Coca Cola Australia Ads Soft Thesis
Excerpt from Thesis :
(Conniptions886 2009). Again the ad stresses the outdoor beach culture among those who have the means and leisure to enjoy it.
Coca Cola ads have not seemed to change that much over time. They have sacrificed expressing multiculturalism, without popular exception to build a following for their target market. One comparison ad done by Pepsi and much more reflective of diversity, and especially the diversity of the urban culture is the ad affectionately known as "Chain reaction." In general Pepsi seems to have somewhat let go of the beach culture and decided to focus on the massive urban youth culture. This is not to say that Pepsi has become the label of multicultural expression, as they still clearly target the white youth audience:
(Youtube user DuncansTV2008)
The Pepsi chain reaction video is a great example of the change of focus of one brand to the urban culture of the youth of Australia. Below a parent in Australia describes the sequence of the ad: "Three teenage boys stand by a Pepsi drink dispenser. A bottle pops out but evades capture, escaping on to the street. The would-be owner of the Pepsi dives after it, running into the path of a truck. The truck swerves to avoid him and hits a lamp post. The back door of the truck swings open to release red jelly (jello down under) on to the street, sweeping two professional young women into a jelly wrestling match. The lamp post falls to the ground and knocks over a fire hydrant. A torrent of water drenches a troupe of dancers/cheerleaders emerging from their studio. A garage door opens to reveal a live band, The Pictures, singing "Something I don't know." At this point a procession of hot rod cars on trailers surrounded by scantily clad dancers comes around the corner - and is diverted by the fallen lamp post to walk right past the wide-eyed teenage lads." (Duncan 2004) Clearly Pepsi seems to understand that the culture of the youth demographic and especially what they call their "bullseye" demographic has changed. Everyone is not simply a beach bum surfer. They live in the cities and live the city experience.
Another fantastic example of this trend, that has seemed to evade Coca Cola is this recent Pepsi ad where a famous Aussi celeb is riding an elevator with a bloke, talking on his cell phone. In the ad the celeb from Home and Away "New Pepsi Light tv commercial from Australia featuring an ex-home and away chick - she looks so hot now!" The joke is that the girl does not realize that the guy is talking on his cell, asking another girl out. She thinks he is talking to her and begins to respond, while the guy points to his Bluetooth. The joke ends by the girl stepping off the elevator into a group of friends who admiringly watch the sexy guy walk away, asking her if she rode the elevator with that. To which she responds, "yeah, and can you believe he asked me out?" (jakeseven7 2006) This is clearly a trend change, where Pepsi again acknowledges that youth are focused on urban issues, are fully technology and success oriented and like to laugh at the silly issues that arise because of it. "They have always been an urban people, or at least since the late colonial period (1880s), and have always had a socially stratified society by wealth and class very similar to England and America for much of its history." (Mosler 2002, 4)
Yet, another example with the celebrity endorsement trend and the urban/international focus is this funny ad starring the famed footballer David Beckam, run during the 2006 worldcup. In the ad Beckam leaves the arena while the announcer stresses the fact that he is simply having a bad day and is greeted in the hallway by a young "fan?" The young Aussie boy is holding a Pepsi and Beckam asks for a drink. The young boy hands the star his Pepsi and then stares in disbelief as Beckam takes a big swig of his prized drink. Beckam hands the soda back and begins to walk away. When the boy stops him and asks for his shirt. Beckam smiles, thinking the boy has finally become star struck, turns around and hands him his shirt. The boy takes the shirt wipes off the lip of his can and hands the shirt
back to Beckam who then walks away dejected as the announcer in the arena reiterates, "this is just not Beckam's day."(Meik28 2006)
Pepsi seems to have adopted the celebrity endorsement as both high glamour international stars and national celebrities endorse their product in almost all of their modern ad works and often in humorous ways. In this example Pepsi successfully demonstrated a marriage between the surf/beach culture and the celebrity endorsement urban/international vibe among Australian Youth. (gelobee 2006) The ad demonstrates a creative mix of unknown surfers and famous footballers, some of whom are not white, a departure from the all white faces in most ads, during a series of creative ad making on Pepsi's part where the footballers are surfing and playing ball at the same time. Showing up the surf/beach culture with their amazing football moves.
While Pepsi has relied on Australian and international celebrity endorsements for their modern ads Coca Cola seems to have taken an entirely different track in Australia with highly stylized and even animated features like this one where the music of the famous White Stripes are featured in a surreal cloning video. "Official Coca Cola Commercial from Australia and the United Kingdom featuring [American band] The White Stripes, "Love Is The Truth" (written by Jack White). © 2006 The Coca Cola Company."
The title of the commercial is "What comes around goes around." (CocaColaChannel 2007) Though this is not to say that Coca Cola Australia has not produced any similar ads to those produced by Pepsi, with regard to urban/international modernity they have just simply not stuck in the minds of those who seek iconographic examples of advertising and then post such icons online. Coca Cola in this ad also departs from the all white persona featuring a black man as a prominent player in the ad. Two final examples of the Coca Cola marketing trend toward the fantastic, rather than toward the true representation of multiculturalism, with real Asian (the largest immigrant population in Australia), aboriginal or black faces to a decidedly safer option, i.e. fiction are the happiness factor ad and the more recent global rainbow ads currently running in Australia:
The ad features an entirely animated and fantastical representation of what one might see inside a coke vending machine. The still shot and the full ad can be found here and thery are both very much worth looking at for the development of this idea. In a way it seems that Coca Cola has skirted the need to represent the real faces of diversity in Australia and has taken a higher road, less spattered with mine fields of political correctness and has simply created their own fantastic faces of the unreal. The next ad a very recent print representation is a current multi-campaign ad that represents coke as a global brand, with the rainbow world coming from it. This ad can be found in print, billboards but is the foundation of Coca cola's web presence:
(Rethinking Wine Blog 2007)
The ad represents the world map coming out of the universally recognized coca cola bottle. The map is decidedly universal and neutral as it is also a rainbow, representing the many varied "colors" of the world, without the investment or potential threat of placing real faces in the dynamic the ad conveys a message of both Coca Cola as a global brand and as one that recognizes the diversity of the human population. In this way the ad oversteps the need to really display the faces of diversity in Australia and, well anywhere else it sells its product, which is arguably everywhere in the world. Coke seems to have overstepped the need to ground its advertising in personal reflections of human multiculturalism, such as the real state of Australia and has actually created an ingenious way to express diversity without potentially stepping on any politically correct toes or diversifying its marketing resources to produce highly splintered and specialized marketing to smaller groups.
Coca Cola began advertising in Australia, paying attention to history and some cliches of Australian culture. While Pepsi and Coca Cola have seemed divergent in the last few years with regard to how they represent themselves in Australia. Coca Cola seems to be responding to globalization, by airing international (U.S.) produced ads and Asian produced ads in Australia while Pepsi seems to see the need to innovate and focus on Australian youth urban cultural interests. This portfolio is by no means a complete representation of the trends of advertising in Australia of…
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