Love it? Hate it? Rate it. 1-5, 1 is Love

  • Currently 3/5 stars.

Views: 117

Comment by DavidCrace on September 28, 2009 at 10:15pm
Love to get everyone's input on this commercial. It's an example of an advertisement communicating emotional benefit.
Comment by Michael B. Moore on September 29, 2009 at 12:01pm
I basically like it although I think it might have some meaningful strategic flaws. If 1 is best, I think I'd give it a 3. Of course its very well done. It looks beautiful. The music is great! I think it generally connects the product/brand with smiles and good times in a fun way, but this is where I think problems lie as well.

To me, Coke is really merely a prop in this spot. It's not really integral to the story. If the ad connected the boy's smiling with Coke more directly - for example, if it communicated that he was happy that he was going to get a Coke or that he was going to get a Coke because he thought that would endear him with the girl or whatever, then I think the ad would have been more powerful. As it is now, we don't know why he's smiling. Who knows, maybe the boy is a lunatic and just can't prevent himself from compulsively smiling. :-) From the opening shot with the girl, the role of Coke and its connection to the smiling (and the story of the spot) seems ambiguous.

Also, when there are SO many trillions of real, human examples of why people smile - why concoct a fake scenario with the ants smiling? To me, it begs the question, if that is so clearly fake, what else about the spot is fake? Why inject that into the spot needlessly? It's a throw away few seconds, probably somehow related to Coke's affection for using animated animals etc. (a la the Polar Bears) in ads. Kind of lazy???

Also - if I'm understanding things, the various scenarios seem to be situations where normally there would be tension/no smiles: the crying babies, the two in the fennder bender, the movers, etc. What's the deal with the people looking to be Asian tourists in the bus??? Does Coke really want to, at best, dance around the edges of racial stereotypes in its advertising? And since when are Asian tourists unfriendly or surly - to be equated with pit bulls and insects? Doesn't make sense to me. I missed the joke; perhaps others might too. Even if there is some cultural nuance that, because its a Spanish language spot, I am ignorant of, I don't see how one of the most patently global brands should be playing in that arena.

In the end, since the boy's smiling seemingly brings happiness to others around him, wouldn't a more strategic and brand building ending have been that, from the start, we never see the girl and the Coke, but at the end we find out that the girl hasn't been smiling because she's insecure of her braces and the boy makes her smile by giving her a Coke? Or what about if the boy begins to fatigue smiling and making others happy and in the end of the spot he gets a Coke and recharges/frefreshes his happiness so he can continue? In these examples, Coke is not a prop, but the hero of the spot - the source of the smiling and happiness.

I'm very curious to read what others think! I admit I tend to "read" advertising very literally. You can guess how much the agencies loved to work with me, huh? :-)
Comment by Alexandra Hobson on September 29, 2009 at 1:38pm
I'll give the ad a 1. I understand Michael's point of view, but I think he's drastically over-reaching in his comments, reading far too much into it. It's a positive ad. It tells a good and upbeat story. It positions Coke in a positive light, evoking things as universal as smiling and happiness, even youthful romance!

Consumers are not advertising critics. They look at something and make sometimes instantaneous decisions about whether or not they like the ad and whether its something for them to file away somewhere in their brain to consider next time they're at retail. At the end of the day, the ad creates a positive emotion in the viewer and Coke is firmly attached to that feeling! What more could you ask for?
Comment by Preston Samuels on September 29, 2009 at 9:58pm
I actually think Michael's comments are spot on. To be honest, he's seen things I probably wouldn't have. I missed the Asians on the bus, but agree that it makes little sense. More important, I also agree that Coca-Cola could have been more strategically woven into the plot of the commercial. Just having a warm moment and then showing a brand logo isn't really good enough. It doesn't make for the absolute strongest and most strategic advertisement.
Comment by Gunnar Branson on October 1, 2009 at 9:05am
I found myself smiling right along with the protagonist of the spot - goofy as he was - so it certainly had an emotional pull - but I have to wonder if this ad is not unlike the Mean Joe Green spot of the 1970's - in other words, everyone loves it - but it doesn't necessarily move the needle in terms of sales - just makes everyone feel good.
Comment by Michael B. Moore on October 1, 2009 at 2:07pm
I think he's drastically over-reaching in his comments, reading far too much into it.

We live in a world where marketers can no longer afford to waste either words or dollars. Why include anything in an ad if its not directly accomplishing either brand and business objectives?

Moreover, merely juxtaposing one's product in an ad with scenes/people portraying strategic attributes is no longer sufficient to emotionally and logically tie the two together. Who says consumers will link those attributes in their minds with your brand? Do people really "buy" every ad that's on the air? If not, then why not? This is the core of my concern about the Coke spot. Clearly its a Coke ad, but is there a clear connection between the product and the aspirational behavior or does it seem that Coke is merely sponsoring a warm moment?

Advertising that simply offers an entertaining message or feel and then ends with a brand logo doesn't cut it any more. Consumers may not be actively analyzing advertising in the way that I did, but I guarantee you that the rigor with which I tried to approach thinking about that ad can make an extraordinary difference in how effective it is in both connecting with consumers and motivating them to buy.


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