Marketing Essay – Advertising Past and Present

Advertising is an ever-changing part of the global marketplace. As the consumer changes, advertising must change as well. Generation after generation the consumers have grown, changed, and reinvented themselves. Advertising has done so right along with them. In order for a product to continue to reach its target market it must change with the market. Companies such as Ford, GE, and Coca-Cola have grown over the years not without the consumer, but with the consumer. As their market evolved these companies did so as well.

The purpose of this marketing essay is to analyze and discuss the ways in which the Coca-

Cola’s use of advertising has evolved over the past 50 years in regard to their flagship product. It will also evaluate the way in which this product’s target market has shifted overt time. This analysis will also include the impact of any ethical, social and regulatory influences.

The Coca-Cola brand has been a hallmark of the American way of life for more than 100 years. From its humble beginning in 1892, Coca-Cola has grown into a worldwide cultural icon. Coca-Cola is now consumed in almost every country on the planet. From Brazil to China, Coca-Cola is served at restaurants, vending machines, and movie theaters. This simple product has been woven into the very fabric of the twentieth century.

Over the years the Coca-Cola brand has gone through many changes. To stay competitive, profitable, and in touch with the times, marketing and advertising strategies have grown and evolved. Over the last 50 years the target market of the Coca-Company has changed, shifted, and then come back full circle. To reach these consumers advertising styles have evolved as well.

A 1950s print ad for the Coca-Cola Company presents the brand in a way that is refreshing after a long days work. This particular print ad depicts a woman wearing an apron, sitting back in a chair while drinking an ice cold Coca-Cola. The wording speaks of pausing during housework to enjoy a nice refreshing Coca-Cola. The woman appears to have been working hard while the family is away for the day. She is stealing a moment to herself for a nice refreshing Coca-Cola. She appears to be middle-class, thus making the ad appeal to many. It also brings about emotion within the reader creating a sense of need for the product. The ad would lead one to believe one could experience a positive impact in their life by purchasing the product (Schuch & Heideman, 2010).

A 2010 ad for the same Coca-Cola product depicts the brand in a somewhat different image. After years of using celebrities and sports starts Coca-Cola has gotten back to its heritage. This ad shows an empty Coca-Cola bottle on a gray and white background. The imagery is simple and basic, yet clean and inviting. In small red font the wording talks about no preservatives or artificial flavors since 1886. Coca-Cola is presenting its product in a way that aligns with many of the “green” and “all natural” products now available.

Today more than ever consumers are becoming aware of what goes into products. Coca-Cola is appealing to this by assuring the consumer that their products are natural since the beginning.

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