Coca-Cola aired an ad during the Super Bowl titled “It’s Beautiful,” with a simple premise: scenes from simple American life (families, pool parties, road trips, etc.) with “America the Beautiful” playing in the background. However, the real problem that viewers seemed to have with the simplistic ad was that the song was sung in different languages.
Many angered viewers took their concerns to social media platforms, particularly twitter, to voice their opinions. We are all accustomed to Coca-Cola being a very traditional brand. Let’s face it, they have stuck with the same marketing approach for years.
Although the majority of comments posted on twitter were negative, few people appreciated the ad. “We hope the ad gets people talking and thinking about what it means to be proud to be American,” said Katie Bayne, president of Coca-Cola North America. The majority of angered consumers fail to take into account that 70% of Coca-Cola sales come from international sales. With that said, Coca-Cola is making an attempt to appeal to their primary consumers, and who can fault them for that.
This was a very bold step into change, and consumers are actively voicing their thoughts. People deal with change differently, and in most cases it is necessary to change marketing strategies and brand identities at a more gradual pace. By doing this, an organization can assess whether the message was received by their targeted audience and gather the public’s opinions through research tactics before proceeding. At this point the damage has been done and now it is up to Coca-Cola’s marketing and PR department to get back into the majority of their American consumers’ good graces.