The environmental issue that the Coca Cola television commercial focuses on was the waste pollution caused by excess plastic bottles. We are creating too much unnecessary waste that is heavily contributing to global warming and destroying our natural habitat. Coca Cola as one of the largest beverage corporation understands its crucial role in reducing packaging waste. The company launched a television commercial that incentivizes people to recycle and promote its new sustainable plastic bottles. The commercial targets audiences from the age of 6 to 25 who love the outdoors. This generation has been exposed to the effects of climate change; hence they are more likely to take action to protect the environment.
In the commercial, Coca Cola associates their brand with the natural world to promote the new recycled bottles. Their message is small action can have a big impact, which is cleverly delivered by using pathos as a persuasive technique. In particular, Coca Cola used strong emotional appeal in the visual effect, the commercial’s story plot, and the languages. First, the commercial utilized the figure of the ladybug to persuade the audience. The ladybug’s appearance was carefully designed with a unique black heart-shaped spot on a red shell, with the adorable face captured in a bird’s eye view angle that makes it especially appealing in the eye of children and young people. As children often love adorable things, the ladybug not only catches their attention but also persuades the children to follow the ladybug action and start recycling. Additionally, the company chose these insects because of the colors red and black which are the representation of the Coca Cola brand.
Besides, the ladybug and the ants are often considered to have a negligible impact on the environment because they are very small. However, the commercial uses this stereotype to advocate people to act. They create an animated story about a ladybug who is on a mission to shift an empty Coke bottle into a recycle trash can, but she cannot until the middle of the commercial when the ant’s army comes to rescue and help her carry it. This scene motivates each individual to take the same action toward recycling. The viewers would think that if small creatures can make such a meaningful action, they would probably do the same thing. The scene also means that only the ladybug cannot move the bottle, but just with a little support from the ants, they can make such an achievement. This has presented more clearly in the ending slogan
“With a little help, we can make a big change.”
The visual itself is notable enough, however, the language in the commercial evokes more impact. The use of the key contrary words “little help” and “big change” and the pronoun “we” have created an idea that if everyone lends a hand to recycling, we can make a big impact on the environment just like how the ants help their ladybug friend. This again persuades the audience to do more recycling. Besides that, Coca Cola educates the viewers about its new sustainable products at the end of the video by saying
“Our bottles are now made from 100% recycled plastic.”
In other words, Coca Cola aims to convince the audience to drink its product to minimize the plastic footprint.
The Coca Cola television commercial is designed specifically for the target audience through three notable things which are the appeal, language, and sound effect. First, the appeal is suitable for the young demographic because they love nature, and children are often attracted to lovely insects. Furthermore, the background with lots of green trees and seedlings particularly reaches the audiences that love the open air. Secondly, the use of a catchy phrase and simple words makes the slogan understandable and memorable for children. As a final point, the sound effect follows closely to the storyline. It opens with the song ‘Home’ by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros and gradually changes to an upbeat tone with the drum in the middle of the commercial, giving an energetic emotion that is suitable for the young audience.
The Coca Cola commercial is absolutely persuasive. It ticks all boxes of an effective television commercial. It is simple yet capable of catching the audience by the meaningful storyline and attractive visual effect. The actions of the characters, slogan, camera angle, and music have supported the commercial to attach its emotional side to the audience. And most importantly the video serves Coca Cola’s purpose of raising brand awareness.
AdNews Australia, 2019, Coke Sustainability TVC, accessed 11 September 2020