Pepsi: The “Next Generation in Advertising”
Effective advertising is, almost always, persuasive advertising. While not all advertising seeks to persuade, in a competitive situation, those who best persuade are those most likely to win. (O’Shaughnessy) The advertisement strategy for Pepsi Cola has done a great deal of work to make it an all-time favorite. I feel like they use persuasion by making the consumer think that if they drink Pepsi, they will be youthful. However, in my opinion, the best strategies that they use are celebrity endorsements and slogans.
They use the most famous celebrities, Beyonce Knowles, Ray Charles and the Uh-huh Girls (which I think we can all remember from growing up), Britney Spears, Lionel Richie, Bob Dole, and my personal favorite, Michael Jackson. And that is just naming a few. They also use very memorable slogans such as “Gotta Have It”, “Choice of a New Generation”, and “Nothing Else is Pepsi”. As I was trying to decide which commercials to analyze, it was a trip down memory lane. There are just so many Pepsi commercials that stand out to me.
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I finally chose to analyze the Pepsi “Gladiator” commercial, and Britney Spears’ “Joy of Pepsi” commercial that aired during the Super Bowl in 2001. The Pepsi “Gladiator” commercial was inspired by gladiator fight which used to take place in the Roman Empire. These fights were typically against animals, criminals, and other gladiators, for the people’s entertainment. Britney Spears, Beyonce Knowles, and Pink are gladiators in this commercial that refuse to fight each other and stand for peace against their ruler, Enrique Inglesias.
The use of these four celebrities alone makes the commercial appealing, because most people are familiar with them. All four of these celebrities are all extremely attractive, which attracts viewers of the opposite sex. The girls come out, and instead of fighting, they throw their weapons down and start interacting with the crowd by singing Queen’s “We Will Rock You”. This is a song that everyone knows, unless they have been living under a rock. If a person was walking through their living room and heard this on their television, chances are they would probably turn around and start watching.
The girls throwing their weapons down symbolizes defying wrong and standing up against the evil emperor (who is sitting up in his throne with a cooler of ice cold cans of Pepsi). The commercial is implying that Pepsi gives you the courage to think progressively and on your own. I think the commercial also uses emotional appeal. The doves that are released symbolize peace. The reaction of the people in the stadium gives the viewer a sense of “coming together”. By the time that the song is over, the commotion of the crowd has caused the emperor’s cooler of Pepsi to fall down to the girls.
Everyone starts cheering, which makes the viewer feel happy. Beyonce, Pink, and Britney all pop open a can of Pepsi and start drinking. The commercial makes the cans of Pepsi look so refreshing. It is very hot and dirty in the stadium, and the Pepsi has been sitting on a bed of ice cubes. This is implying that Pepsi tastes great cold. The girls start throwing cans of soda to the crowd, and the emperor gets flung out of the picture. This commercial appeals to all kinds of people. First and foremost, it appeals to the fans of Britney Spears, Beyonce Knowles, Pink, and Enrique Inglecias.
With Beyonce being African American, Britney being white American, and Enrique being of Latin descent, gives the advertisement a great combination of personalities and ethnic backgrounds to appeal to. The people in the stands of the stadium were lower and middle class, so it is appealing to those social classes as well. The commercial also aired during the Super Bowl in 2004. That is a time when many people are watching television just for the commercials. All of the factors that I mentioned make this a fantastic commercial in my opinion. The second commercial I am going to analyze is Britney Spears’ “Joy of Pepsi” commercial.
I remember the first time I saw this commercial and still remember all the words to the song, which shows that it is very appealing! The advertisement starts off with Britney wearing a Pepsi worker’s uniform, and standing in a Pepsi warehouse. When the music starts playing, she rips off the uniform and is wearing a revealing and sexy outfit. This appeals to men, and young girls that want to look like her. Pepsi workers start coming out of the trucks and out from all around the warehouse. They are all dancing with her, drinking Pepsi, and having fun.
The song that Britney is singing is extremely catching, and the bright lights in the commercial make it appealing to the eye. The camera occasionally zooms in on her face which shows her beauty close up, possibly implying that if a person drinks Pepsi they would be beautiful and youthful, like her. There are a few parts in the commercial that shows Britney and all the Pepsi workers dancing in slow motion. This makes it more intense for the viewer. The commercial then starts showing people in different settings watching Britney’s commercial on television (the same one you are watching).
It first shows a not so attractive male cook working in a restaurant, whose eyes are glued to the tv. All of the customers in the restaurant are also staring at Britney dancing on tv. It then shows some older overweight women in a bowling alley, watching the commercial. The woman in the front puts her arm up, saluting Britney in a way. And then the most genius part of this commercial comes up. It shows a bunch of Coca Cola workers watching the Pepsi commercial. They are all smiling and nodding their heads to the song. By doing this, Pepsi is reaching out to Coca Cola consumers.
They are pretty much saying that even if you like Coke, you should give Pepsi a try. I think this is great considering Coca Cola is Pepsi’s biggest competitor. At the end of the commercial, it shows Bob Dole sitting at home in his chair drinking a Pepsi and watching the commercial. He is clearly attracted to Britney Spears, and the commercial. This advertisement appeals to all kinds of people as well; fans of Britney Spears and pop music in general, middle class workers, all races of people, and even people in politics. This commercial also aired during the Superbowl in 2001, which is the most watched program on television.
So not only is it going to appeal to football fans, but millions of people that are watching. Overall, I think it was a great commercial. It showed ordinary people in somewhat boring situations (like being at work), and made them believe that they could be having fun if they drank Pepsi. Through its amazing advertising, Pepsi has become a part of life. It has become an important beverage to have and parties and other events. All of their commercials are associated with youth, joy, happiness, fashion, life and smartness. The actors in which Pepsi opts for their advertisements are already successful singers or television stars.
They mainly target youth by showing their favorite superstars. I absolutely believe that this method has been extremely successful for them. In 1995, during a new campaign, Pepsi took top honors in the year’s national advertising championship. (sirpepsi. com) This proves that their advertising is outstanding. I remember watching Michael Jackson Pepsi commercials as a kid, and I couldn’t turn away from the tv. I would sit and wait for it to come back on. To this day (and as I am typing this paper), I drink Pepsi, so their advertising has obviously worked on me!
Persuasion in Advertising, John O’Shaughnessy 2004 1st edition ebook Sirpepsi.com/pepsi11.htm