Coke: One of the Greatest Brands of All Time
How Coke Uses Shared Experiences to Stay Connected on an Emotional Level
I love discussions about the “greatest things of all time”, whether it is about the greatest sports team, athlete, or hamburger. Fortunately, there seems to be no shortage of online lists or opinions that break down the best of the best in what seems like every category.
Being a complete advertising geek, I have my own lists that involve the greatest brands of all times as well as the greatest campaigns. Some of the more obvious names on the list are Apple, Budweiser, and Nike, with each creating some of the most memorable campaigns of the 20th and 21st centuries. But with that being said, at the top of my list has to be Coke. Their ability to remain relevant and emotionally connected over the past 100 years is astonishing, and they do it in a way that is never heavy-handed or forced. This is not to say they haven’t had some bumps in the road. We can just pretend that the whole “New Coke” thing never happened.
For Coke, their most successful campaigns have always focused on shared experiences: moments that could easily transport us back to our childhood, or a memory that has long been forgotten. It’s in these moments that we are reminded of simple joys and the hope of things to come. Yes, it’s just a soda that has absolutely no nutritional value whatsoever, but that’s the beauty of branding – true branding: where emotional connections to a product, service, or organization make us feel a particular way. And in a crazy world that is often jaded and skeptical, it’s nice to feel that simplistic sense of belonging, remembering, and sharing.
Taking into consideration that most of us don’t have the same advertising budgets as Coke, we can still strive to form emotional connections with our audience, regardless of the industry, product or service. The goal is to first understand who it is we are trying to reach, then develop messaging that will resonate and clearly define how what you do or provide can enhance their lives.
Listed below are a few of our favorite Coca-Cola campaigns. If you have a favorite we missed, let us know.
Classic Santa Clause – 60’s:
“Hilltop” Campaign from the 70’s – An absolute classic:
Have a Coke and a Smile with Mean Joe Green – 1979:
Can’t Beat the Feeling – 80’s:
Coke is It (Featuring the Grambling Band) – 1981L
Polar Bears – 90’s
Share a Coke – 2016
Brotherly Love – 2016
GTA – Give A Little Love Commercial – 2013
Break Free 2018:
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