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advertising-and-marketing business coca-cola creative marketing-strategies

Why Coca-Cola Continues Selling Us Happiness

Photo by Roman Khripkov on Unsplash

The Origin

Coca-Cola, or more popularly known as Coke, was first invented in May 1886 within an Atlanta-based pharmacy called Pemberton Chemical Company, which was run by Dr. John Pemberton. His bookkeeper at that time, Frank Robinson, came up with the name for the drink and penned it in the flowing script that is now recognized as the Coca-Cola trademark. The beverage’s rising demand and the idea of making it mobile inspired the bottling of this famous fizzy drink.

During its first year since the launch, Pemberton managed to sell only nine glasses of the beverage per day for five cents a glass. They have most certainly come a long way since then…Currently, selling its products at an estimated rate of 1.7 billion servings a day.

What does this mean?

This indicates that almost one in four people are buying something from Coca-Cola every day.

The Coca Cola Company owns and controls over four of the world’s largest-selling aerated drinks. With Coca-Cola being their marquee product, they also have Fanta, Sprite, and Relentless, among other 500 brands as part of their portfolio.

So Why Do We Buy Happiness?

Almost the whole world recognizes the famous red and white Coca-Cola logo. Coca-Cola spends nearly 10% of their revenue on advertising and marketing campaigns each year. Luckily enough for them, their revenue streams allow them to experiment and get creative with their marketing, never failing to remind us why they are as successful as they are.

But, how do they do it?

Well, the secret is training our brains to associate the brand with positive feelings of happiness, joy, love, or anything, rather than the soda itself. The reason why selling happiness helps move products, could be that happiness is often conflated with meaning in life.

A study published in the Journal of Happiness Studies revealed that fast food and soft drink consumption is positively correlated with the risk of being overweight, but negatively correlated with unhappiness. In other words, junk food and soft drinks are making us fatter, but infact, happier.

A great example here would be Coca-Cola’s 1995 Christmas advertisement campaign.

Photo by Mateusz Dach from Pexels

For most people, this advertisement is iconic, the arrival of the holidays is portrayed with the emerging Coca-Cola truck. But, now we understand that rather than attempting to sell the drink, Coca-Cola focuses on selling abstract positive concepts of happiness, family, and sharing. They have clearly done a marvellous job.

The Takeaway

The first takeaway for me is that moment-to-moment happiness should not be our top priority. The Coca-Cola Company want us to crave the “happiness” that they are offering in the moment, regardless of the future. I wouldn’t say the brand Coca-Cola resonates as an altruistic brand, but they are most often interested in improving their bottom line.

Another takeaway is that building a successful global brand like Coca Cola is not easy. It is a product of immense struggle and hard work. Making human connections, remaining innovative while also staying true to their roots, and creating branded experiences are all great marketing tools adopted by Coca-Cola to retain its place as an industry leader.

Coca-Cola, in a very smart and effective way, has helped us define our life decisions for us.

How?

Well..its understood that life includes a lot of daily tasks. These tasks might be different for each one of us. Some of them might include doing chores, getting groceries, changing diapers, worrying about things you care about, and fighting for the things you believe in.

In moments like these, Coca-Cola encourages us to have a coke and Taste the feeling.


Why Coca-Cola Continues Selling Us Happiness was originally published in ILLUMINATION on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

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advertising-and-marketing communication multilingual slogans translation

Slogan translation — A matter for experts

Slogan Translation — A Matter for Experts

Avoid cultural and linguistic faux pas

Slogans are usually the first thing people remember about a company. This makes them a powerful form of communication that needs to be memorable and leave a lasting impression on the target audience. Creating an effective slogan can be challenging, but converting it into another language when you are trying to break into international markets is an even more difficult undertaking.

Photo by Cody Chan on Unsplash

What exactly is a slogan?

First, let’s look at how slogans are referred to in different countries:

Germany: claims

UK: end lines, endlines or straplines

USA: tags, tag lines or taglines

Belgium: baselines

France: signatures

Netherlands and Italy: pay-offs or payoffs

Slogans are short, most commonly consisting of three to seven words, and convey a message that impacts on the consumer’s purchasing decision when considering several possible suppliers. Naturally, slogans are very much about associations and make us identify a brand with a particular product or quality. To achieve this, wordplay such as alliteration, rhyme, repetition, puns and phonetic appeal features heavily in slogans, making them very difficult, if not impossible, to translate into another language.

What does the slogan translation process involve?

Slogan translation is mostly target-oriented and involves lexical detachment of the target text from the source. It is therefore a perfect example of the skopos theory of translation. “Skopos theory focuses on translation as an activity with an aim or purpose, and on the intended addressee or audience of the translation. To translate means to produce a target text in a target setting for a target purpose and target addressees in target circumstances. In skopos theory, the status of the source text is lower than it is in equivalence-based theories of translation. The source is an ‘offer of information’, which the translator turns into an ‘offer of information’ for the target audience.”

It is clear that slogan translation requires a shift from literal word-for-word translation to impact-based rendering of the source text. This highly creative process is what we refer to as ‘transcreation‘, a blend of translation and creation. Experienced marketing and PR translation specialists will identify your brand characteristics and message and re-create them in the target language in a way that resonates with your target audience. In other words, an appropriate emotional response is evoked in the different culture of your target market. If this is not achieved, a slogan translation is not successful.

Why do I need to have my slogan translated by an expert?

The direct result of a properly localised slogan is a strong global brand reputation, enabling you to increase your revenue and market share internationally. Most PR and advertising agencies will not have the in-house resources to have slogans translated into another locale, so an external translation specialist needs to be hired. When it comes to your brand image, relying on bilingual staff, a generic translation agency or a non-specialist translator is a risky strategy. Very often, they are not experienced in the highly specialised field of transcreation and may produce literal translations that simply do not work in your target language, or worse, that may have negative connotations in the target language. Such errors will not only damage your reputation but can also be costly in terms of money spent to rectify the damage and time to market.

Slogan translation mishaps

Finally, let’s take a look at a couple of major slogan translation mishaps that could have been prevented by consulting a specialised target-language linguist.

In 2003, Sharwoods spent £6m on a large-scale campaign to launch its new Bundh sauces. Almost immediately they began receiving calls from Punjabi speakers complaining that “bundh” sounds like the Punjabi word for “arse”. Sharwoods, however, has no intention of changing the name, saying “We hope that once they understand the derivation of the Bundh sauce range and taste the delicious meals they can produce, they will agree that it is miles apart from the Punjabi word that is similar but spelled and pronounced differently (with a long ‘u’).” Although the word may be spelled and pronounced slightly differently, it still evokes unpleasant associations for Punjabi speakers and should not have been released in a market with many speakers of Punjabi.

US chicken mogul Frank Perdue’s slogan, “It takes a strong man to make a tender chicken,” didn’t have the same appeal for consumers south of the border. When translated into Spanish for a billboard in Mexico, the slogan came out as “It takes an aroused man to make a chicken affectionate.” Presumably, that’s not the kind of image Perdue wanted to portray.

“It takes an aroused man to make a chicken affectionate.”

Photo by Lee Soo hyun on Unsplash


Slogan translation — A matter for experts was originally published in ILLUMINATION on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

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