© 2017 Sophie O'Neon

Coca Cola: A vast empire of influence and wealth

Coca Cola as a brand and advertiser, started off as a small business in 1892, that stemmed from a simple idea and involved a little imagination. Now, Coca Cola has developed very quickly into a booming industry, providing work for other businesses and is now one of the world’s leading consumers of sugar, thus providing work for sugar cane farmers.


Thanks to the invention of social media and such as Facebook and even YouTube, Coca Cola has been able to reach out and promote their products on a much larger scale targeting all audiences, in the form of advertisements. Many of Coca Cola’s forms of advertising can be seen on billboards, on the side of buses and even in the cinema. Coca Cola promotes it’s brand and products in a way which aims to incorporate them into the consumer’s daily lives. This can be done by advertising a can of coke with a cheap lunch deal, and lowering prices and using special offers to increase sales.


Coca Cola also use a form of re-conditioning to entice their audience with an urge to buy into their brand and product, which is in the form of sexually submissive advertisements. Here below i have included a link to a 1995 Coca Cola advert which depicts men as the more dominant sex, whereas the women are submissive. The advert consists of a male with a toned body opening a can of coke completely topless while women on their work break gaze at him longingly through an office window.



Below i have included a more recent advertisement from 2013, however it seems that the ideology is still the same.



Here is seems that the principle is still the same, however, around halfway through the advert the roles change. At the beginning it shows a women rolling a can of coke down the hill towards the male to attain his attention in which she succeeds. Then she makes a gesture at him to open the can, which he does, resulting in the can bursting soaking his top and his face. He then removes the top to expose his extremely fit physique and dries his shirt. While he does this the women’s facial expressions change from amusement to a gaping facial expression, and seem to stare at him in awe, resulting in male claiming the dominance role.

In the article by Kim Sheehan, ‘Cats and Dogs on venus and mars: Gender and advertising’ , Sheehan explores some of the ways in which advertisers portray gender roles by studying stereotypes and role portrayal. Kim Sheehan states that ‘when we think of people in advertisements, we often think of men and women who are perfect physical specimens’. This can be a result of advertisers using models with ‘perfect’ bodies and ‘nary a wrinkle in sight’. We as consumers are re-conditioned to this unrealistic ideal of appearance, attraction and beauty , and we therefore, subconsciously attempt to mold ourselves into this ideal, thinking that they are our own thoughts but they are actually pre-implanted. Kim Sheehan then goes on to state ‘many view these images as presenting a standard of beauty and fitness that is in many cases impossible to attain’.


To conclude this blog post, it is possible to believe that companies such as Coca Cola successfully advertise their product through advertisements which target consumers and the general public by introducing their ideals of beauty. Coca Cola uses techniques such as re-conditioning to ‘dumb down’ the public into believing that they can achieve power, beauty, attention or be seen as attractive and masculine. Through events such as the Coca Cola Christmas truck to appeal to all audiences , the public are constantly bombarded by Coca Cola products all year round, including the Christmas season.

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