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Coca-Cola has one of the most recognized brands in the world, and that recognition is due in large part to the companys careful marketing and branding efforts. In an Essence magazine, I noticed that the Coca Cola uses warm welcoming colors such as gold, brown, and orange to set the atmosphere. Also symmetry plays an important role in this advertisement. For instance, the props are equally matching on both sides the table around the cake. There is one woman in the center of the group as a focal point; all the other women have their heads tilted toward her. Clothes in this ad even have a pattern.
First, the woman to the far right has a pattern shawl; the woman next to her left is wearing a solid color blouse. As we continue to examine each woman clothes, every other woman is wearing either solid color or a pattern shirt. Facial gestures are scripted as well; if we look closer on each side of the table two women give the same face expression with their nose up and month open. Another symmetrical trait is the women hair styles. Therefore the women that match facial expression also match with having long hair styles. The storyline is simple; it takes place at someone house in the kitchen. Friends gather around the table to celebrate a birthday. Skinny African American women are look happy and are laughing having a good time. Then the advertisement states in lower case letters, “who’s counting? Coca Cola make it real.” Coco Cola ad is targeting African American women in their mid twenty to mid thirties and promising them that no one care about the calories, age doesn’t matters, and you will have a good time because Coca Cola is the real taste of soda.
Evidently, the brand being advertised in the ad is unmistakably Coca Cola, and the product being promoted is Coca cola can. The characters in the advertisement give a picture of young African American women, probably in their mid twenties to mid thirties celebrating a birthday party. Undoubtedly, the advertisement is specifically meant for them. According to Goddard, “women in such an age group are faced with a couple of decisions to make, which include but are not limited to marriage, career status, and independence” (121). Additionally, these women are usually faced with dietary and weight problems, matter that forces them to watch their eating habits more closely. It would seem unusual to see a woman in this age group celebrating some good moments without the company of men. This leads to majority of them being insecure, unhappy, and less confident. Conversely, the ad gives another scenario of the situation that is sure of attracting emotions. The women in the ad are all happy, as evidenced from the facial expressions and the celebration. Interestingly, they seem independent and able to treat themselves without help from any male presence. Pickton & Masterson postulate, “Coca cola products give a clear impression that it is the ideal drink for the occasion” (15). The advertiser’s make of use “hype” to illustrate a certain impressions. Hype refers to vague and meaningless statements as such as Coca Cola Making It Real and no one is counting. This makes the whole scenario to sound good.
Another attention-seeking hook towards the target market in the advertisement is the use of femininity and culture. The Coca cola ad is all-feminine with complete presence of females. Additionally, the setting of the advertisement is the kitchen, a place commonly associated with the female species. Robinson & Warwick argue that gender stereotype is sure to capture the attention of the African American woman “who loves to share issues affecting them during social settings such as in friend’s parties and social settings” (50). The Coca cola can fit in properly to such a scenario given that they are all females celebrating a birthday party of one of their own. Culture is applicable in this situation given that the advertisement specifically targets females of African American origin. The feminine scenes of African American women depict the culture being targeted in the ad (niche marketing).
Beauty is among the outstanding features of this Coca Cola ad in that images of average African American women are used to glamorize the whole scenario. Robinson & Warwick goes further to claim that, “Even if their ages can easily be categorized into a particular group, they still manage to give an impression of beautiful and happy African American women having fun” (55). Additionally, the impression of beautiful and happy African American women does not necessarily tell anything regarding the Coca Cola product but all the same, the impression is capable of relaying emotional transfers about the product and making someone to feel good through influence and manipulation.
According to Pickton & Masterson, “the technical effects in the advertisement that are key to adding the intended effects to the commercial” (20). For instance, the camera angles made sure that all the necessary details in the advertisement had been given the desired perspective. Emphasis was provided by ensuring that the images were taken from a close-up angle. The set and setting was preferably the kitchen to give a feminine impression to the targeted audience. This in turn serves to generate an emotional impression to the audience that the product being advertised is ideal for their normal environment whereby independence can also be exercised.
Accessories are featured mainly in the advert to promote an element of beauty to the Coca Cola product being advertised. The African American women featured in this advert are nice dressed as evidenced from their hairstyle, to stylish and elegant clothes, and jewelry (necklace and earrings). These accessories truly give images of beautiful women, an element that the target audience can easily associate. In the ad, the poses and clothes by the second and fourth persons are similar. Their necks of their clothes are both v-shaped, the color being the only differentiating thing. Moreover, they both wear accessories (earrings and necklace) to complement their beautiful appearance. The first and the last women seem to share some similarity as evidenced from their poses. Finally, the third (middle) woman seems to share the same amusement with the other women thereby completing a happy moments that they seem to be sharing. The Coca Cola product completes the celebrating mood by relaying the intended message of happiness and beauty. The whole advert is sure to persuade the target audience that they can be happy, attractive, and beautiful.
The use of color in the advertisement helps in giving life to the situation. The golden color that seems to be illuminated by the lighting of the room completes the delightful moment typical of celebrations such as birthday parties. The candles, the cake, the table, and most of the elements in the background are matched to draw emotional attention. Additionally, the color matches with the golden and/or chocolate complexion of the African American characters in the advert. The scenario looks beautiful to the eyes and is likely to be associated by the targeted audience. The contents of the product are sure to fit in to the situation for it matches with the hair of the characters giving a matching effect to the elements in the advert. Again, beauty and happiness is a sure thing to be associated by the targeted audience. The message promoted in the commercial is simple, beautiful women are always happy. The slogan-“Coca Cola make it real” gives the message that if happens to the characters in the audience, it can also happen to them.
Age is a major factor in the advert given that the target audiences are African American women in their mid twenties to mid thirties. Usually, such women are coupled with identity issues to do with their ages, social status, and independence. They are often mirrored by the society and are expected to have achieved something under their name. Leading on the list is marriage or family responsibilities. Additionally, they can never do anything without their motive being questioned. This includes but not limited to having fun and enjoying themselves. This advert promises to give them reassurance through the do not care attitude that “nobody is counting” and therefore they should have uncontrolled fun. Instead, they should have it real as it is just as portrayed by those consuming the advertised product.
Conversely, advertising has a lot to do with conveying the intended message. This is attained by use of words that are capable of generating straightforward meaning without having to struggle much. Tomlinson emphasizes, “Coca cola advert uses a mixture of signs, texts, and gestures to drive the desired meaning to the audience” (65). Images of those featured in the Coca cola commercial contains some iconic qualities that the audience can easily associate. Those images belong to normal, average African American women enjoying themselves in a normal setting and it provides resemblance effects to the audience. Symbolic gestures and facial expressions give illusions of some people who are happy and it is clear that they are consuming the advertised product and happy altogether.
Finally, the presentation of the Coca Cola advert can be categorized as being simple and compound. “It is simple in the sense that most of the intended information is relayed on a neutral background” (Tomlinson 71). The target audience is not only easily identified but also the product being advertised. Alternatively, it is characterized as being compound in the sense that it employs realistic pictures of African American women in straightforward situations. For instance, drinking is common during birthday celebrations and therefore Coca cola comes in handy. Additionally, it unusual of people in a celebration party to be sad and thusly, the women in this advert are portrayed as being happy.
Strategy is also evident in the Coca cola avert. Firstly, the brand image takes the lead in the advert for the only evident brand in the picture is that of coca cola. The brand is fore grounded so that everyone can see. Goddard asserts, “Generic and pre-emptive messages are included to persuade provide the audience with the necessary personalities” (122). For instance, the messages “who’s counting and make it real” are included in the advert add meaning to the brand image. The Coca cola commercial is sure to provide the targeted audience with the promise of improving their personalities by connecting concrete features of the product and the driving force.
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