Ads of Happiness: Coca-Cola Marketing vs PepsiCo Marketing
Normally, the message that should be clear to marketers is that consumers and clients do usually respond to brands or products that offer a sense of well-being as well as functional purpose. In this regard, happiness as a tool for marketing is neither an exercise for sentimentalism nor corporate social responsibility. In fact, it is not even a variant for customer service. Instead, it is about offering transformative brand activation and experience that customers or clients will value. Towards this, happiness as a marketing tool has seen most marketers differentiate their brands by creating an identity that will attract clients.
For instance, there has been aggressive advertising and marketing of high caloric food products made in the United States. In this case, the major targets are children. Thus, advertising has been implicated as a potential causative factor in the childhood obesity epidemic. They seek to win the target’s emotionality and rationality. Similarly, in both the advertisements, the most prominent emotional appeals are fun/ happiness coupled with a play that is followed by fantasy or imagination, social enhancement and coolness.
By effectively analyzing these two advertisements, current essay will answer a number of questions that include the following: What is the purpose and intended audience of each advertisement? What values does audience hold? Does the advertisement make sense? Is the advertisement credible? Does it try to evoke certain emotions or reinforce certain values? Is it persuasive? How does it use happiness to instill persuasiveness? It will come out clear that happiness has always been used as a marketing tool in influencing the targeted customers through persuading them so as to buy or use certain products or services.
Description of the Advertisements
The advertisement, Looking Good, by the Coca-Cola Corporation is a 30-second commercial advertisement that shows a team of young, thin, and healthy people in green shirts with the slogans “Burp Better” and “Gulp Better”. The major aim of the team is to convince people to trade cans, bottles and cups of Coke beverages with lower or no calories. As a result of their campaign, traders turn out to sell to their customers the products with lower or no calories Coke drinks and people are depicted as being joyous. While the advertisement was noted by Ian Kennedy, a communication director at the Horizon Foundation, as not going to be loved by beverage companies (Zmuda 1). However, it promoted the message of happiness, especially by persuading the audience that Coca-Cola was in the verge of supplying beverages with low calories or no calories at all. The targeted audients were happy, particularly, because the product would have a reducing effect on the burdening effect of obesity.
On the other hand, the Aquafina FlavorSplash Drops is a beverage by PepsiCo Company, which aims at attracting people who are between the ages of 13 to those who are 19 years old (Zmuda 1). The advertisement that is for zero-calorie and a great tasting product targeting a younger demographic group has the graphics of bright-colored beverages. Those are accented by similar colored labels and have oversized and casual fonts, which easily reveals the names of different flavors. For instance, there is a strawberry-kiwi flavor titled “Color Me Kiwi” and an citrus-orange flavor referred to as “Peelin’ Good”. In addition, the drops are called “World Peach”, especially for mango-peach flavor and “Berry On’ for a berry flavor. As noted by Lowden, Pepsi Beverages North America chief marketing Officer, the advertisement is intended to be appealing to the teen age group “while qualifying as something moms feel good about buying” (Zmuda 1). Therefore, it serves as a common ground between what parents want for their children and what children find appealing to them. This happens because there is an influential share of voice that children enjoy in their families. Thus, if persuaded, children’s appeal can lead to better sales of the products.
Analyzing the Two Visual Texts
In the advertisement, Looking Good by Coca-Cola, the intended purpose and audience have well been established. This advertisement presents Coca-Cola’s iconic brand marketing of its soft drinks as means to happiness. It capitalizes on its aim of addressing the problem of obesity that affects many people in the United States. By doing this, the company was presenting itself as a health-conscious organization that advocates for the well being of its customers. This is especially in addressing the problem of obesity that results from consumption of high caloric foods, among them being sugary beverages that it deals with. In this case, the advertisement is very relevant to its target audience who were young people and who constantly like persuading their parent to buy them beverages that are sugary. Therefore, by the advertisement incorporating young, thin, and healthy people, it was enhancing its mirror effect that establishes the advertisement mirroring of the target audience’s self-image. This way, it succeeded in promoting their identification with the advertisement’s message. In this case, the message was very clear, which encourages the audience to stop consuming Coke beverages with high caloric content, because they lead to obesity.
Persuasion is usually a rhetorical device used by marketers in presenting a personal character through their products. It is such presentations that persuades or instills a form of interest in the customers in order to allow them purchase the products of the advertising company. In the ad which encourages audience to stop Looking Good, Coca-Cola convinces its audience that it is qualified to present on the topic of obesity, because of its dealing with sugary soft drinks. In so doing, it uses ethos as an appeal to authority. By being a notable figure in the field of high caloric foods that causes obesity, the Coca-Cola advertisement signifies the company’s vested interest in addressing the issue that continue to affect many Americans.
In this regard, it uses impressive logos, especially to its audience, in demonstrating its knowledge on the topic of obesity. For instance, by the advertisement showing young, thin and healthy people convincing customers to trade on Coca-Cola products with lower or no calories, it establishes the company as acknowledging that some of its competitors’ products do contain high calories content that are associated with causing obesity. Therefore, in displaying some of its products as being of lower or no calories, it persuades its audients, mainly the young people, to consider purchasing products with no calories. In cases where the products being advertised are those with a low content of calorie, the customers are normally made to believe that they as well can purchase Coke products with such content, yet their consumption will not lead to obesity.
According to Ghigliotty and Associated Press (1), the new marketing campaign of Coca-Cola will help in addressing obesity, especially by providing more diet options at soda fountains. However, Jeff Cronin, who is the director of communication for an organization called Center for Science in the Public Interest, pointed out that the new commercial product is not aimed at consumers. It is rather aimed at policy makers since consumers need to know that Coca-Cola, Pepsi, and other sugary drinks promotes obesity, diabetes and other problems (Ghigliotty and Associated Press 1). While the advertisement proves to be persuasive in presenting the Company’s need to address obesity by incorporating low content of calories in its product, there seems to be a lack of angle of vision in the advertisement. It would have been better if the advertisement involved a confession by one of the young, thin and healthy people. It would have been a confession that he or she previously suffered from obesity and it is due to consumption of low or no calories in soft drinks that has resulted into his or her ill health.
Similarly, the PepsiCo advertisement, Aquafina FlavorSplash Drops depicts the company’s intention in persuading the viewer to believe that its products is not only great in taste, but is as well zero-caloric in content. This is intended to appeal to the audience, especially young children of the ages between 13 and 19 years old as noted by Zmuda (1). He observes that the advertisement is most often aired in the U.S. advertising networks during children programming. As Brewster and Page (323) notes, many of the products normally use the term super-charged or a similar adjective to describe the powerful state or other physical state of the product. It is done in order to effectively appeal to its audience. For instance, the advertisement uses words such as “Color Me Kiwi”, “Peelin’ Good”, and “Berry On” in describing the powerful state of its products. Towards this, it effectively appeals to its audience who find themselves happy about becoming a part of what they see and here.
However, unlike Coca-Cola’s advertisement, PepsiCo’s advertisement uses pathos with emotions that appeal to its audience. The advertisement particularly appeals to the audience’s sympathies and imagination. It does this with intent of causing audience not just to respond emotionally, but to identify with the advertiser’s point of view in order to feel what the advertiser feels. For instance, the advertisement drops included such names as “World Peach”, which stands for the flavor of a peach-mango and “Berry On”, which has a flavor of a mixed-berry. Through this, the advertisement tries to create an emotional or imaginative appeal that relate what parents, especially mothers, feel good to buy to their kids and what kids find appealing. In this regard, the advertisement reflects on a particular culture in the society that depicts children as having a great influence in determining what a family buys or consume. Therefore, it sets out PepsiCo’s products as the better-for-you alternative to soda. The products are zero-caloric and can help in addressing the problem of obesity associated with consumption of beverages of high-caloric content. This advertisement in using fruit appeal tries to illustrate the common belief that such products that are healthy or nutritious are quite rare among the commercials. It presents food marketers as those with no salient concern for the children.
In conclusion, both Coca-Cola’s Looking Good and PepsiCo’s Aquafina FlavorSplash Drops advertisements deploy elements of ethos, logos, and pathos in persuading their audiences. The analyses of these two advertisements are useful to both health care professionals and other child advocates. The parties can use it as guidelines in the effective designing of the necessary measures to help in countering food advertising messages that are directed to young people. This can help in addressing the problem of obesity resulting from consumption of high-caloric foods, especially in soft drinks.