Coca – Cola has been a well known brand name for many years now and has been well known also for its advertising campaigns, for example every year, around Christmas, Coca – Cola is expected to show new adverts containing Polar bears drinking the original Coca – Cola glass bottle. This advert in itself has gives a positive well known image to the company’s audience every year.
Therefore at this stage, for every new campaign, the company will look how designing its message will keep the customers attention. For example through the use of AIDA; attract attention, create an interest, develop a desire and prompt action.
Furthermore aspects such as the message content, the structure and the message format need to be addressed in order to put together the message
Message content; to communicate to the target audience there must be an element of appeal within in the communication. This can be through rational, emotional and moral appeals. In the case of Coca – Cola they have chosen to look at the more emotional appeal, to stir up positive thoughts about the product. To do this they have used a series of adverts containing a happiness factory in which they have designed a few happiness factory cartoon characters who, once you pay at a Coca – Cola vending machine, start to work in order to send the customer the bottle of coke. (Please see appendix 2) This is linked in with the end line; “The coke side of life.” Therefore the company are suggesting that if you buy their product, you will be happy.
Although this approach is very useful in attract acting the attention of the buyer it can also can detract from the product. However Coca – Cola’s communication has been able to ““Break through the clutter” – to attract the attention of consumers but still deliver the intended message.”
Message structure; The Coca – Cola company has decided that the best message structure is to only mention the products strengths through communication through its adverts and also through its website discussions on today’s topics.
Message format; To attract attention a lot of the Coca – Cola communication is shown by bright bold colours, for example the Happiness Factory add is eye catching with the colours and music. This is also the same with the posters which the company uses, to communicate the “Coke side of life” theme they have collected a huge amount of designs to represent the product in which the company is holding an expedition at the Art Gallery on South Bank London. All of these posters are big, bold, bright and eye catching. In addition the company have allowed the public to submit their Cola side of life creations.
As the Coca – Cola Company has such a wide target audience it would likely chose to use both personal and non – personal communication channels
The Coca – Cola Company uses personal communication channels over the internet – in the way that consumers are able to ask questions about matters such as health issues and the environment and the company will respond. However as the company has such a vast consumer base mostly non – personal communications are used where the communications are directed to more than one person which includes use of media, sales promotions, events and experiences and PR.
The media used by the company is a mixture of print media (newspapers) broadcast (radio and TV) Electronic media (internet) and display media (billboards). Television, the internet and billboards are used for the main advertisement of the “Happiness Factory” whereas the print media is used more to inform the public about any offers available.
As the Coca – Cola Company is such a large business, likely it will decide to spend a lot on its marketing communications budget. The means by which the company does this is likely through the competitive – parity method and the objective and task method.
As the soft – drink market is such a large market, and the Coca – Cola companies products are so well known, keeping on top of the competition is important. On the other hand, as the company is a market leader it will most likely use the objective – and – task method in which the company will set its promotion budget based on what it wants to accomplish with the promotion. As Coca – Cola are constantly creating new ideas and getting largely involved with its advertising, likely there will be a large budget set aside in order to keep the consumers interested in their products.
Decide on media mix
Deciding on the media mix is important for any business in order to effectively reach the target market, after looking at some of the methods businesses use in order to do this I have decided that the main method the Coca – Cola Company uses are as follows;
Advertising is any paid form of presentation to promote the company’s product. As Coca – Cola is such a big business it will be looking towards its long term image, therefore advertising is its most important form of communication. For example advertising has pervasiveness and can help the seller repeat the message of a product a number of times – in Coca Cola’s case the message “the coke side of life” is repeated at the end of every advert (which is run quite frequently) as well as on posters etc. Advertising can also amplify expressiveness dramatizing the company and the product through print, sounds and colour. Again this method is used by Coca – Cola through the Happiness Factory advertisement likening a happy life style and drinking Cola, as well as making the process of making Coca – Cola seem magical. On the other hand as advertising impersonal the audience does not feel obliged to respond to the ad.
Sales promotion is an important form of communication in order to lead the consumer to the product. This can be done through an incentive where the business will incorporate some concession, inducement or contribution that gives value to the customer. Usually this will be short term to encourage consumers to purchase. As Coca – Cola is a household name; they have used short term incentives such as buy one get one free offers at supermarkets, or getting a free Coca – Cola glass when purchasing a certain meal at McDonalds. This encourages sales, not only for Coca – Cola products but also for the other participating businesses who, in turn, will likely advertise these offers.
Events and Experiences
Events such as company sponsored activities and programs can also be used to promote the company’s product for example Coca – Cola’s Art exhibition in London showing of the art generated for the purpose of the product poster was a good way to get people involved in the communication process.
In addition to this, donations to charities or to the environment can also engage customers. The Coca – Cola company for example claim to support the “Coca – Cola youth foundation” – to help young people in their community and “Caravan” – a charity to eradicate hardship for people who are or have been engaged in the grocery or provisions trade. (For more information please see appendix 3)
Public relations and publicity
Public relations or publicity are used to promote a product. One way in which Coca – Cola uses public relations is through its press releases. Most of which are also published on the website. One of the latest examples of this was on the 29th of April, Coca – Cola collaborates with Selfridges’ 100th birthday to bring out a limited edition glass Cola bottle. (See appendix 4) This form of communication again dramatizes a product, to make it more desirable to a consumer.
Interactive marketing is where online activities programs are made available to engage customers directly or indirectly to raise awareness, improve image or elicit sales of products. In regards to the Coca – Cola company for example, its website has wallpaper/picture downloads etc. This form of communication is useful to customize the message to appeal to the addressed individual, an example of this is how the coke Zero website contains a race car game which would appeal to the majority of the male target audience.
Word of Mouth Marketing
Word of mouth can include oral, written or electronic communications that relate to the positives or experiences of purchasing or using a product. The Coca – Cola Company uses its web site for any consumers to ask questions, as well as bringing up topical debates in which they may have concerns, in turn, the company replies and puts the majority of the answers online to be rated by other consumers who may have the same queries. This may lead the consumer to feel that they are under some obligation to buy the product after talking to the company.
On main way to measure the result of communications strategy is to look at the outcomes and revenues, a recent press release of the Coca – Cola company stated that
"Consumers around the world love and trust our brands and turn to us to provide simple moments of refreshment nearly 1.6 billion times every day”
(To see the full press release please see appendix 5)
This also can demonstrate the buyer behaviour measures, as Coca – Cola is known as a trusted brand.
Through the comments left on the internet, Coca – Cola may also be able to see the impact on the target audience. The company could ask if the customers remember the message, how many times they saw it, what points they recall, how do they feel about the message, previous and current attitudes towards the company
Manage integrated marketing communications
Managing the marketing communication involves an evaluation of the strategic roles of a variety communications disciplines such as general advertising, direct response, sales promotion and public relations and combines these to provide clarity, consistency and impact for the company’s message.
The Coca – Cola Company has accomplished integrating the promotional mix through, for example using the internet not only to advertise, but for public relations and to inform the public about events that are happening and press releases. Furthermore, it demonstrates a compatible theme, tone and quality across the communications media to achieve a greater impact.
In addition due to the nature of the internet site with the opportunity to ask a question to the company or give an opinion, the company is able to engage all the communications functions, at every stage of the communication planning.
Furthermore, all the communications strategies at each point are consistent with the overall strategy. Therefore, it is likely that the target market will be able to view them however and wherever they prefer.
AIDA and DAGMAR
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The Bottle Capper
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'Coca-Cola' Celebrates Selfridges' Milestone Birthday with An Exclusive Bottle
The Coca-Cola Company Reports First Quarter 2009 Results (21st April 2009)
Coke Side of Life
Kotler, p., Marketing Management 11th Edition, Pearson Education, USA 2003
Kotler, p., Marketing Management 13th Edition, Pearson Education