According to the 2011 Company Report, the Coca Cola Company’s products (over 200 brands) are sold and distributed to over 200 countries. Forbes Magazine estimates that the world consumes close to 60 billion beverages on a daily basis with 27 % of this consumption being in the United States…
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The company is perhaps the leading soft drink seller in the world with Pepsi being the closest competitor, as the Forbes report indicates. In order to market competitively throughout the world, Coca Cola and Pepsi have entered into jurisdiction agreements where each company gets their designated geographical territory where they market their products without rival competition. In Africa for instance, Coca Cola Markets their products north of the Equator while Pepsi takes the south. They agree to share the South African market (Blanding 375).
The key marketing strategy that the company deploys is advertising. According to JS Stuart, advertising is a marketing strategy through which a company seeks to familiarize the consumers with its products while at the same time retaining its customers. The goal of advertising is to compel the consumers to prefer company’s products to that offered by the rival competitors (Watters 276). A large portion of the Coca Cola budget money goes to facilitate advertising. In fact, the amount spent in advertising does not proportionately increase sales. When John Pemberton invented the company in 1886 for instance, he spent $ 77 to advertise the products while his profit was only $ 50. This led to a loss. In the dawn of the 20th century, Coca Cola advertised their products through billboards and newspaper. The newspaper ads had a coupon attached to them. The company had an offer with every coupon where customers were eligible to get a free drink at any distributing outlet in America, Britain and Latin America. Newspaper advertising promoted Coca cola sales in the 1900s. The company began investing in radio advertising in the early 1930s. Later in the mid 20th century, they sought TV advertising, which was by far the most effective marketing strategy (Peter and Donnelly 87). Following the advice from prominent economists, the company began targeting festive seasons. During the Easter holidays, Christmas and Thanksgiving as well as the Fourth of July, the rate of consumption of Coca Cola brands skyrocketed. The Christmas ads featured Santa Claus in a series of newspaper, billboard and TV commercials dubbed ‘happy days are coming.’ In the contemporary world, the mode of advertising for the company has dramatically evolved (Blanding 375). The e-commerce, especially the internet is literally crawling with Coca Cola ads in major websites. Likewise, the company has adopted digital advertising in major cities of the developed world and the developing nations of Africa, South East Asia and Latin America. Today the focus is on Hollywood celebrities who receive numerous Coca Cola endorsements in movies, theatre and popular culture. Coca Cola was for instance, among the major sponsors of the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Due to the growing significance of Coca Cola in contemporary culture, popular musicians led by Shakira and K’naan received endorsements during the World Cup held in South Africa to market their music in Africa. Likewise, the company endorsed popular rock band LMFAO for the recording academy during the 52nd Annual Grammy Awards and MTV Video Music Awards in 2011. The decision to target celebrities came after Gallup International conducted a study that indicated that popular icons and Hollywood movie stars are the most influential people amongst the young generations. Since, the young generations is the target market for almost all Coca Cola products, the company resolved to endorse them with the aim of reaching out to this demographic. According to Thomas Lockwood, a market economist at Columbia
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