Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Coca-Cola's Journey

In order to fully understand why Coca-Cola chose certain advertising campaigns for their product, it is important to know a little bit of history about the company. Different time periods resulted in different approaches to advertising in order to make the advertisements relevant and appropriate for the time in which it was implemented. The fact that Coca-Cola was aware of the events going on in the world around them and the needs of their customers, allowed them to become one of the most successful carbonated drink distributing companies and has enabled their advertisements to aid the success of the business.
An Atlanta pharmacist named John Pemberton invented Coke in 1886. He sold his new invention out of the pharmacy where he worked for five cents a glass. Unfortunately, Pemberton died two years later and Asa Griggs Candler secured the rights to the business for roughly $2,300 and soon became the company’s first president. Candler took an aggressive approach to getting the company name out to the public by putting the logo on his employee’s shirts, clocks, and other items in his store. In 1894 the first Coke was bottled, and by 1895 he built a syrup plant in Los Angeles, Dallas, and Chicago.
Soon after Coca-Cola was released, there were many copycat drinks that tried to imitate the flavorful taste of the new beverage. In order to fend off these new competitors, Coca-Cola advertised their product as authentic and encouraged consumers to “Demand the genuine” and “Accept no substitute”. In addition to these advertising strategies, Coca Cola decided to design a special that would be an identifier for the brand. As a result, it created the contour bottle to make Coke distinguishable.
In 1923, Robert Woodruff became the new president of Coca-Cola. He was a marketing genius and had a vision of expansion for the company. He began to sell the product across the world after the end of World War II. In the 1950’s and 1960’s, Coca-Cola decided to come out with new flavors and soon developed Fanta, Sprite, TAB, Fresca, and they eventually acquired The Minute Maid Company, which added juices to the business.
In 1981, Robert C. Goizueta became the new Chairman of the Board of Directors and CEO of the Coca-Cola Company. He called his approach to making the company grow “intelligent risk taking”. He soon introduced Diet Coke, and it became the second most popular low-calorie drink in the world, only because Coke was the most popular. However, in 1985, Goizueta decided to change the Coke formula. The public did not react positively to this and they begged for the return of the old formula. The new CEO complied to the wishes of the consumers and returned the original formula to the market, calling it Coca Cola Clasic.
The 1990’s brought the introduction of the Coca-Cola Polar Bear and the popular “Always Coca-Cola” campaign. In addition, new beverages joined the Coca-Cola family including Powerade and Dasani. Today, the company sells 1.4 billion servings of its products everyday, and it continues to grow.

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