Coke Loves Couples

February 14. Just another day if you’re single. And Coca-Cola lets you know it with their recent marketing campaign.

The ad features an interactive wall and virtual vending machine that appears only for couples walking by. After some cute animations, the couples receive personalized Coke cans with their names on them.

This campaign visually illustrates how ads target specific audiences and excludes others. Coca-Cola’s brand is based heavily on the idea of making people happy (i.e. “Open Happiness” is their tagline). However, this ad makes it seem that this happiness is not something that everyone is deserving of. Many single people may be put off by this ad, especially around Valentine’s Day, when they are already bombarded with images of happy couples.

This is not the first time Coca-Cola has used special vending machines for Valentine’s Day ad campaigns. In 2012, they placed a vending machine in a mall and encouraged people to prove their love of each other by kissing, hugging, and even dancing. They were rewarded with a free Coke for showing their affections.

Although these guerrilla marketing campaigns seem to be very targeted, they connect and engage with the specific audience for Valentine’s Day, couples. Even though this ad could have made some singles angry, the reactions they received from audiences for their out-of-the-box campaign strategies may be worth the risk.

So, if you were left staring at the wall, would your opinion of Coca-Cola change?

– Nick Bolick, Olivia Sadler & Patrick Wagner

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6 thoughts on “Coke Loves Couples

  1. Great post! This really got me thinking about how big of a role advertising plays. A bad ad or using the wrong celebrity spokesperson could change the way people view your brand/product. Personally I am single and I did see this ad around Valentines day and I thought it was cute but a little rude that they just disregarded single people as they walked by. I love coke zero and I still drink it even though this commercial wasn’t my favorite of Coke. I think because Coke is such a large company and has so many loyal customers I am not sure one ad would really cause someone to suddenly switch to Pepsi. However I do agree that certain ads cause my opinion of certain companies to change depending on the ad.

  2. Coke’s tagline “Open Happiness” is an awesome way to get people’s attention but while they’re making some people happy they are also making other’s upset. If you aren’t dating anyone but you see couples getting free Coke’s in a mall you will feel left out and angry. Personally Coke is my favorite soda but if they are targeting an audience that doesn’t include me then why should I spend money buying their drink? Although I love the idea of handing out free drinks, they need to find a way to target every group of people not just people who are in a relationship. Single people can open up a can of happiness too!

  3. Coca-cola is all about being happiness and I love it! However, their ad for valentine’s day was not the most tasteful. Even though I’m not the type to get offended or even care about Valentine’s Day I can see how some people could get upset. Coke is all about happiness and valentine’s day is all about love. But, love isn’t just represented by couples. I thought the ad was super very cute but it excluded all the single people out there. Not the smartest idea Coke…

  4. I love the whole “Share a Coke” campaign but I am not a fan of this “Open Happiness” campaign. I thought it was so cool trying to find a Coke can or bottle with my name on it or “share a coke with….mom.” Although I can honestly say I still drank the ones that said “mom” or “wife” on them. This new campaign really excludes certain people. While Valentines Day is a day dedicated to people you love, this does not specify its a romantic partner. This day could be dedicated to your family, or your friends, not just your significant other. I agree with Elizabeth when she says that she loves the idea of handing out free drinks but they definitely need to do that to a broader target group. I am an avid drinker of Diet Coke and though this campaign is not going to get me to stop drinking it, I do feel sad I am not included in their target group even though I spend money on their company everyday.

  5. I loved this article. I do love Coca-Cola, but I do agree that their commercials are not for everyone. However, I do understand that these commercials were targeted for couples because it was during Valentine’s Day. If it were to be shown year-round, then I would find it more offensive. It shows the magic that is present between couples and Coca-Cola was able to present that to their audience that each couple has a sense of power. However, it is offensive to those who are single because they don’t have that same sense of “power”. It would have been more effective if it showed all groups of people.

  6. I never looked at the ads as depressing because I have been in a relationship for a long time. If I was single I think it would make me quite mad that coca cola did not want to gear their ads towards because just for that reason. I enjoy have always enjoyed these commercials but I suppose that would be because I would see the vending machine! On that note, if I was single I do not think it would make me decide to not drink coke, because it is a good drink, but i do believe I would have slightly different view of the company.

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