Propaganda is determined as the creation of influence politically, commercially or ideologically based on selective information that may or may not be based on the actual facts. This includes portraying of a single sided view and generally impacts opinions, emotions and attitudes of people towards certain substance. Image Making is synonymous to propaganda and mostly applied towards commercial marketing of products or more specifically for the creation of brand image.
Historically propaganda has played a crucial role in winning wars. Nazi Germany implemented their propaganda against the Jews by controlling all the media including newspapers, publishing houses and television channels and they succeeded in it as the abrupt changes in the ideologies were seen in the citizens of Germany against Jews (Marlin, 299). Similar propagandas have been implemented by American forces during cold war, Iraq and Afghanistan war where they succeeded, however, in Vietnam the propaganda was successful in getting support from the American people but soon this propaganda failed as the dead bodies of American soldiers came back to America. If we look at the business aspects of propaganda, it becomes clear that currently the success of any brand is completely dependent upon how it is advertised and how it exploits the emotional aspects of the consumers (Herman, 90).
Coca Cola is considered as one of the mostly sold drink not only in America but also around the world. The company has implemented such strategies in its marketing that has allowed it to rule the world for the most part of the second half 20th century and currently into the 21st century. The company first came into being in 1886 when first as a medicine with cocaine in it and then in 1983 when cocaine freed Coca Cola hit the market. During all these years the advertising campaign of Coca Cola was dependent upon propaganda which can be referred to as image making of the brand. In 1930s Coca Cola implemented the Santa Claus in their advertising campaign to portray it as a gift from the Santa. Though, this was not the first time any company focused on Santa to sell their products, but the concepts of Coca Cola bear differences in the showcasing through various magazines and in restaurants. The propagandas during the both World Wars depicted by Coca Cola were even more encouraging for the success of brand. Eisenhower even demanded that some eight factories of Coca Cola should be built in Africa for the American troops critically determine that Coca Cola was creating an impact from its advertising techniques. Second to none are the advertising procedures that are being followed currently where the people who drink Coca Cola are exaggeratedly shown to have some superficial personalities who can do everything in the world. The product of Coca Cola Company, ‘Mountain Dew’ showcases similar exaggerations which have created such a positive perceptions in the minds of the people that have allowed them to attach to these actions emotionally. Coca Cola hasn’t stopped here as it has even portrayed somewhat very different and gigantic image of Coca Cola in the newspapers and magazines by outlining the benefits of their products with conviction. Various campaigns have been started to order to attract people have been done in many countries of the world and the results have been far more convincing as more than 600 million bottles of Coca Cola are being sold daily in more than 200 countries of the world (Rutherford, 145). Coca Cola’s long time rival Pepsi has also tried numerous such campaigns but the image that has been created by Coca Cola during all the previous years have made it the utmost choice of many more people. Apart from the some Asian countries, Coca Cola outlays Pepsi in all the other countries of the world where its taste, its presentation, its price control and the production of newer tastes has made it the winner in each and every aspect (Jacobson, 40).
The image making procedure of Coca Cola has been continuing for many long years. Hollywood has played a very convincing and distinctive role in the success of many brands. If a well known celebrity gets attached to a brand, the brand itself becomes celebrity. Coca Cola hasn’t wasted any opportunity to get ahead in the market and from time to time they have hired high level celebrities to become its brand ambassador. This means that whenever a celebrity will visit a promo or will tour, he has to showcase the Coca Cola as his major drink where he can then try to emphasize why he drinks Coca Cola and how he has become proactive in his approach and how his life has completely changed from this experience. Though, it is just a drink that soothes the mind and refreshes body, researchers believe that this is a wrong communication as Coca Cola doesn’t act like this when it enters the body. Researchers have even impacted that Coca Cola uses some chemicals that are harmful to various tissues of the bodies because of their chemical instability (Pendergrast, 56). Some cases have also been reported where continuous use of Coca Cola has damaged liver but these cases have been rare and haven’t caused any damage to the repute of the company.
Sponsorships get most portion of the strategic budget of any product apart from advertising. Management theories emphasize more on the marketing aspects then on the production capabilities. Advertising therefore creates such a sense of importance in the minds of people that they feel incomplete by it. Sponsorships given to players play even a greater role in the brand marketing. Coca Cola has always hired the best sportsmen of the time to become their brand users. At different times Coca Cola has sponsored various golf and tennis players and even have sponsored biggest football clubs in Europe (Pendergrast, 56). This all helps in creating a relationship between players and the brands and consequently emphasize upon how the portrayal of these sponsorships critically diminishes the role of the product itself. Coca Cola is not out of the world product, it is just a concentrated soda but because of this image making people all around the world are attracted to it. Coca Cola has even tried to emphasize on its sales by various important parameters at times as they tried to dictate that if the daily sales of Coca Cola bottles are attached together they can easily reach moon and come back to earth (Jacobson, 80). These parameters allow non drinkers of Coca Cola to believe that they are missing something in their life which is making them different from the others and consequently try to become a part of that community who drink.
Over the years negative and positive propagandas have been used around the world for the financial and economic benefits. The term propaganda was first used in 18th century by an Englishman, though the actions and strategies like this were implemented previously, they had other names (Jacobson, 99). Entrance into the late 20th century opens the doors to Post-Industrialized Society in accordance with Network and Information Society where the role of media has become so crucial that in no time it can even change the political structure of the country (Jowett, 120). Internet societies and social networking sites, the ease with which communication takes place, the presence of print and multimedia implies that the time has changed and the facts merely cannot be considered enough for the success of any brand or any idea. The propaganda is needed to gain control in any aspect whether it is political or commercial. In fact in recent past various companies have even started their publications and hired professionals that can provide special strategic approaches based on the current economic and emotional needs of the consumers. Take a look at Levi Strauss Jeans or at the brands portrayed in the Nike stores, they are all made in the South Asian countries but when their sticker gets attached to them they become highly likeable by the celebrities and common consumers (Herman, 76).
There are events as well when a company confronts with controversies. In later part of the 20th century, the controversies have also been strictly used as a mode of advertising. In face companies sometimes initialize these controversies to get brand recognition. In the current advent of time, Image making has become an integral part of any commercial product. The emphasis is mostly on the issues where the consumers can be easily touched through the heart. The companies have observed various trends that are shaping this form of advertising and have been able to generate limitless supply of revenues. This is the reason that whatever we see or whatever we hear may not be right and also might not be based on facts, but it clearly produces results. The success of Coca Cola implies that the use of image making can greatly influence a business.
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