welcome. The advertisements are designed to be noticed and provoke reflection on the social issues of concern to the Benetton�s. The baby advertisement was described as �a documentary-style bit of social reality� symbolizing "the beginning of life how all human beings come into the world in the same way". The advertisements also seem to be effective in selling clothes.

2. Coca Cola

Soft drinks are one of the main causes of obesity (heath service journal, 2010). Although Coca cola diversified, its brand, including diet coke, coke zero, etc, there will be always of health if it is drink too much. Claiming that, it can be drink as much as you like that is a dangerous message that the company put in people mind. Sponsor of many and the most known events in the world, they are a big impact of people lives, Mostly in United States of America where the Coke is a part of the life style, the culture since a century. In spite of the awareness of people, regarding the abuse of the sparkling drinks, there are still helping the company to increase its market share and to remain the leader.

B. Analysis

The similarities and the differences are already seen in this paper. However, I will still highlight them.

1. Similarities

? The Coca Cola Company is the leader worldwide and Benetton is he leader in Italy

? Both companies are worldwide

? Young people is the main target audience

2. Differences

? Benetton advertising is mostly printed while coca cola use the printing and the broadcasting.

? In spite of the fact that the both are in the retail industry, their product is different.

3. Recommendations

? Benetton wants to see itself as a McFashion. However in the UK its price does not reflect that because there are plenty of competitors that have adopted this policy but are much cheaper. Example: Primark, H&M, Gap. So the price policy must be review

? As a retail company, they should apply a non sale season ( do sales even if it is not a period)

? The best technique to be applied is the Push technique by increasing the number of store within the UK

? Coca Cola best technique is the Pull technique because there is a lot of distributors sometimes before the product reach the final consumer.

? Some products are not known as Coca cola Product, the company must increases the promotion on those products.