Influence of Advertisement
Fundamentals of Advertising Process
Advertising nowadays plays a crucial role for the successful existence of the company and has an exceptional impact on human consciousness. With the help of effective and appropriate advertisement, the companies can tell people what to buy, where to go, and who to become. The reason is that advertising specialists know the weaknesses of humans’ subconsciousness so well that they can easily control humans’ needs and desires.
Advertising is not always a work of art the main purpose of which is to create the positive impression. Advertising process is more like a production, which shows the first achievement results. The processes of perception and understanding the advertisement, creating a positive attitude and interest to the advertised product, the appearance of a desire to buy a product is a process that causes certain psychological reactions in the minds of target consumers. The aim and result of any impact always imply some change in the state that has previously existed. The positive impact of advertising is characterized by the emergence of new human emotions, ideas, desires, and aspirations related to the advertised item. According to Edward Palmer, there exists a model called AIMDA that explains the impact of advertising on the humans’ psyche. The model consists of five elements that should never be neglected when creating a new advertisement aimed at influencing the audience and creating the desire to buy the advertised product. In particular, these elements include attention, interest, motive, desire, and activity.
Attention is the concentration on a specific thing, event, audience, etc. Every day people see many different objects, but most of them remain unnoticeable since they do not have enough power to attract the audience’s attention. Only those things that are for some reasons necessary or important can keep the individuals’ attention.
Interest, in its turn, is a form of manifestation of a need that requires familiarization with the object. Every individual’s zone of interest is quite different and it often turns out that the presence of interest to one object excludes interest to others.
The motif on its own is not encouraging enough to cause any action. Moreover, every motif can be satisfied in different ways. For instance, when there is a need to warm up, it can be satisfied by purchasing a heater, going to a country with a warm climate, purchasing warm clothing and shoes, etc. In order to create the need and encourage people to purchase certain products, the product needs to possess other qualities except those that satisfy general human needs.
Desire as the element of the successful advertising campaign is the idea of possession something or making something. Recent studies have shown that different people have different approaches to linking their desires with the need to purchase a product or service. For instance, people living on a limited budget assess their desires in terms of necessity and rank them accordingly. Therefore, the existence of desire does not usually mean that a person will buy the product. However, the appearance of desire can be considered a success since it means that the advertisement has provoked positive emotions about the product in the minds of potential consumers.
Finally, activity implies actions that are necessary for purchase. In general, there are three factors that influence the purchase decision: degree of necessary goods, the degree of attractiveness of the purchase’s purpose, and the possibility of achievement of that goal. Activity is always individual since it depends on the individual with his/her personal desires, needs, and possibilities.
It is not surprising that companies that produce alike products always compete with one another. This is economically and logically understandable and natural. However, if the marketing or PR-war is not a wonder, it is a wonder if the war lasts for centuries. Two most famous manufacturers of carbohydrate drinks Coca-Cola and PepsiCo owned by Pepsi-Cola brand lead their war for a century.
It is difficult to imagine how much effort every company has spent on the brand image that could help the company stand out from competitors in a beneficial way. One can only imagine how much money has been spent on advertising and how many managers have lost their seats, allowing an unforgivable mistake. Nevertheless, the most surprising is the fact that the brands are not going to complete their war since the marketing war has acquired a status of the brand’s personal assistant in improving its strategies, inventing new ideas, and company’s development. One can notice that the PR-war of the brands is at its peak and one can only suppose which company will be a winner and which one will lose the grand ''game''.
When the Second World War ended, the brands actively began dividing the spheres of influence. First of all, they needed to attract a specific audience. While Coca-Cola has traditionally been the favourite drink of family people, Pepsi directed all of its efforts at attracting the attention of young people. For example, its motto was the phrase "Be sociable, drink Pepsi", which eventually gave way to a more widespread ''Pepsi - for those who feel young". Since no campaign can be successful if it does not experience changes, in 1964 Pepsi started using a well known new slogan “New Generation chooses Pepsi'. Moreover, the company's marketing strategy appeared to be so successful that it even got a special place in marketing textbooks.
What concerns Coca-Cola’s marketing strategy, its emphasis on universal values still remained the leader of the market despite the fact that Pepsi was quickly approaching it. Gradually, the war of brands has gone far beyond the United States, and the companies began “fighting” for the markets of other countries. Thus, in 1985, the top management of the Coca-Cola company was amenable to panic and decided to change the classic drink recipe assimilating it to Pepsi’s taste as much as possible. As a result, a New Coke was introduced to the market.
Unfortunately, the outcomes of such step were not the same as it was originally planned. The modified drink caused sincere indignation among fans of classic Coca-Cola who began a real scandal. They instantly formed "The organization of the old Coke lovers" the participants of which were so determined that they went to the court to sue a deal to the beverage manufacturer. Thus, the company had no choice but to return to the original recipe. As a result, New Coke was discontinued, and all those who had to do with the unsuccessful launch of the product were immediately dismissed.
Nevertheless, the scandal received the form of the benefit rather than an obstacle to Coca-Cola Company as the interest in the drink and the sales significantly increased. Additionally, Pepsi was again far behind, but it was not going to give up. Having started a rebranding in the 90s, it left only blue colour out of the three previously used colours. The company also changed its logo and slogan. Therefore, instead of the traditional "New generation chooses the Pepsi" it sounded more intriguing - "Pepsi changes the scenario” taylor.
In summer, 1996, in Atlanta, there had to be conducted the Olympic Games that were traditionally sponsored by Coca-Cola. In April of the same year, Pepsi decided to show its major strike. It organized a world tour stars in the capitals of the world, during which they advertised Pepsi drink. The advertising campaign included Cindy Crawford, Claudia Schiffer, Andre Agassi, and many other famous stars. Moreover, the new motto of the company was uttered even by the astronauts on the orbit. As a result, Pepsi-Cola managed to approach the level of Coca-Cola’s sales, but it did not manage to surpass it.
With every new original marketing strategy, Pepsi is getting closer to its competitor, but it is unlikely to overtake it. According to most experts, the reason for this lies in the ideological promise, which is the basis of the brands. While Pepsi focuses on youth, football, movie stars, Coca-Cola is based on eternal values and is associated mainly with Christmas, family, and home comfort. Every advertisement broadcasted by Pepsi is the work of art. It is always provocative and bright and therefore is always pleased both fans of the beverage and its opponents. Although, Coca-Cola still remains far ahead. Thus, according to the recent data, Coca-Cola controls 42.7% of the US market and receives 74% of the revenue from the international market. Pepsi controls only 30.8% of the domestic market while its revenue from international sales does not exceed 48%.
Analysis of TV Commercials
For the analysis, there were picked two commercials of Coca-Cola and Pepsi-Cola broadcasted on TV, in particular, “The Coca-Cola Factory” and “The Diet Pepsi”.
“The Coca-Cola Factory”
The commercial belongs to the category of easy-watching commercials since it is presented in a form of a short cartoon that attracts the viewers’ attention because of the cute creatures, easy-listening music, and the attractive colours. The commercial does not use any endorsement as the main hero of it is the product itself - the bottle of refreshing Coca-Cola. The commercial allows the viewers to get into a fantastic and so unreachable in real life world of Coke vending machine and observe the magic of drink final preparation with their own eyes. Great animation and computer graphics attracts the attention and creates the desire to watch the advertisement not causing annoying or irritating feelings.
Trying to highlight the problem of recession, the commercial aims at appealing to the potential customers who long for hope, optimism, and comfort at times when the exhausted economy undermines the sales of carbohydrate drinks. With the initial slogan “Open Happiness” and the slogan at the end of the commercial “The Coke Side of Life”, the commercial reaches its main purpose and creates the need in the minds of potential consumers to buy a bottle of magic drink that brings happiness.
The message of the commercial is the one of diffusing joy and happiness among those who choose Coca-Cola. The advertisement shows the whole bunch of positive feelings and emotions a person receives with every sip of the drink – joy, energy, and refreshment. The commercial itself is not a short senseless video praising the product, it is the whole story describing the mysterious process of Coke bottle production. The commercial is a fairy tale that with the help of imagery pays a tribute to everyone putting his/her effort to the production of the drink. Thus, the workers of the fantastic Coca-Cola Happiness Factory (Picture 1 and 2) are compared with the workers of real Coca-Cola production factory who admire and value their contribution, adore their work, and are proud of being a part of Coca-Cola family.
The iconic and symbolic element of the commercial emerges at the end of the video in the form of a red bottle of Coke with a loud slogan “Open Happiness” (Picture 3). While the bottle of Coke is the symbolic element, the iconic element is the red colour that is associated with the drink since the very beginning of Coca-Cola existence and appearance on the market. Moreover, the colour also acts as a rhetorical device for the commercial.
All in all, basing on the above-mentioned analysis of the advertisement, the commercial can be classified as intricate, complex, proficient, and sophisticated since it contains a number of hidden meaning connotations, symbolic and iconic elements. The creativity of the commercial attracts the attention at the first sights creating the interest to watch the commercial till the very end and participate the mysterious production of the most popular drink. Moreover, as in every Coke commercial, the consumer remains at the heart of whatever Coca Cole does.
The receiver or target audience of the commercial is the mass market due to the fact that Coca Cole is consumed by people of any age, any culture, race, social status, etc. From children to elderly, teenagers to adults, all people at least once in their life consume the drink. Thus, the advertisement is aimed at influencing the target audience at macro-level since it is directed at all Coca-Cola consumers regardless of their various demographic peculiarities (for instance, social status, age, religion, race). In general, Coca-Cola is represented as a national drink that is a part of everyday life of the citizen of the world.
According to the Maslow’s theory, every individual’s behaviour and actions are concentrated on satisfying a certain type of need. This is the theory that every PR-specialist applies to when developing new marketing and promotion strategies. The Coca-Cola Factory commercial is not an exception as it creates the need to be happy. Such a strategy was not chosen randomly since happiness includes a wide range of more or less important needs. Therefore, the focus on such a broad “need” broadens the area and the scale of influence. For instance, different people need different things to be happy. For some, happiness is to be wealthy, for others it means to be rich. The advertisement combined all these people into one category, claiming that opening a bottle of Coca-Cola drink, they will open the happiness as they understand it.
The level of commercial’s effectiveness is dependent on a number of factors that include the degree of commercial’s appeal to its target audience, the ability of the commercial to appeal to a broad demographic area, and the means utilized in the commercial to attract the attention of the viewer. People are surrounded by unbelievable amount of messages in their everyday life that subconsciously connect their deepest emotions, feeling, and needs to the products. It is a well-known fact that the main purpose of the advertisement is to attract consumers’ feelings and needs to material goods. The chosen commercial of Pepsi-Cola drink meets all the requirements necessary for a successful advertisement. The “Diet Pepsi” advertisement puts at the center of focal point the main hero of the commercial – the new Diet Pepsi (Picture 4). The collaboration with a young and attractive model Sofia Vergara who with an extreme desire and thrive gets a can of Diet Pepsi and alluringly drinks it through a straw is a trick used by Pepsi-Cola company in almost all of its advertisement to provoke interest, respect, and trust in its product. The final words “Nothing refreshes like a Diet Pepsi” become the slogan of the commercial. The success of this advertisement is caused by the effective utilization of a centric layout along with a subtle, relaxing, and appealing tones referring to the target consumer.
The message of the advertisement become clear from the name of the product – Diet Pepsi. If a person wants to stay fit, enrich the body with energy, quench the thirst, and feel a refresh – Diet Pepsi is the best choice. The commercial tells the story of an attractive Sofia Vergara laying on the beach until she incidentally notices a can of Diet Pepsi in the hands of a girl laying on the beach. Being frustrated of the long queue to the beach bar selling Pepsi, she published a new post in her twitter with the text: “At the pier…just saw #DavidBeckham!” for the queue to leave the bar and “hunt” for the star so that she easily can buy a can of refreshing drink. This way the commercial shows that even a star can go to some ridiculous lengths in order to get a can of delicious drink. It makes the viewer believe that the drink must contain some magic ingredients or have an absolutely perfect taste that is worth any effort and money. Moreover, the presence of David Beckham in the commercial as the representative of sportsmen target audience group strengthens the impression the commercial performs on the viewers.
The iconic element of the commercial in its full beauty appears at the end of the commercial when Sofia alluringly drinks the drink through a straw and the final words “Nothing refreshes like a Diet Pepsi” appear (Picture 5). The symbolic element of the commercial is a model with an ideal body who drinks Diet Pepsi and looks perfect despite the myths that carbohydrate drinks are not for those who want to lose weight or stay fit. The general layout of the commercial is effective in terms of drawing the viewers’ attention to the product. The drink is visible, located in the center and acts as the focal point.
The receiver of Pepsi-Cola commercial as well as Coca-Cola one is the mass market due to the fact that Pepsi-Cola is consumed by people of any age, any culture, race, social status, etc. However, while Coca-Cola is not concentrated on a micro-level influence and aims at influencing every citizen of the world, Diet Pepsi has a specific group to be influenced by the commercial. In particular, the commercial neglects any demographic features but focuses on those who want to drink tasty beverages and stay fit.
As well as Coca-Cola commercial, Diet Pepsi also successfully implements Maslow’s theory of need creation and desire-provoking. The desire to look as good as the model in the commercial, the desire to get as much pleasure from drinking a refreshing can of Pepsi as the model from the commercial remains with the viewer throughout the whole advertisement. Thus, the commercial can be considered effective as it influences the viewer on both micro and macro-level and encourages the target audience not to wait but go and buy a bottle of refreshing drink that can not be replaced by any other beverage in the world since “Nothing refreshes like Diet Pepsi”.
At first glance, the main conclusion to be drawn from the analysis is the fact that Coca-Cola is confidently taking all leading positions while Pepsi-Cola has no chances to keep up with it. Nevertheless, such conclusion is only partially true. It is a fact that Coca-Cola is well promoted and advertised but the recent activity of Pepsi-Cola marketing team shows significant development and success in advertising sphere that gives Pepsi all chances to overtake and leave Coca-Cola behind. However, properly constructed publicity campaign can help Pepsi-Cola dramatically improve its image, and, as a result, increase sales by creating a strong competitor to Coca-Cola. The strong position of the Coca-Cola brand on the market is proved by the analysis of one of its TV commercials according to which the success of the brand is caused by its concentration on the macro-level influence and the creation of complex needs that can be easily applied to any citizen of the world regardless of demographical peculiarities. The analysis of Pepsi-Cola commercial proved that the brand is not staying far behind its competitor but is confidently approaching it. The cooperation with famous actors, models, sportsmen creates the feelings of respect and trust as famous people earning millions will not drink a beverage if it is not good enough. Therefore, the utilization of effective, appropriate and well-developed marketing strategies as well as the concentration on the right motives of the target audience can change the situation drastically, forwarding the brands that have long stayed behind.