As a Seattle Seahawks season ticket holder, there are many things about this year’s Super Bowl I’ll never get over. So, let’s do what fans do when they want to talk about anything but the game: let’s talk commercials. Specifically Coca-Cola’s entry.
To me, this is a brand that has done such a consistent, fantastic job at being happy, light, and playful. It’s a brand about good times and good people. However, the voice is one that is rooted in realism (unlike McDonald’s, which is so saccharine in their messaging that you’d think they’re mainlining McFlurries in the marketing department).
Coca-Cola realizes that the world has shades of grey, even shades of mean, and uses the product to contrast that negativity with hope. We saw that in this Sunday’s Super Bowl ad, #MakeItHappy.
If you think this is Coca-Cola’s reaction to the mean, troll-infested Internet age, think again. Look back to when we only had three channels on TV, and you were lucky to have a remote control. Looking back over the decades, it is clear that Coca-Cola is a brand that is focused sharply on what it does and what it stands for.
Both commercials start out with natural sound, from fingers clacking on the keyboard today to Mean Joe Greene’s cleats clacking on the concrete of the stadium tunnel in 1979. The “happy” music elements are contemporary for their respective eras. The storytelling undertones are still consistent- Coca Cola is about bringing people together in a happy way; no matter how opposite they may be or how good or bad a day they might be having.
When you think about how transcendent that message is, across ages, generations, and technologies, one has to marvel at this level of consistency. After all, 36 years apart, these ads are obviously composed by entirely different creative teams, and the nuance is still consistent. You have to appreciate something that sticks as well as this story does, especially with the hidden visual cues.