New Coca-Cola ad represents same happy approach, but with very different message
The new ad campaign from Coca-Cola aims to tackle the ongoing obesity problem in the United States. While some call it an attempt at re-branding the company, one critic sees this as an opportunity for global dialogue.
Coca-Cola has been a corporate powerhouse for more than 125 years, playing to a market they created.
But their latest campaign, to address obesity, has consumers scratching their heads on whether the campaign is tries to solve the obesity crisis in the United States or if the company is acting out of fear of being part of the problem in the first place.
Advertising consultant Cindy Gollap, who focuses on brand reinvention, business game-changing and transformative business practices, says it’s possible for Coke to market themselves as part of the solution to obesity, but only if they do so in a different way than the ad they’re currently running.
“One of the interesting things about the new Coke ad talking about obesity is that it is a beautifully produced, happy, shiny Coke ad, like many that we've seen before,” she said.
Though the ad asks the nation and the world to come together around the issue of obesity, Gollap says, there’s an opportunity to do something very different by tapping into the love people have for Coke’s products — despite their health consequences.
“Coke is quite right to say it's an issue for all of us,” she said. “But I think the opportunity lies in actually inviting all of us to have a voice in what the solution might be. As opposed to running an ad saying 'come together,' why not literally open up the dialogue to anybody who wants to talk to Coke about what we all think Coca-Cola could be doing together with us to solve this?”
By asking consumers for ideas, Coke could crowdsource solutions, instead of creating a slick piece of corporate communication, Gollap said.
Currently, the ad is running on social networks and some cable news outlets. The ad campaign will make its way into the entertainment sector eventually, with some ads possibly running during the Super Bowl.
But whether this ad campaign is an effort on Coca-Cola’s part to tweak the brand, Gollap says, it more represents a rare opportunity to take the issue of obesity and public health and use it to rethink what their business will look like be for the next 125 years.
"Why not reexamine your business and the way it works and look at how to reinvent it in the light of the world today and the issues that impact the world today, to create something equally long lasting, but potentially better for everybody including yourselves?” she said.
It’s going to be important for Coca-Cola to ask what’s next for the business, Gollap says, because 125 years ago Coke created a new kind of drink. Coca-Cola is still a brand people love, but they’ll have to consider changes, perhaps to make it healthier, to continue to endure in the future.
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