The purpose of an advertising plan is to spend wisely the billions of dollars allocated by the company for the marketing of their product in the most effective manner so that the resources are directed towards the target market. The success of the marketing campaign is depended on the advertising plan drawn by the marketing team. Coke is a global and the world’s leading American brand of carbonated soft drink that is sold in more than 200 countries worldwide in different variations and almost 400 different kinds of beverages under its brand name. It holds the biggest share of the soft drink market in the world. Coke has competitors all over the world, in the Middle East it has a market share of 39% followed by the competing brands such as Pepsi, Mecca Cola, Qibla Cola, Zamzam cola and Parsi Cola. The purpose of this advertising campaign is to reposition Coke in the UAE market and persuade the target audience for repeated purchases. The repositioning is done because the consumption of soft drinks is considered as unhealthy by the consumers so this advertisement is going to focus on the fact that coke hydrates your body, giving you a delicious and refreshing experience at the same time and it is for people of all age groups and not just confined to the youth and teenagers.
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The Strength of Coke
Cokes strength lies in the fact that it is a leading brand in the industry and is recognized internationally due to which it has a high brand value. Consumers taste is developed since it is an old brand and they trust the company and their products; therefore they are brand loyal, moreover the company has a diversified offering of their product line. Over the time they have launched variations in their drinks in order to increase their product line as well as cater to the changing tastes and preferences of the consumers. The threats of Coke are the competing local and foreign soft drink brands in UAE and the slow growth of the carbonated drinks market. Coke has to face tough competition because it belongs to an American based company and since UAE is a Muslim country so they prefer buying other soft drinks. The weaknesses are the negative publicity of the brand and the decline in cash generated from the operating activities. The opportunities are the acquisitions that can Coke can take place and the growth in the bottled water market.
Companies tend to make strategic campaign decisions so that it has long term implications on the performance of the brand. The objective behind this campaign is to maximize the profits, reach the largest target audience, convey the message, increase the target market and maintain the dominant share in the country. Understanding the market is critical for the success of a campaign. Coke doesn’t have a specific target market until or unless it is marketing the Diet coke or any other product specially diverted towards women else it generally includes all age group and gender in its target audience and segments the market geographically. It usually targets to the youth in its advertisements because that is why ones tastes start getting developed and therefore Coke wants to capture the market before hand. UAE has a different kind of a culture, unlike other countries women can not be shown on screen, on television with the glamorous image and showing off skin, the country has certain religious and cultural barriers which every company has to respect and follow. Moreover some people associate Coke to Israel and therefore condemn its consumption; these anti American sentiments give away sales to the substitute competitor’s brand. Moreover due to the American and Iraq war, Coke had to suffer due to loss of sales. Therefore coke has to be conscious of these factors while planning its campaign (Long, n.d.).
Coke in UAE
UAE is one of the fastest growing economies in the world therefore an annual budget of $150 million is assigned by the marketing department for the advertising of Coke. Based on the budget the medium for advertising is chosen. The media objectives of Coke campaign are to reach the masses all over UAE. For this the choice of media that Coke will use will be of significance. Coke will be using national newspapers and magazines, the most expensive medium however one of the most effective medium that is the television will be used apart from that there is radio, the web advertising and posters which will be used (Abu Dhabi Culture & Heritage, 2009).
This entire media campaign will run for the next 45 days in the region. One of the main highlights of the plan is a new commercial for the television which will run in peak hours and repeat after every half an hour on each leading channels and radio stations; it will be a 2 minute ad with a jingle and will include celebrities and prominent figures from all age brackets and all fields featuring in it. The reason behind including all the celebrities is to tell the masses that coke is not only for the youth but consumers of all age group, the power and fame of the stars when mixed with Coke’s power will make an impact on the consumers. It will also highlight the effects of hydration and refreshing drink on an individual. The design and shoot of this ad is still in process. It is contracted to one of the leading advertising agency of UAE only considering the fact that they know the local environment better than the foreign companies and will produce the ad considering the cultural and traditional values of the country intact yet delivering the message to the masses.
The message should be clear to the consumer that the consumption of Coke is not harmful and each sip of it hydrates your body. To make the running of the ad more successful the company has decided to sponsor the coming up cricket tournament in UAE and some shows at prime time and news hour on the television. Coke has also planned to sponsor some concerts in places such as Dubai and Sharjah.
Marcom are the modes of communication that are used to get consumers attention through various means and are involved in every stage of the marketing campaign. These include visual ads, traditional as well as the electronic media. Performances, shows and events can hardly take place without sponsorships by these giants of the industry. The timing of the ad is as important as the creativity and design you need to show the ad at the right time and the right place else resources will be wasted and the target audience would not be reached, this is known as scheduling. The idea is to get the consumers attention for those 2 minutes and connect to the audience. The other print ads will be published in all the leading magazines and newspaper giving a glimpse of the commercial television advertisements. The print ads brochures, stickers and posters for display purposes will be designed by the company’s own print media department.
The point of sales displays are other promotional tactics which will be used to make the drink standout in markets and departmental stores. It should be attractive and eye catching shelve displays at the stores. The company has the facility of direct selling however due to the large area to be covered in the UAE region they tend to practice indirect selling where the wholesalers and retailers buy from the company and sell them by keeping their own share in it.
Another objective behind this campaigning of the coke is to increase the consumer loyalty among the masses. The company has decided to use other tools of marketing such as sales promotion which is part of the marketing mix of a product. There are various ways to offer consumer sales promotion to Coke, one of the ways is to come up with price deals. This kind of marketing will be successful in UAE because families are large in size and moreover since they don’t drink alcohol they consume this soft drinks beverage as part of their meals. Giving them value for money will be a good idea. The packaging and availability is also one of the ways the marketing campaign can be enhanced, the drink will be able in all stores in all sizes as per the convenience of the consumer (Long, n.d.).
The idea behind this campaign is to make consumers believe that soft drinks hydrate your body since carbonated water is one of its major ingredients. The success of this campaign is depended on the people and Coke that how far are they able to prove it to the masses. They need to give scientific reasons and proofs of course else there are risks of loosing the existing consumers too that trust the word of the company.
Your marketing campaign will only be successful if you will meet all your objectives, you can monitor the sales and the trend in it compare the sales with the target as well as previous years ; the sales and market share of the competitor compared to Cokes sales , monitor the profits, the new consumers of the company. Companies tend to have proper advertising plans drawn up and one of the stages of the planning is the evaluation which comes after the implementation stage, Coke has a specified team of workers whose job is to analyze this in order to review the costs and benefits and success and failure of the campaign.
The evaluation of this can be done by having consumer panels where a group of consumers can be questioned regarding their opinion about Coke. This will help the company find out the views of the people and the perception of an average consumer. These are some of the ways that can give an idea about the effectiveness of the marketing campaign and to justify that millions that has been spent by the company (Corporate Responsibility, 2009).
If there is any flaw in a campaign or it did not achieve the desired outcome then the company will have to analyze the weaknesses or shortcomings of the campaign that lead to such results so that next time they are not repeated and if this evaluation is done in between and the results are not favorable then the company will make changes in the plan in order to make it more effective and reach the maximum audience.
Coke is the world’s largest manufacturer of soft drink. The company has expanded its business world wide. They are launching a marketing plan to fit into the environment of UAE (Abu Dhabi Culture for Heritage, 2009). The objective of the plan is to reposition the image of Coke and increase the target audience, below the line and above the line advertising tactics are used by the company keeping in mind the budget, the culture of UAE and the resources. The effectiveness of the plan is dependent on the planning, implementation and evaluation in the end.
Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage. (2008). Retrieved May 5, 2009, from www.adach.ae
Corporate Responsibility. (n.d.). Retrieved May 5, 2009, from The Coca-Cola Company: http://www.thecoca-colacompany.com/citizenship/the_coca-cola_system.html
Long, J. (n.d.). What can missions learn from Coca-Cola? Retrieved May 5, 2009, from http://www.momentum-mag.org/2008/07/what-can-missions-learn-from-coca-cola
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