Essay on Advertising in the 21st Century

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In the twenty-first century, advertisements have become the order of the day and how one puts out their adverts determines whether or not they will be able to survive in the marketplace. Some of the concerns that relate to advertisement include socio-cultural factors, economic factors, and political factors, while there exists regulation regarding the advertisements. Another key factor that has been emphasized in advertisements is the relationship between lifestyle and consumerism owing to the schemes of advertisements. The primary aim of an advertisement is to persuade an audience to take action toward the object being highlighted and with a minimum of three thousand advertisements targeting a person each day, the advertisements thus need to be outstanding. While action needs to be taken to ensure that the advertisements are not exploitative due to the techniques of persuasion. Many marketing agencies try to get consumers to buy their products without necessarily being concerned about what they need which ends up inconveniencing the consumers in the long run. An examination of an advert is, therefore, very crucial to ensure human values and preferences are incorporated in the advertisement. The advertisement techniques of major western multinational corporations such as McDonalds and Coca-Cola have been used in this essay to determine the key advert concepts, the relationship between consumerism and lifestyle, and major advertisement ideologies.  

            Coca-Cola is one of the major western multi-national corporations that are popular for its soft drinks. Coca-Cola gained its popularity due to the combination of its marketing schemes ad advertisement patterns. According to the study carried out by Butler and Linda (2015) John Pemberton who was the CEO of the Coca-Cola brand determined that after all advertisements were laid out, it was important for the formula to be tested to make sure it is outstanding and that the advertisements being made were genuine and not merely meant to lure customers into purchasing their products (164). The company went a step further by carrying out pharmaceutical research on the formula used for the soft drinks and Cocaine which had initially been put as one of the recipes for the formula was removed in 1903. Adjustments to the formula were then made slowly based on the tastes and demands that consumers made. Coca-Cola's main marketing and advertising strategy is the maintenance of high standards which has been in use since 1919. Coca-Cola company is careful to observe such a key element; for instance, the smallest degree it issues for serving the drink is forty which was initially placed as a mere standard for the drink, this attention has been captured by several other soft drink providers in the market. Such a strategy used by the Coca-Cola Company has been in use for more than seventy years making it known, and people have learned to feel good about the brand owing to its consistency contributing to higher demand for the product.

            Macdonald similarly is the other major western corporation that is multinational based and majorly handles fast foods. The advertisement schemes of this corporation have been questions several times owing to the rates of obesity in major nations like the US and other developed and developing countries; however, the corporation has managed to come up with alternatives to keep the company in business. Promotional mix is one of the marketing strategies mainly used here, and advertising is the major mix, then public relations, direct selling, and promotional sales. The promotional mix emphasizes the communication of the product as a means of attracting new customers while still keeping the old ones. Advertisements are properly handled in this platform where people are reached through TV media, print media, and radios, and they target even the least interested persons. One common advert scheme at McDonald is the sale of items for half a price; if an advertisement is passed to sell burgers at a price that is half that of the normal rate, even the least interested parties may want to know what the deal is in selling the product at half the price. In so doing, some people have been reached. Give-a-ways on specific days are also common, and it is an advertisement and public relations kind of approach since it aims at luring more customers to the market while at the same time maintains a good image for the company.

Primary Advertising in Coca-Cola

            One of the hugest budgets that Coca-Cola incurs is that of advertising because they believe that this is the means that message can reach many consumers within the shortest time possible. Advertising in Coca-Cola began being emphasized at an early age with persons such as Candler being the advertisement pioneers that contributed to the success of the company. In his perspective, it was better to spend more time in branding the products and creating awareness rather than invest in other schemes than in the long run fail to have returns on the investments. A successful advertisement, according to him has a resultant successful impact on the company as a whole and due to this belief; Coca-Cola became a global brand as it promoted the transfer of information through media. As Butler and (2015) points out, in the period of `1893 and 1904, sponsorships and print advertisements were emphasized through the administration of Candler, and that was an innovative way of making people aware of the new refreshment (187). With such an innovative scheme coupled with coupons, the promotion saw success in the consumer trial of the first period. Posters were also created with the Coca-Cola brand logo on them which managed to attract the attention of people, and it eventually worked very well. The period following the Second World War was a tough one for Coca-Cola especially with the retirement of Candler, and with the leadership of Woodruff, new expertise was brought to the table. The brand was advertised to the world during the Olympics games promoting the image of the company on a world stage.

            The first TV advertisement that Coca-Cola launched was in 1950 during Thanksgiving show, "the Ventriloquist Edgar Bergen and his puppet Charlie McCarthy" (Butler and Linda 2015, p. 177). The TV platform commercial was memorable and opened new domains for the company such that they had to become innovative in the schemes that they were to apply. Another memorable advertisement made was, "I'd like to buy the world a coke." Such an advert was unique and promoted the Coca-Cola Corporation to the extent that their brands became some of the most famous because consumers were always reminded of the brand through the unexpected advertising. In this particular advert, different young nationalities were used to promote peace in the Italian hilltop while singing the song, ‘I would like to teach the world to sing' by Billy Davis. With Coca-Cola promoting peace, people had faith in this brand because it did not only concentrate on gaining the financial benefits from the consumers, but it was also concerned about their well-being and peaceful correlations on a global basis. The response by the American audience to this advert was positive, and people openly voted to buy a Coke owing to the passion that they had for the company. TV advertising, together with people's values is a powerful means of reaching out to the audience as Coca-Cola suggests. Coke continues to spread the awareness of the brand through TV advertisements and other media platforms as a means of reaching their target audience.

Secret Advertising Campaign of Coca-Cola and how it contributes to its Success

            Coca-Cola has managed to bridge the gap between lifestyle and consumerism by changing the life patterns over the centuries. One way of doing so is through keeping the Coke product in the public eyes through advertisement. Despite the changes in the environment and life, one of the things that Coca-Cola has managed to keep constant is their logo that was made standard in 1923. Such an approach may appear to be minute; however, it plays an important role in advertising the product. Such a logo is always imprinted in the minds of people regardless of the product differentiation, and people across all ages and all areas of the globe can thus have a close connection with the brand owing to such a logo. The logo is as shown below.


            Together with the logo, the bottles of the beverage have been unchanged for centuries, and they too, play an important role in imprinting the image in the minds of people. Such unchanged factors make the coke brand an icon that is used to face out the competition. Coke also emphasizes on communications that are personal based such as coupons, premiums, and samples to get a personal touch with people. A huge budget is incurred in advertising the product and coming up with innovative means of making the product stay on the lead. In the twenty-first century, the millennials are more concerned about products such as coffee compared to carbonated drinks, which has forced the Coca-Cola brand to go a step further in to meet up with the preferences. One of the lifestyle demands by millennial is diet due to the less sugar and chemical concentration in coffee, and as such, Coke has had to come up with diet sodas and other brands to measure up to the changing demands.

            Having a slogan is also an important aspect when advertising since it acts as the characteristic of the product. In 1886, Coke used a slogan, "Drink Coca-Cola" which was short and easy to remember. The interpretation of such slogans suggested happiness and fun times with Coca-Cola. The jingle pictures and phrases or films that people relate Coke with contributing to the love of the product. Coke's slogan majorly seeks to stimulate the desire for the product, which is shown in the advertisements. With the target of the product being teenagers and the young generation, energy in the adverts is given to the youth, although every person remains a target for the product. One key thing that Coca-Cola has been working on is the brand image so that the mass market is what is aimed at. With the market concentration being filled with other carbonated drink companies, for instance, Pepsi, Coca-Cola has to work out its schemes to secure a good market share despite the competition. At the moment, Coke has a market share of 41.9 percent, and with the long-term rivalry of companies such as Pepsi that has 29.9 market shares, Coca-Cola ideally finds it worthwhile to change the consumer perception of the product. Advertising has thus been found to be the best means of reaching out to the target audience by Coca-Cola to stimulate the purchasing decisions of the consumers. Coca-Cola has also realized advertising as a powerful tool for marketing and spreading the message to target audience.

Primary Advertising in McDonald’s

            McDonald's is a popular fast food restaurant with over nine thousand five hundred chain food stores operating in forty-five countries. The strength if McDonald's lies in its marketing strategy and advertising technique which is the reason as to why some consumers keep wondering why they cannot quit going to dine at the restaurant. Approximately eight hundred million dollars is spent each year by the company in advertisements and promotions of the restaurant with one of the major campaign being one in 1987. The advertisement sought to neutralize the idea that people had concerning junk food in the restaurant. The strategy used and the approach implemented was successful a few days later; the media became concerned about the food servings in the restaurant. Previously, the food at McDonald's had been ranked as ‘not so nutritious' and after the advert campaign, McDonald began offering nourishment cards instead of putting a stamp on their products. According to the study carried out by Swett (2007) Peter Cox who was the former marketing consultant for the vegetarian community, the Chinese had yellow skin and were small because they insisted on eating fish and rice for more than two thousand years, yet McDonald had offered a wide range of products for public consumption (117). The marketing strategy of McDonald targeted children because not only was the food delicious, such as French fries and Hamburgers but they also provided growth for children. The songs that were initially used by McDonald were simple, and children ended up being easy targets. Young adults of sixteen to twenty-five were also targets of products such as cheeseburgers, and fries and there was an enticing deal.

            The marketing and advertisement strategy at McDonald's is such that it changes with the changing preferences of the consumers, the spending patterns, and social demographics. Some items have been introduced in the menu due to the lifestyle preferences by people; Angus beef burgers and chicken sandwiches are among the products that are highly consumed, and campaigns have also been incorporated for healthy salad servings with the same. The reflection given by this is that the belief in a healthy system is core despite the changing food patterns. Fast foods industries are faced with a lot of criticism on the food servings, yet people continue to demand their product, which means that the only approach that could be used is by incorporating healthy schemes in the systems while still delivering the demands of people as a means of striking balance between the demands of consumers and health concerns. McDonald's, as a result, has redesigned its restaurants to keep an open menu which has had a positive result, with about one thousand units that were opened in 2010. Concentration has also been placed on key factors such as customer care and response to the demands of consumers which has resulted in the growth of the restaurant. Proper customer care fosters satisfaction for the consumers and in turn, retains old consumers while attracting new customers. Customer care also promotes better customer understanding of the product and the profiles, while in return obtaining areas that need improvements and consumer preferences from their feedbacks.

Reasons for McDonald Advertisement Effectiveness

            A quarter of the entire American population continues to the consumer the fast food’s in McDonald despite the knowledge of the potential dangers that are posed by high consumption of the food products. The reason as to why people still insist on consuming such foods is because of the advertisement influence that the corporation has on people. The advertisement poses a reflection on the different lifestyle habits and the values that the American people have which ends up being the perfect fit for the daily lives of the consumers. The Lifestyle of the Americans is such that it is moving at a pace that is faster based on the activities that people indulge in. With the busy schedules and extended working hours, McDonald has been able to accommodate the demands of the busy schedules through their quick services and providing food demands of the people. Their restaurant also offers healthy options at an affordable rate which answers to the health craze that the Americans seek. With the economic downfall that the US is experiencing, McDonald has been able to fit into the Dollar menu of Americans; cheap options have been made available together with a happy meal. McDonald has a reflection on the lifestyles of the American children owing to the toys that they incorporate into their food packages which make their products appealing. With Apple slices and milk being substituted for fries and sodas, such tend to make people be regular diners at the restaurant. Deals such as Black Friday and other sales increase the customer base and act as a means of facing-out competitors through their means of advertising.

Socio-Cultural, Economic and Regulatory Content of Advertisement in Coca-Cola and McDonalds

            With Coca-Cola being one of the most valued brands in the world, socio-cultural factors are of importance. The product has a high reliance on the variation and adaptation owing to the operations it has for over two-hundred counties which require diversification based on the social and cultural factors that different consumers have. Marketing plans that meet the needs and socio-cultural interests of consumers globally continue to tailor the unique values that Coca-Cola holds in the different environments. In the twenty-first century, most of the social concerns are health, and that is the reason why products such as coke zero have been initiated and with the lifestyle changes that pose a threat to the product, options are being developed in the product lines to measure up to the daily demands (Belch et al. 2014, p. 115). Economic factors of the brand are also important especially now when the US is experiencing a recession in its economy. With negative growth economically and high unemployment rates, inflation, and high costs of living, purchasing power is reduced. The weakness of the economy has negatively impacted on the bottling companies and given that Coca-Cola is not an independent company, they have to try and strengthen their economy while creating social and environmental programs. Coca-Cola as a company has been successful in promoting the growth of other nations through economic stability and through the millions of dollars investments that they have placed in the different countries that they operate in.

            In 2008, the economic recession affected McDonald's operations greatly and with income being at a low season and other concerns such as health, the brand image was intensely hit. Healthy options had to be incorporated into the menus due to regulatory consent, and junk foods were being shed off the company's image. Unemployment factors in the areas where the company operated were also important as it is known for high turnover rate thus suggesting hiring and firing of workers was on a consistent basis. McDonald being a multinational corporation is not only affected by the US but rather the economy of all the countries that it operates in. Smarter decisions are thus required for the purchase of raw materials and concerns such as taxation to determine its economical operation. A negative brand image was created in McDonald due to socio-cultural factors that the company had ignored. Consumers scrutinized what they continually consumed from the restaurant, and due to such concerns, McDonald paid more attention to low sugar and low carb diets to fit within the health demand ranges of the consumers. In Asian countries, for instance, local cuisine had to be incorporated although this is not the same option that would be chosen for other international audience thus adaptation based on the audience was made vital with consciousness on healthy options. 


            The techniques for advertisement by major western multinational corporations such as McDonalds and Coca-Cola have been used in this essay to determine the key advert concepts, the relationship between consumerism and lifestyle, and major advertisement ideologies. While Coca-Cola Company is a popular brand across the globe, the advertisement has been factored out to be the cause of its popularity. A lot of investment has been placed for advertising the brand with innovation being emphasized. Due to the changes in lifestyle and consumerism, few changes have been made to the product to meet with the demand, and there has been an emphasis on the slogan together with a tested market formula that the consumers can identify it with. McDonald similarly, uses advertising schemes to keep its consumers and face out competitions, and that is why despite the negative images that media has presented about the restaurant, a quarter of the US population and other consumers in other nations keep consuming the products. Adjustments have also been made such as the use of healthy menus to meet with the consumer values, socio-cultural demands as well as economic factors in the areas that they operate in.


Butler, D., and Linda T. 2015 Design to Grow: How Coca-Cola Learned to Combine Scale   and Agility (and How You Can, Too). ,. Internet resource.

Belch G.E., Belch, M. A., Kerr, G.F. and Powell, I., 2014. Advertising: An integrated marketing        communication perspective. McGraw-Hill Education.

Swett, P., E. 2007. Selling Modernity: Advertising in Twentieth-Century Germany. Durham           [u.a.: Duke Univ. Press, Print.

August 01, 2023

Marketing Corporations

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