The Coca-Cola Company launched their ‘Brrr’ advertisement in 2007. Initially meant for the African market, it became a global hit advert that was issued in print, radio and television media. The video ad was staged in a world conference, under intense heat and low humidity. One African leader attending the conference fans himself to get a little cool, evidently showing the high temperature conditions. He is then brought an ice-cold Coke soda. After taking a gulp, he bursts into a loud energized ‘Brrr’ sound that startles everyone. This ‘Brrr’ sound is passed on to other people across countries and throughout the world. The advert ends as the African leader teaches an Asian in the conference how to say ‘Brrr’ by handing him an ice-cold Coke.
This advert encompasses many attributes desirable by clients, and carefully and effectively guides potential customers to admire the product. The advert effectively captures the needs of the target customers. According to Maslow’s hierarchy, needs are categorized as basic, security, belonging, love or esteem and self-actualization (Cianci & Gambrel, 2003). The ‘Brrr’ advert portrays the cold Coke soda as a basic need that one cannot do without under certain conditions. It shows the conference, which is very important, yet people are troubled and cannot concentrate, fanning and feeling uncomfortable. The need to have a solution to such tense weather conditions during an important conference is hard to forego.
Second, the advert focuses on the love and need to be in a group. This explains the contagious sound that passes through every part of the world, bringing joy and ecstasy to all. The final act of the Asian who was unable to say ‘Brrr’ showed that he felt uncomfortable and was keen to learn what other people were doing so that he could feel as part of the group. In other words, he could only feel as part of the group by doing what everyone was doing – sounding ‘Brrr’ – and this could only be achieved by taking an ice-cold Coke. This is a further explanation of the motivated need to belong. Finally, the advert depicts the need for self-actualization in that most of the other people who receive the ‘Brrr’ sound are working and they boost their energy and joy. It would eventually help in their personal development and self -actualization. The African leader can also be seen as an accomplished person who achieves self-actualization. This is because he introduced the solution to other people amid their uncomfortable conditions in the conference. He is seen as an even more successful leader since he not only provided the solution to fellow global leaders from persecution of heat and low humidity to high levels of ecstasy and joy, but also transferred this happiness to the whole of humanity. For a leader, this is a state of self-actualization and personal success. Therefore, the advert motivates the targeted customers to meet all their needs by drinking Coke; the only need the ad is missing is security (Cianci & Gambrel, 2003).
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This advert also uses motivational appeals in form of both emotional and rational appeals to the targeted Coke consumers. It guides the customer on how to find an effective solution to uncomfortable working conditions like tropical heat, which many people can associate themselves with. This aspect is perfectly captured by the setting of the international forum. It employs emotional appeal through both social and personal appeals as the African leader in the conference is deeply troubled by heat; but there is immeasurable joy, ecstasy and pleasure after taking the ice-cold Coke, directly lifting his emotions. He is so energetic that he cannot contain himself and, despite being present in such an important conference, bursts into a loud ‘Brrr’ sound. The social emotional appeal is through the contagious sound that is acceptable to everyone who meets it across streets and countries, through diverse social classes and different races. This advert is successful in ensuring that everyone who sees it can relate with it and can innately assume that the ‘Brrr’ sound can get to them.
The advert has certain humor appeal as well. The final part of the video ensures that everyone who watched the advert can recall it and can have something to talk about. It also has another purpose: one would wait until the ad is over to see the Asian who is unable to say ‘Brrr’, and who only manages to do it after taking the cold Coke.
This advert details the needs of the target customers, profiling them through ages, cultural backgrounds and even social classes. Young people get and receive the ‘Brrr’ sound in the same way as the manual laborers in African streets. The sound cuts across all people, as long as they are in tiring and unfavorable environments. The product is portrayed as a perfect drink that relieves one from suffering from immense conditions and provides them with the so much desired refreshment. It is a perfect manifestation of what the drink can do, making it one of the most creative and effective adverts by the Coca-Cola Company.
The Coca Cola ‘Brrr’ advert is a rather successful ad in employing persuasion techniques, both motivational appeals and needs appeals. It has employed almost every aspect of persuasion and encourages people to purchase Coke since it would bring many good feelings to the person drinking it. The ad has been successful in capturing the attention of the potential customers, keeping them through the whole advert and ending it in a humorous way. This advert creates a sense of belonging and one can easily identify oneself with the people consuming the product.
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