Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Coca-Cola: 60 Seconds of Reality

First let me say that I do not drink Coca-Cola. Mainly because it's not a healthy drink.

So while I am not a fan of the product itself, I am a fan of their marketing.

Participating in InternetLand with texts, emails, IMs, social networking, blogs, forums, etc., I appreciate the commentary Coca-Cola made with their Super Bowl 2009 Avatar commercial.

Have a look:

Technology has the power to bring us together. I use digital photos and videos to keep friends and family up to date on our kids. I use social networking to reconnect and stay in touch with friends from twenty years ago. I use texts to send lil love notes to my husband.

But if used improperly, technology has the power to create a disconnect, a lack of human contact, creating an inability to communicate effectively, and therefore leading to a breakdown of intimate and meaningful relationships.

A few things I noticed in a mere sixty seconds with this commercial:

* A person in Cyberspace is not always who they truly are. They hide behind their keypad. (example: avatars and humans rarely match each other in form or persona)

*A person can have multiple "personalities" in Cyberspace. (example: the changing avatars of one person sitting at a table)

* A person in Cyberspace, trying to be great and powerful online, can miss opportunities to be great in real life. (example: the "superhero" and the mom with the baby carriage)

* A person choosing to be more involved online can become ineffective, and misses out on the gifts in real life. (example: the mom pushing her child on the swing)

* It takes a conscious effort of reaching out and being authentic, in order to break through those techno barriers--our own and others.

* People crave real contact.

Coke doesn't sell a beverage. Coke sells human contact. Relationships. Connectedness.

This is not a new concept for Coke, as evident by their 1971 commercial:

The concept for the "I Like to Buy the World A Coke" commercial came from the creative director for the ad agency witnessing, during a bad travel experience how Coke brought people together.

"The next morning, as the passengers gathered in the airport coffee shop awaiting clearance to fly, Backer noticed that several who had been among the most irate were now laughing and sharing stories over bottles of Coke."

I'm too young to remember that commercial. But I sure do remember when they brought back that song and built on the theme in 1984:

These commercials inspire me. I find inspiration everywhere--even in an ad for a product I don't even like! I guess that's because I want to be inspired. How about you?


David Steadson said...

Superb post Bridgett! I hadn't seen the new Coke superbowl advert. I think it's one that's going to have to be studied to get all it's lessons. I'm sure you picked up on a lot that most people missed - the superhero and the lady with the pram is so cutting.

rocket said...

Superb Post!

alpha said...

Thanks Bridgett - a beautiful post - you brought a smile to a face tonight.

Anonymous said...

This was wonderful and perspicacious of you. And thanks for reminding us of an advertising genius, Billy Backer...had a white baby grand in his office and played it every day. Always wore a white suit. He was a Broadway aficionado...I like to think of him as the Lorenz Hart of advertising.
A few weeks ago, I watched (I admit it) a movie on the Hallmark Channel. One of the commercials was at least 10 years old and it still stood up. About the woman who visits an old college teacher who's packing up to retire. He remembered her paper and asked her what she was doing, a dotcom mogul perhaps? She said, "I became a teacher." And I still weep when I see it, and when I think about it.
Why do these ads stand up? Because they're human. And that never goes out of style.
P.S. That's why I recently watched Casablanca again and Penny Serenade and An American President.
Keep it up, B. I'm so proud of you.