The Best Coca Cola Direct Marketing Advertising Through the Years

Coca Cola is often considered to be the pioneer of marketing strategy.

Coca Cola advertising is famous throughout the world, with a whole load of successful campaigns to their name. They even managed to claim Santa Claus… With the arrival of the hugely popular Coca Cola truck in Newcastle, we are outlining the best direct marketing strategies from Coca Cola, and how to emulate their success.

Santa Claus and Coca Cola

Coca Cola Advertising Santa

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The Santa Claus we all know and love is only that way because of Coca Cola. Perhaps the most significant direct marketing strategy conceived, Coca Cola began featuring Santa in their ads in the 1920s. Before the advertising strategy, Santa was, typically, depicted as a small, elf-like figure, until Coca Cola advertising took him under their wing. Making him jolly, plump and bright red – the business transformed the holiday, forever associating themselves with the holidays. Traditionally a summer drink, Coca Cola produced direct mail print ads of Santa drinking coke as he leaves presents. Coca Cola is now such a part of Christmas that even a slight change to the ads cause people to write into the company.

Top the Charts

Not only is Coca Cola ‘delicious and refreshing’ (brilliant bit of marketing), but they produce pop songs to boot. Considered by many to be the ‘world’s most famous television ad’, the Coca Cola advertising cost $250,000 to produce (the most expensive advert at the time) and showed a camera panning across a hilltop, as people of all ethnicities sing. The ad came to fruition as the Coca Cola direct marketing team were grounded on a flight in Ireland, and passengers began to sing while drinking from bottles of coke. The song was so popular it peaked at number 7 on the Billboard charts, and cemented Coca Cola marketing as a force to be reckoned with.

‘Holidays are Coming’

Coca Cola Advertising

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Voted Britain’s favourite Christmas advert of all time in 2014, the Coca Cola Christmas trucks are nothing short of iconic. Broadcast in more than 100 countries to billions of viewers, the trucks started life in 1995. Known initially as ‘Christmas Caravans’ and covered in over 30,000 bulbs, the Coca Cola advertising used the image of Santa from the print ads and changed perceptions of the big, red man around the world. Over the years, the advertising has changed a little but is still so popular that more than 4 million people in the UK have been to visit the Coca Cola truck, on one of its 46 stops up and down the country.

‘Mean’ Joe Greene

Consistently voted the best Super Bowl ad of all time, ‘Mean’ Joe Greene is iconic, featuring a timid young boy approaching his hero to tell him he is the ‘best ever’. After the little boy gives Joe a coke, he chucks his football jersey at him with the famous line ‘hey kid, catch’. The advert was so popular, it even inspired a made-for-TV movie just two years later, and was resurrected by coke in 2000.

Diet Coke

Coca Cola Advertising Diet Coke

If there’s one thing we know, it’s Coca Cola understands marketing strategies. In the 80s, to counteract the popularity of Diet Pepsi, Coke launched Diet Coke. The product was shrouded in secrecy, only a handful of execs knew about the product, and they devised a plan to target young women. The advertising strategy included a brilliant advert, press conference, radio interviews, all leading to Diet Coke becoming the no.1 soft drink in the U.S and the best-selling brand among women. At the end of the 80s, Diet Coke was named the brand of the decade.

Share a Coke

Share a Coke was a brilliant 2014 campaign produced by Coca Cola. Highlighting the influence of personalisation – a key component to all successful direct mail marketing campaigns – the advertising strategy involved 150 of the most popular Millennial names, and displaying them on the packaging of the bottles. Coke banked on the idea that personalisation is irresistible to consumers, and the idea of seeing your name on a Coca Cola bottle would encourage you to purchase. The idea proved to be an excellent move, with over 500,000 photos shared using the #ShareaCoke and more than 25 million followers gained on Facebook.

Polar Bears

Coca Cola Advertising Polar Bears

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Similar to Santa, the Coca Cola polar bears have long been associated with the brand. The first polar bear print ad launched in 1922, and they have continued to appear in the advertising strategy over 90 years. In 1993, the polar bears first appeared on TV, drinking Coke and watching the Northern Lights, and they are still iconic to this day. Starring in a 2012 T.V ad, the polar bears made a resurgence.

It’s no wonder with adverts such as these that Coca Cola is considered the greatest marketing strategy of all time. Let us know your thoughts on Coca Cola advertising


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