IS THAT IT?
COCA-COLA, one of the world’s greatest brands, spends massively on advertising. The icon of continuity behind all its marketing is the Coca-Cola logo and the bottle shape and it frequently launches a new slogan that supposedly captures the current spirit in society.
In fact, more than frequently. Since 1886, when Coke was born, there have been 168 slogans. That’s more than one a year – which seems a lot, even for an unusually forgetful consumer. The “Pause that refreshes” was an early success, created by D’Arcy Advertising in 1929. In 1961, courtesy of McCann-Erickson’s Bill Backer, we discovered that “Things go better with Coca-Cola.” It became “The real thing” in 1969 and from 1982 Coke was “It”.
Most recently, the message has been less direct, promoting “The Coke side of life”. But after less than three years Coke executives are apparently on the point of ditching that positioning, on the grounds it doesn’t translate well throughout global markets and doesn’t provide a clear call to action. It was the slogan hailed in 2005, when it was launched, as the biggest thing since New Coke. In retrospect, that may have been an apt comparison, considering how New Coke became a debacle. However, it’s been popular with the advertising cognoscenti, winning a Cannes Lion, among other awards.
Coke’s new campaign will symbolise “Open happiness”. Until we see the TV commercial here – and that may take quite a while – we can only guess what that means.