Coca Cola would be one of the most consumed drinks all over the world. Often when thinking of Coca Cola, regardless of the geographical locations, will lead people to think of a polar bear not only because they appear on many TV advertisements but also because they are the mascot of the Coca Cola company. Polar bear has been a mascot since 1922. Coca Cola and polar bear have had a long and close relationship; observing Coca Cola still using polar bear as their mascot on current commercials, it can be inferred that polar bear has helped a lot with the sale of Coca Cola. On the other hand, Coca Cola has not done much for polar bear. Then, Coca Cola realized that there is a constant threat going on in Arctic, where polar bear lives. According to the letter of Sam Dorrance, a director of WWF to Helen O’Neil, a National NewsFeatures editor, he wrote

“Besides being Coke’s mascot since 1922, the polar bear is also a key aspect of the arctic ecosystem and a culturally and economically important part of the livelihood of the Inuit people. However, melting sea ice is threatening their survival” (Dorrance)

So, Coca Cola started the new campaign called “Arctic Home” since 2011, teaming up with WWF. WWF is a non-governmental institution and stands for World Wildlife Fund for Nature. “WWF’s mission is to conserve nature and reduce the most pressing threats to the diversity of life on Earth. Their vision is to build a future where people live in harmony with nature”(WWF). The official goal of the partnership is to raise awareness and raise funds to help polar bears. This campaign, however, is more than raising awareness and funds; there is a marketing reason Coca Cola is involved in benevolent movement. Arctic Home campaign is a brand imaging campaign using a part of cause-related marketing.

History of advertising can be divided into three stages. The first stage was when the advertisements was product based. It was after the industrial revolution. It was the time when customers were satisfied as long as their need is met.

“The Marketing Concept starts with the firm’s target customers and their needs and wants; it plans a co-ordinated set of products and programs to serve their needs and wants; and derives profits through creating customer satisfaction”(Kotler and Turner, 1981, quoted in Leiss, et al. , 8).

However, after industrial revolution has started the mass-production, there started competition between companies that produced the products of same category. So, “…corporations invested in advertising to influence consumer opinion and behavior in their battle fields of survival—rather than lower prices or develop new goods”(Leiss, et al., 9). This became the second stage. Second stage focuses on services and appeal to customer’s emotions.  Then, customers realized that companies treated them as no more than potential buyers, never fully understanding their value that drive them to choose the product of one company over the other. This led to a current stage of advertising, which is about values and moral of the brand; it is about brand imaging.

One of the strategies of third stage can be cause-related marketing. Cause-Related Marketing is

“A strategy in which corporates brand identity and products are connected to charity or non-profit organizations, primarily through the sale of commercial products with a percentage of the profits being channeled to the ‘good cause’ in question”(Littler 29-30).

Coca Cola successfully use the cause-related marketing by promoting Arctic Home campaign. The campaign was international. For the Arctic Home campaign, Coca Cola made several different advertisements using different medium. However, six main advertisements Coca Cola is using today are in forms of TV, print, movie, mobile, interactive, and packaging advertisements.

TV is one of most common medium through which the company put their new advertisements, because TV has one of higher viewerships than any other mediums. Statistics shows that “By 1957, television reached 97% of continental United States and over 82% of homes owned a television set” (Leiss, et al., 113). Due to the reason, Coca Cola also has placed its Arctic Home campaign on TV.

Since the campaign itself was international, they had to make an advertisement that solves these two problems: a way to escape the language barriers and universal attraction for international audiences. First, this advertisement aimed for audiences in different nations who speak different languages. So, instead of using lots of words, Coca Cola depended and emphasized more on visual images, which is a way that the textbook points out;

“Escaping the language barrier, international ads tends to be highly visual, and to use animals, cartoons, or celebrities as a means of creating character identification without making reference to a particular ethnic group”(Leiss, et al., 440).

As a result, Coca Cola Company used a video of mom polar bear and its cub, striving to survive on melting iceberg. By solving the first problem, the second problem was also solved automatically because

“To build intrigue and attract attention, advertisers draw on techniques they have accumulated over years—music, noise, celebrities, humor, intensive visual imagery, and drama (Admap 2003). Children, animals, and humor are used endlessly in television”(Leiss, et al., 431).

In the video, the main message they put in words was “Together we need to look after the arctic, so polar bear can look after her cub”. Then, the ad asked people to participate that again could be tied back to cause-related marketing.

To promote the Arctic campaign, Coca Cola made a film by sponsoring. I have not gone to see the movie; however, on the official website for Arctic Home campaign, I found this summary/explanation.

“Using the power of IMAX® 3D film technology, To The Arctic 3D, is an extraordinary journey to the top of the world where a family is struggling for survival. The film follows the intimate story of a mother polar bear and her two cubs as they navigate the changing Arctic wilderness they call home”(Arctic Home).

Involving in cinema is a growing medium of advertisements along the TV. If it is promoted through cinema, negotiating how to advertise in the movie is crucial because purpose of movie producers is to put up an artwork, while purpose of an advertiser is to gain profits through movie. There are three ways of negotiating relationship between program producers and advertiser. First is the traditional product placement, in which products are inserted to the storyline. Another way is to produce branded entertainment, where a program is to showcase a brand. Coca Cola did not use first two ways of advertising because it is a documentary movie where has its setting in the Arctic. Putting Coca Cola can in the arctic and polar bear picking up the can and drinking it will be a soap opera, not documentary movie. So,“…instead of, or in addition to, having advertisement inserted between programs, in many cases brands are now sponsoring program—a return to an older practice fating back to the nineteen-fifties and –sixties”(Leiss, et al., 358).

Print is the one of the earliest sources of pictures and information about the products (Leiss, et al., 56). It is still one of the frequent mediums of advertisements. However, while TV sort of force people to see or hear ad, assigning certain times slots that cannot be skipped by viewers, advertisement in prints often get ignored because viewers can skip the advertisement. In order for more audience to see the print ad, the print ad needs to be eye-catching. As I described on previous paragraph, besides the fact that a polar bear is mascot of Coca Cola, use of animal is quite effective. Coca Cola, also with the print ad, decided to use polar bear as well. However, the realistic picture of polar bear may not be enough to grab attention. “Believing curiosity stimulates attention, the creatives gave audience images to puzzle over”(Leiss, et al., 435). So, Coca Cola made a picture of a cub of a polar bear in a creative way.

Image

Arctic Home Print Ad

Coca Cola made the irregular-dotted picture of a cub. Giving a close look to the polar bear, audiences can find out that they are not irregular dots, but different fingerprints. Utilizing the fingerprints, it was not something audiences expected from a picture of a cub.

Mobile Ad for Arctic Home Campaign– application

The next ad is done through mobile phones. One of the fastest rising mediums of advertising today is the mobile phone. Although textbook is not yet updated and does not talk a lot about the mobile advertising. the textbook quotes Alvin Toffler, a prominent futurist in America; he said that computers, robotics, and telecommunication “smart” technologies will allow greater customization, and will bring a big change to life. One can do shopping with a click and will not be restricted to time when stores open or close. (Leiss, et al., 334) Some of the things the textbook are already done like customization of production, one click instant shopping and finally not being constrained by old 9-to 5 routine, which means no time restriction. Not only time is not restricted, the location has been unrestricted by development of mobiles. Development of mobile made easy for people to participate whenever and wherever they feel like. Using this advantage of mobile advertising, Coca Cola invented the application. Once purchasing a coke, if one finds a code that is imprinted on the Coca Cola can, one just has to open the application and text the code. By texting more codes, the picture of a cub will be clearer.

Like other companies, Coca Cola started to use the medium for the advertisement: interactive.

“The Implication of interactive and digital television which would allow viewers to touch the screen and purchase the shirt that the celebrity on the screen is wearing, is a dream that computer manufacturers are currently working very hard to turn into reality ”(Leiss, et al., 346)

It is a not to the level where clicking the celebrity on screen leading to purchase the item; however, it started to happen. Coca Cola showed an augmented reality of polar bear that made people to feel as if they are in the arctic.

This type of ad is called interactive is because audiences interact with the advertisement. Recent years, there has been an increase in advertising in use of this type of medium. The reason there has been an increase, can be related to giving people a special moments and experience. “There is a strong affinity between modern advertising’s communicative modes and social framework for the personal experience of satisfaction and well-being in a consumer culture”(Leiss, et al., 233). Likewise, personal experience is getting more emphasis today. How do companies make the experience memorable, which can leads to the sale of the product? Currently, It is being done through interactive advertisement because they evoke more senses than traditional and usual ads through TV, radio or prints. TV ad evokes two out of five senses: vision and auditory. Radio ad only evokes auditory; print ad only evokes vision. However, interactive can evoke more than two to up to all five senses. In Arctic Home interactive ad, three senses were evoked: vision, auditory, and tactile, which means touching.

To celebrate the campaign, Coca Cola produced a limited edition Cokes.

Image

Arctic Home Limited Edition Package

Apart from usual red can, Coca Cola made the special packaged Coke white. These limited edition cokes were placed to be sold in various places, including vending machines. The whole purpose of making limited edition was to make customers to feel special. “In conditions of modernity, where maintaining identity and individuality is an ongoing struggle, commodities are more often offered as a means of standing out from the crowd than standing in it”(Leiss, et al., 539). People usually have purchased luxury goods to stand out from the crowd. However, While all Coke packaging is same, having a special packaging on coca cola makes one a special person even without having high cultural capitals.

Since each of six mediums (TV, print, mobile, movie, interactive, and packaging) of advertisement is different from each other, six ads I analyzed was used different aspects of the medium and had different characteristics to each. Although different mediums have different aspect, six ads have successfully demonstrated the cause-related marketing in market 3.0; the main message of all six ads was to participate in the campaign so that Coca Cola can raise the fund for a good cause of helping polar bears in the Arctic.

Works Cited

“About Us.” WWF. 06 May 2013 <http://worldwildlife.org/about&gt;.

“Arctic Home.” Arctic Home. Coca Cola. 14 May 2013

<http://www.arctichome.com/showLBE.do?id=arcticHome&gt;.

“Arctic Film.” Arctic Home. Coca Cola. 07 May 2013

<http://www.arctichome.com/showLBE.do?id=arcticHome&gt;.

Dorrance, Sam. “WWF & Coca-Cola: Arctic Home.” Letter to Helen O’Neil. WWF & Coca-Cola: Arctic Home. 06 May 2013

<http://arctichome.blogspot.com/&gt;.

Leiss, William, Jackie Botterill, Stephen Kline, and Sut Jhally. Social communication in advertising: Consumption in the mediated marketplace. New York: Routledge, 2005.

Littler, Jo. Radical consumption: Shopping for change in contemporary culture. Maidenhead, Berkshire, England: Open UP//McGraw-Hill Education, 2009.

 

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