COMMENT: Coca-Cola worldwide well-wishing
Coca-Cola is to run an international advertisement campaign over the Christmas period.
Coca-Cola's festive advertising strategy is aimed at appealing to consumers throughout the world in an attempt to revitalize flagging sales. Coke's move may well be motivated as much by a need to rein in marketing costs as a desire to spread Christmas cheer across the globe: either way, using such a homogenous approach may alienate more consumers than it attracts.
In an attempt to adopt a more global approach to its advertising and marketing, Coca-Cola's advertisements over the festive season will be shown in up to twenty countries. It is the second time this year that the soft drinks giant has used commercials designed for a worldwide audience rather than tailored to individual countries.
The Christmas advertisement was made in Chile and will be shown in Germany, the UK, Canada and the US, as well as Cameroon, Turkey, Mexico and Senegal, making its exposure truly international. It features people engaged in small acts of kindness in the spirit of Christmas. For example, it shows a man in a suit retrieving a football that some children have kicked into a fountain and a man dressed as Father Christmas buying a can of Coca-Cola for a woman from a vending machine.
The advertisement's soundtrack is a rock version of Bing Crosby's 'White Christmas'. Although Coca-Cola has stated its intention of using advertisements that are not aimed at any specific national market, the choice of soundtrack does suggest that it is, nevertheless, targeting specific consumer groups. The classic Bing Crosby song is likely to be recognized and popular amongst older consumers, while the updated rock style will appeal to teens and young adults. By making efforts to appeal to the often-neglected older consumer groups, Coke increases its chance of compensating for diminishing sales amongst teenagers and tweenagers.
Coca-Cola's new CEO has said that more advertisements in this vein are expected, as the company aims to consolidate its status as one of the few truly global brands. However, although such campaigns may cut costs and push the all-encompassing image that Coke wishes to promote, there is a danger that the less geographically specific nature of such a strategy could alienate audiences if they struggle to identify with Coke's own take on globalization.
Sectors: Soft drinks
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