Finding Love in Coca-Cola

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This week I will be writing about one of my favorite brands…Coca-Cola! I grew up in a Cuban American household where Coke was a brand my family grew up drinking since Cuba. Coca-Cola has close ties with Cubans, which I will talk about later in this post. It was one of the first brands that helped them assimilate to American culture when they immigrated from Cuba. Coca-Cola is a staple in my household. My mom’s fridge is never without a Coke bottle. Every family get-together, party or celebration a Coca-Cola product is always involved.

Since an early age, Coca-Cola taught me everything about branding. Coca-Cola always has iconic commercials, classic taglines, and amazing product placement. One of my favorite things about the brand is their classic tagline, “it’s the real thing.” Growing up, my mom always would say the phrase when purchasing a Coke. Recently, I binged watched Mad Men. Inner me freaked out when the ending scene finished with one of Coca-Cola’s most famous commercials of all time. This scene, in my opinion, is probably one of Cokes best product placement of all times. It flows with the show so well and it is an iconic brand to end the show.

It was a commercial I grew up knowing about because it was so iconic. The first time I learned about this commercial I was at the World of Coca-Cola in Atlanta. Every trip to Atlanta always required my family and me to stop at the World of Coca-Cola. It was a common ground for my family and we all learned something new about Coke each time.

 

One of my favorite exhibitions at World of Coca-Cola is the “New Coke” exhibition. “New Coke” was introduced to the world on April 23, 1985, by then CEO Roberto Goizueta. Roberto Goizueta was a common name in my household growing up. Goizueta, Cuban born, created the branding of the Coca-Cola company we know and love today. My mom was adamant for my brother and me to know who he was. He was a brand marketing genius. He knew the product inside and out, from the unique bottle to what drove people to drink Coke.

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Soda sales were stagnant for some time and Goizueta realized the need to revolutionize the market. For 79 days, America was going crazy without their original Coca-Cola flavor. Finally, on July 11, 1985, the original Coca-Cola formula was reintroduced into the market. This time it was marketed as Coca-Cola Classic. One of my favorite parts of the “New Coke” exhibit is the news clippings playing in the background. Coke documented every single news clipping from those 79 days. The media was going crazy interviewing people all over the country on why they felt betrayed by Goizueta.

Goizueta successfully was able to reimagine the brand. He was a pure brand marketing genius. Over 30 years later, people still talk about his amazing strategy and his vision for Coca-Cola. He knew in order for Coke to be back at number one, he had to shake up the market. One piece of brand marketing advice Goizueta taught me is a brand is way more than a brand to consumers. Coca-Cola is just not a brand to many, it is like family.

World of Coca-Cola, June 2016
“I’d like to buy the world a Coke”

-Sophia Paradela

 

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