By: Thomas DiMarco, Elisabeth Lutz, Kat Fletcher
The essay discussed many key components used by any company that is advertising its product. The first idea our group is going to discuss is how advertisements and culture go hand in hand. Culture is something that is specific to a certain group of people. It is the clothing, food, traditions, and many other things that distinguish them from everybody else. Culture plays a huge part in advertising. Companies must ensure that their advertisements reaches the demographic that the company intends for it to reach. If a company is hoping to reach a large demographic, they need to be sure that their ad is broad and can be seen as relevant to anyone. But, sometimes a company is advertising to a specific group of people. In that case, the company will use culture to their advantage and tailor their ad in a way that makes it relatable to a certain group of people.
“Culture is the glue that binds groups together.” Culture is a unifying force that allows us to coexist in the same space. Every culture may be different but those who exist within each culture share similar values and beliefs. These commonalities allow every person in that culture to coexist in harmony. According to the textbook culture cannot be separated from an individual. The textbook defines culture as, “shared beliefs, attitudes, norms, roles and values found among speakers of a particular language who live during the same historical period in a specific geographic region.” In the coca cola ad there were many different types of people that spoke different languages. These people, even though they spoke different languages, were engaged in similar activities that people in Western Cultures, namely America, can recognize and relate to. By including these activities such as roller blading or horse back riding coca cola appeals to many different groups of people that are contained in the massive Western culture. This appeal makes their product more universal and people no matter the age, gender, or ethnic background are engaged by this advertisement.
Another point the essay made is that an individual’s needs, motives, and emotions have a part to play in the meaning of an advertisement. In this case, the commercial was designed to relate to people who like the notion of diversity in the United States and want that diversity to continue and expand. It touches our emotions by playing the National Anthem in a slower and more impassioned, while also showing scenes of people having fun, seeing new things, and being with people. The song is also sung in multiple languages, further emphasizing the theme of seeing new things and being with the people one loves. It hits two needs that all people share. The first being the need for excitement and learning, whether its introspective, as shown with the scene with the man riding a horse in the woods, or larger scale, such as with the kid who went to Utah for the first time in his life with his family. It speaks to a person’s desire to do more than they already are and experience something different. By putting the song in different languages, it proves this point even further by introducing a larger audience of people into the themes as well as giving the audience more to think about when having their need for new experience to be addressed. The second need that the commercial introduces is the audience’s need for acceptance and friendship. The commercial has many scenes that take place in vastly different areas, yet much of the time, these people are with either family or friends. Along with that, they are all smiling and having a good time. When not with friends, the people are not smiling and having fun, but instead having a more introspective experience. By doing this, the commercial puts the idea into the audience’s head that being with other people means that one is happy. Since it is still selling something, the company’s logo/drink is always in a shot; showing that Coca-Cola, togetherness, and happiness are all part of the same package, and that one cannot be without the other.
Our group chose the Coca Cola commercial shown below. We chose this commercial because it clearly displays Coca Cola’s efforts to ensure that their product is consumed by all cultures. If the song in the commercial was only sang in one specific language, all other cultures would feel that the commercial and product wasn’t geared towards them. Instead, Coca Cola has the song in the commercial sang in several different languages. This helps consumers to feel that Coca Cola is a drink for everybody around the world, not just Americans. The video is ended with the hashtag #AmericaIsBeautiful. This shows that Coca Cola supports the diversity in America and wants all cultures to enjoy their beverage. This is an example of how Coca Cola used culture to their advantage and successfully reached a large demographic.