With the growing availability to the Internet we are able to stay connected to a far greater amount and variation of people than before. This has been a great benefit in allowing people to communicate over long distance, share news, and advertise but it has also broadened the types of dangers and bullying that can occur. To name one, cyber bullying has greatly increased over the years. Because of this many organizations and companies have tried to bring about awareness of it and hopefully put a stop to it. One of the best ways to advertise is through commercials and that is what one company decided to do. During the 2014 super bowl Coca Cola decided to release a commercial to bring awareness to the hurt that the Internet can cause. Through their use of powerful imagery, catchy music, and a heartwarming message they were able to create an ad that not only sold an all time favorite drink but also promoted the power of kindness and encouragement.
The first few seconds of an ad are the most important part of the entire commercial. If the beginning is not able to grab the audience’s attention then the ad has automatically failed in its purpose. An ad or commercial must create an atmosphere that reaches out to the audience with either the use of pathos, ethos, or logos as their foundation. The creators of the ad must also be aware of who the audience is and know how to relate it to them. The Coca Colas ad has laid heavily on the use of pathos as it starts with flashing images of hurtful messages, crying and screaming faces, and loud, strange noises. I believe this was done intentionally by Coca Cola to give the audience a scare. These images are examples of types of cyber bullying that go on; Facebook messages, texts, and videos. The strange and disturbing way it begins causes the viewer to wonder what the ad could be about as well as scaring them into hoping that the end will be better then the beginning. By having a slight fear factor at the beginning Coca Cola is able to hold the audience’s attention for longer then they would have if they had started out more calmly. They understood that in order to grab the attention of people enjoying the fun of the super bowl they needed something to shock the audience.
Transitions that happen during the ad are also very important. As soon as the scary beginning ends the ad jumps to a dark room filled with the brains of the Internet. The computer systems are lined up neatly but there seems to be a problem for in the center of the image is a man working on one of the systems. Coca Cola appears to be trying to make a connection between the problem of bullying and the computer problem being dealt with by the technician. However, while working the man makes a mistake by spilling the bottle of Coca Cola that he is drinking into one of the computers. The man jumps to try and stop it but it is too late. As the liquid spills into the body of the computer it sparks and, instead of frying it like it normally should, the soda enters into the electrical cords. As the Coke flows through the cables it enters into Internet systems, satellite dishes, and electronic devices everywhere.
Just like the Internet is worldwide and information can travel in the blink of an eye Coca Cola is trying to represent that with the liquid flowing through the cables. This also provides imagery for when an ad or picture or word is posted on social media that it doesn’t take long before it is known everywhere. Once on the Internet it does not simply remain on one particular location, it is shared and liked and commented on until everyone knows about it. One mistake or accident can cause happiness or hurt. I believe Coca Cola is hoping that the audience will realize that it is up to us to decide which one we become a part of.
Soon after this we begin to see the affects of the spill. It first meets a group of people playing video games and surfing the web, engrossed in only what is in front of them. Next it moves to a man watching a political argument, which is miraculously turned into a laugh between two friends. It then flows into a billboard next to a woman who appears to be having a terrible day. She is surprised by an encouraging meme that pops up on the billboard. The coke finally turns a hate message that a young boy on a bus has received into a kind affirmation. All of these changes are due to the Coca Cola, the magic drink. The one small accident done by the technician changed the way people were behaving. After looking at all the people affected one can see that they are from all different walks of life. Just like the Internet has made the word connected, coke has become a drink that people from all over have come to enjoy. Coca Cola uses this fact to suggest that the way we act and the kindness we share should also be universal. It is not unique to one place or people but available to everyone everywhere.
The music that plays in the background of any movie or ad is important, as it is what sets the mood. The song that starts as soon as the coke was spilled is a sweet but almost melancholy tune. Although the audience will most likely be paying attention to the images on the screen the words in the song play an important role in expressing the message of the commercial. The words go “Don’t let me show cruelty though I may make mistakes. Don’t let me show ugliness though I know I can hate. And don’t let me show evil though it might be all I take. Show me love, show me love, show me love.” When Coca Cola heard “Show Me Love” written by Hundred Waters they knew that it was just what their ad needed. This message is the backbone of what Coca Cola is trying to promote. The words flow along with the coke as it makes a change in each person. It also calls the audience to make a change in themselves.
Throughout the commercial it seems that Coca Cola with its signature red color is what is causing the miraculous change. If someone were to watch the commercial and not look any deeper then what is portrayed on the screen they may think that Coca Cola is trying to take the credit for causing people to become good but that doesn’t seem to be the underlying fact. Yes, Coca Cola is trying to sell their product as well as every other company that puts out an ad but they are also trying to encourage a positive change. Coca Cola is trying to tell their audience that if people spilled kindness around their social media and let it spread, what kind of atmosphere would that create? Two wrongs don’t make a right so instead of continuing this trend of hateful words and hurt we should try and build each other up. Coca Cola was very intentional about airing this commercial during the super bowl. They wanted to make sure that as many people as possible would be able to watch it. The more people, the more awareness, the more change. Being able to drink and share a Coca Cola is good but so is being able to share kindness with someone.
Check out the video and let me know what you think! You should look up some of their other commercials too and let me know which ones are you favorite. 🙂