About this sample
About this sample
Words: 1402 |
8 min read
Published: Dec 12, 2018
Words: 1402|Pages: 3|8 min read
In this report, I have gathered four different pieces of external communication produced by the Coca-Cola Corporation. These pieces were gathered in order to do a semi-comprehensive rhetorical analysis and audit of the company’s strategies in regard to advertising their company and their product- in this case, Coca-Cola. Many years ago I read the mission statement and vision of coca cola and I value it still to this day. On their corporate website, their mission statement reads: “to refresh the world in mind, body, and spirit, to inspire moments of optimism and happiness through our brands and actions, and to create value and make a difference.” These somewhat vague statements are given power and life from the market giant that is Coca-Cola. These words, spoken with the authority of a company that has the tremendous power to actually effect change, are not overlooked, and thus I decided to explore if their rhetoric truly reflected these mission statements.
When one first clicks on the number one result after googling ‘Coke,’ a clean cut website emboldened with red trim opens along with the photo above that captures a beautiful, young woman tipping back a coke with her eyes closed to her environment. Visually, Coke is pushing the idea that despite her beautiful surrounding with red confetti falling like snow, the real wonder of her experience is the taste in the glass bottle she is gripping. It has a dramatic effect on the website and the viewer. The photo is captioned with the phrase “Open up refreshment,” and elicits a feeling of adventure and happiness in the viewer, something the woman in the photo is observably conveying. The fact that a beautiful young woman is lost in the action of drinking the Coke associates it with youth, romance, and possibility. Coke is appealing to viewers’ sense of pathos in the way that the photo is all but outright saying that drinking a coke is comparable to, and even better than, life experiences.
Throughout the entirety of the website, Coke relies heavily on visual aides to market their product. Most of their home page is images and short videos that show in some way a person happily enjoying their own bottle of coke. Many different races are shown on the page but there is not a large scope of different ages. It seems that Coke is gearing their marketing towards the young, new age consumer. This is also suggested in their association of Coke to freedom. They utilize phrases such as “possibilities in every sip,” “taste a game changer,” and most obviously, “The refreshing taste of Coca-Cola beverages [are] paired with new and rewarding experiences.” To the young consumer, Coke is employing the use of pathos, and arguably logos, by furthering the idea that Coke is comparable to freedom and opportunity.
One last point to make about the website is that it seems that a sense of family and community is important to Coke. Refer to figure 2* below to view a photo on the main coke page that symbolizes many people coming together with the help of a coke. It’s a timeless play on the toast of friends over good times. The photograph represents friendship and happiness, which is a central them to the whole of the website.
Coke stays true to their mission statements in my analysis of their home page. Themes of refreshment, happiness and optimism persist throughout. A wonderful campaign filled with color and positivity is evident in every part of the website. It is polished to perfection, indicating that the company took great care in crafting their image.
The Coca Cola Corporate Office website has a more sophisticated set-up and it is obviously intended for a more mature audience. The article I selected is the most recent and addresses the company’s efforts to aide in the relief effort for Hurricane Harvey. Highlighted in Coca-Cola red, the header of the page reads, “The Coca-Cola Foundation Pledges $1 Million to Disaster Relief Efforts in Southeast Texas and Louisiana.” This demonstrates that the company deems it important for their consumers to know that they care about the people of the United States and are willing to share their wealth to those in need. They want consumers to know that the company gives back and is compassionate to those affected by horrible natural disasters. Ethos is most certainly being utilized here, as they are asserting that it is ethical to help those in need.
Their word choice in their statement proves this. Just one example includes part of Coca-Cola’s Vice President’s statement which reads, again in red, “Coca-Cola always stands ready to help when people are in need. As the heartbreaking situation continues to unfold along the Gulf Coast, we are reminded of the importance of coming together and supporting each other.” Visuals are again heavily relied on in this communication piece as on the main webpage. Below in Figure 3*, a man in a red cross uniform, a partner of Coke in the relief effort, can be seen stoically going to work to help victims. It is a moving image that evoke not only ethos, but pathos as well as it tugs at the consumer’s heart strings. Essentially, supporting Coke is supporting the victims of Hurricane Harvey and the Red Cross. As tragic the circumstances, it is a brilliant marketing move.
The third piece of external communication I would like to analyze is a commercial put out by coke in 2015 entitled, “#MakeItHappy.” The commercial is about one-minute-long and begins with flashes of people sending hateful texts and messages over the internet. It is filled with ominous music and people crying or upset as a result of the messages. It then cuts to a worker in an internet server room drinking a coke. He accidentally spills the coke onto the machines and all of a sudden, with the major chords of a new song, the ‘energy’ of the coke travels into the internet and changes the hateful messages into positive ones. For example, changing “no one likes you” to “there’s no one like you.” The facial expressions of the people who were upset change immediately and by the end of the video, there is no more hateful messages. It was quite a creative and positive commercial.
The commercial first and foremost is utilizing pathos to appeal to the viewer. Watching the messages online turn from hateful to happy with the aide of a coke results in a sense of satisfaction from the viewer. The audience witnesses the message that Coke changes things for the better. It also utilizes ethos. The coke changes the mean and cruel messages to ones that are more uplifting and happy. It is ethical to be good and decent to one another. An argument that Coke is also using Logos could also be made. Watching the happiness on the faces of the people whose messages were changed may inspire the audience to think that it is logical to be nice to one another in the first place. This commercial clearly embodies all of the mission statements of coke. It inspires moments of optimism and happiness, refreshes the mind on the positive potential of social media, and ultimately is trying to make a difference in the lives of regular people. It was a beautiful message.
Overall, Coke has an extremely polished website and campaign that focuses on themes of unity, friendship, and happiness. The company theme of the color red is tastefully woven into all of the materials as well as vivid pictures of crisp bottles of Coke. This is a company that has had decades to perfect its image to the world, and any company could learn from its techniques. The Coca-Cola brand is a giant in the world and carries massive influence. It does a wonderful job of using its power to promote positivity and kindness. It speaks in simple, memorable phrases to communicate with its audience take home messages that align with their corporate mission and values. Ethos, pathos, and logos persisted effectively, yet subtly throughout all of the materials. It was interesting to perform a rhetorical analysis on Coke, and I write this report with a newfound appreciation for the company.
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