AN ANALYSIS OF COCA-COLA ADVERTISING
Coca-Cola has one of the most recognized brands in the world, and that recognition is due in large part to the company's careful marketing and branding efforts. Coca-Cola has more than a century of marketing behind its brand, and despite missteps such as New Coke, the company remains strong and a symbolùgood or badùof American consumerism and marketing. This research considers some of the promotional campaigns that have built the Coca-Cola brand around the world, and uses the Lasswell communication formula as a framework for this analysis.
Lasswell put forth a formal formula for communication that applies to far more than just advertising and promotional issues. Lasswell's model provides a framework by which any communication can be analyzed (Underwood, 2002):
Traditional communication models assume the sender, message, and receiver. The sender encodes the message and the receiver decodes it. In the case of face-to-face communication, the core message is encoded in spoken language, but other factors, including body language, intonation, gestures and even the volume at which the speaker is speaking come into play. The same is true with other types of interpersonal communicationùthe message is encoded, whether orally or verbally, transmitted to the receiver, and the receiver decodes the message. Indeed, it is this encoding process that can lead to misunderstandings in e-mail where emoticons have developed in order to provide hints to the reader that something is meant as a joke or ironically (Silverstein, 2006).
The Lasswell approach also begins with the sender. The sender's own characteristicsùincluding whether it is a company or an individualùcan shape the message. In the case of Coca-Cola and other companies preparing marketing communications, the communicator is a corporate entity as opposed to an individual, and the message that is communicated is intended to be a corpor...