IS THAT IT?

Finweek English Edition - - Advertising & Marketing -

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.

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