Most of us associate slogans, jingles, and logos with an identifiable brand name. Golden arches mean McDonald’s, “Just Do It” means Nike, and most people learn how to spell bologna through the aide of the Oscar Mayer jingle. These pictures, words, and tunes become integrated in our minds with certain brands through their repetitive nature and the constant mention of the brand during the commercial, on the billboard, or in the song. The brand and the advertising scheme become entwined in our heads so that we are more likely to recognize the brand, and thus buy it. Psychology deems that we are more likely to purchase brands we are familiar with, just as we are more likely to make friends with people we see often, such as the person we buy our morning coffee from.
The New York Times, however, is reporting that Coca-Cola has decided to try an entirely new marketing approach. Instead of bombarding television-watchers with the Coca-Cola name and logo, new commercials for the soda will feature a cute song and only a blink-and-you-miss-it flash of the Coca-Cola can. The song will be called “Open Happiness,” and Coca-Cola hopes that through word of mouth and the fact that almost everyone is already familiar with the brand, the song will catch on while simultaneously promoting the beverage. Coca-Cola will woo customers by providing them with a moment of entertainment instead of a few annoying minutes of brand-stuffing.
Will the scheme work? We’re not sure. While the idea is novel, those who are not aware that the jingle was produced by Coca-Cola may be confused or annoyed by the evasive ad, and may never end up associating the song with the brand at all. On the other hand, some people may feel refreshed by the lack of brand bombardment and may be amused by the catchy jingle. We here at Promoting Group are interested to see how this new form of advertising is received, but we’re not so sure we want it to catch on. It could make for some very confusing (but entertaining) commercial breaks.