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  • Writer's pictureNamita Bajaj

An insight into Coca Cola’s visual branding strategy

An insight into coca cola's visual branding strategy

Coca–Cola has been a synonym to ‘Happiness and Sharing’ for over a hundred years since it’s conceptualization. From the year 1881 to the twentieth century, Coca Cola is one of the first brands that was truly global to the very meaning of the word. From its launch at America in the 18th Century, Coke managed to spread it’s bottling plants all over the globe in a span of twenty years. ASA G. Candler, the man behind the marketing and distribution idea, the man who decided to “bottle” the drink for the first time, became an example for what marketing really was.

Coca-Cola's first ad 1953

With the advent of digital marketing via television, visual ads became one of the ‘basic mode of advertising’ that took over. The internet revolution and the current age of the social web altered forever how brands express who they are and why they matter. The shift from the “organization” to the “individual” is now the order of the new age. The internet age has brought a new value system based on the speed of change. Being immersed in a dramatic world of disruptive innovation and a need for constant change, Coca Cola has created its own visual language, culture, and iconography from the unbridled energy of the digital playground they were born into. Speed and a willingness to embrace change is their essence.


1. Focus on the “Individual” and NOT the “Organisation”

No one is better than Coca-Cola at having all of its communications, down to the very packaging, embodying the brand promise of happiness and sharing. Each and every Coca-cola ad that is viral all over the world speak volumes but, nothing about coke, and only a flash of the iconic bottle of the beverage at the end of every commercial. This creates a branding that is as visual as it can get while Coke manages to create great stories that focus on the individual, keeping real their philosophy of ‘happiness and sharing’.

The best official commercials by #CocaCola

2. Highlights the uniqueness of the consumer

Coke ensures that is creates it’s visual advertisements keeping in mind its target audience. The beverage has no age bar and ‘that’, the beverage company keeps in mind! Coca-cola creates ads that cater to a wide segment of the population, ensuring it yields justice to them one at a time. For example, coke had a ‘not-so-wide’ market in Australia and thus the company decided to create a video ad that let the Australians know that they were important to the company, AGAIN KEEPING UP WITH THEIR MOTTO — SPREADING HAPPINESS AND SHARING! From having its brand name written in Chinese language in China to having individual’s names instead of the brand’s name altogether at Australia, Coca- Cola does not stop it’s surprises.

'Share a Coke' campaign by Coca-Cola

3. It is all about GREAT CONTENT

The ads of Coca-cola, all of which aim at it’s vision statement, have great content to support their case. Every commercial connects with the audience at their level.

4. Using the right form of visuals

The brand creates stories and not just commercial ads. They involve great planning and creativity that leaves their customers spellbound. It is not just about the bottle of coke, they say, it is about how we change lives.

Emotions spelt right - Coca-Cola Vianoce 2020

5. Keeping with their vision statement — Sharing and Happiness

From the years be it the popular coke ad of 1970 to today’s dramatic yet effective advertisements, coca cola maintains it’s vision statement through all these years!

I'd Like to teach the world - 1970

What is it that they are doing right?

1. A Product That sells: Marketing would result to nothing if the product being sold were not worth it. The Coca-cola, definitely is!

2. Awesome Content: Coca-cola uses stories that hit right at the heart in its video campaigns and thus, giving it the ‘human touch’ gets going in the market.

3. Screaming “silently” about the product: One of the most vivid themes of every Coca-cola ad is that it never boasts of its product on the face! It simply tells it’s story with a smart flash of the brand at the end of the commercial.

4. Incorporating the product yet highlighting the consumer: Be it a bottle of coke or any other product that it wants to market, coke always has its video ad highlight as the end user — The consumer!

5. Diversification: From depicting the brand in the Chinese text in China to creating individual names as the brand name in Australia, the company ensures it diversifies it’s approach to extent of the globe.

6. Seasonal Branding: Be it SUPER BOWL, FIFA or IPL cricket, The company ensures it goes with the season!

Coca-cola's 2012 commercial called 'catch'

7. Creativity at its best: Coca cola has local businesses around the globe and each of their teams know their customers locally, their local language, their interests, their preferences and they share their celebrations. Therefore, they get creative right down to the core, giving their customers a glimpse of themselves in every ad that they see.

Coca-cola - The social media guard!

8. Stating facts — Not just advertising: A shocker that most brands would never do, Coca Cola Co. does not shy away in stating the harmful side-effects of drinking the beverages they manufacture. An amazing way to stay true to building trust?

Coca cola comes out with the campaign that says - DO NOT DRINK COKE!

Wendy Clark, Senior Vice President at Coca-Cola maintains, “we’re engaging consumers and becoming much more transparent and participatory in the way we market. I think we are getting up and into the conversation with the consumers today.” It turns out that where ever they are located, Coca-Cola’s advertising strategy creates a complete vaccum in the minds of its viewer, filling the void with just the flash of the bottle and heartfelt story to f(SW)ollow it up with!

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