Coke: Behind the Image Essay

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Coke: Behind the Image Almost everywhere I go, I see advertisements for “The Real Thing.” Even during my trip to Mozambique, a country stricken with poverty where the people rarely speak English, native children knew how to ask for their favorite drink, available just down the road at the street vendor‘s hut. Created in 1885 by pharmacist John Pemberton, Coca-Cola has evolved from a tonic peddled by traveling salesmen to cure headaches and hangovers, to one of the most recognized and most widely enjoyed beverages of all time (Oliver 14). On average, North Americans drink at least one serving of Coke per day (CSPI sc1). With over two million dollars spent every year on advertising and with very…show more content…
Coca-Cola argues many points in support of its marketing and image. Especially in the years following WWII, Coke has worked hard to present an image associated with having a good time. Since the late 1800s, Coke’s advertising has shown people in beautiful places and in beautiful clothes, having a beautiful time and enjoying their beautiful lives--even in times of war and economic recession. While wars, riots and scandals rage in this country, Coke has been “holding forth to the world a picture of itself as pleasant and rewarding--the kind of place most people would like for it to be” (Watters 216). In Coke’s more recent advertising, Coke continues its image of fun and beauty, showing teens enjoying a sunrise and at a rave dance party in the woods. However, these more current commercials were in response to two other adds that were considered “not funny” and “mean spirited” by public opinion polls (Sampey par 1-4). Those ads showed family members and friends physically fighting with each other because someone had forgotten to bring Coke. Along with the claim that it facilitates a good time, Coke also claims that it wants to give everyone a voice, minorities included. With the Vietnam war raging in the 1970s, Coke featured a commercial that showed different ethnicities from around the world holding hands and singing a song, including the words, “I’d like to buy the world a Coke” and “I’d like to

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