Home > advertising, communication > #3 – Coca-cola advertisement

#3 – Coca-cola advertisement

We use non-verbal communication on a daily basis, be it to complement our verbal communication, to illustrate a point or even to replace verbal communication, such as shaking our head to disagree.

In the advertisement below released by Coca-cola, the advertisement revolves around non-verbal communication between 2 people.

source: http://adland.tv/commercials/coke-Coca-cola-Coca-cola-guards-2011-60-usa

The advertisement shows that non-verbal communication here is universal, understood by 2 different people from different cultures. The hand gestures and facial expressions were able to transcend culture and basic communication can occur, even replacing the verbal communication (use of language in this case).

In the advertisement, emotional expression and non-verbal codes are expressed clearly, working together to bring out the message. Mostly, kinesics (also known as body language) specifically emblems (similar to the idea of silent words), affect displays (body movement that convey emotional states) and oculesics (non-verbal meaning s associated with the eyes) were used to communicate.

At the start of the advertisement, various emotional expressions were displayed to show hostility between the 2 border guards. Frowning, eyes opened wide and eventually staring at each other established the air of hostility. The act of which the Coca-cola guard in blue using his sword to remove a tiny piece of paper that flew accidentally into his territory further emphasized this.

However when the guard in brown decided to open a bottle of Coca-cola, the guard in blue stopped walking when he heard the sound. This could either display curiosity to the source of sound or even familiarity to it. He then turned to face the guard in brown and seemed even more curious, as if telling the guard of his interest to drink too, all just through his facial expression.

When the guard in brown offered the other a bottle of Coca-cola, the guard in blue turned his head left and right checking if the coast is clear to accept it. Since they are enemies, accepting a drink seemed unacceptable. Therefore in order to receive the drink, the guard in brown used his sword and extended the territory line just so his enemy could accept a bottle of Coca-cola. At the brief moment where both of them seemed refreshed after drinking, they were enjoying something in common, in contrast to the hostile environment earlier. The advertisement is trying to show that despite the differences between people, Coca-cola is the one similar thing that everyone can share and understand.

I find it interesting how Coca-cola replaced verbal communication with non-verbal communication throughout the whole advertisement. When producing the advertisement, the main concern would have to be, ensuring that the non-verbal communication is universal, understood easily by anyone.

So what did you think of the advertisement? What are some of the non-verbal communication that you adopt to replace verbal communication?

  1. February 20, 2011 at 11:27 am

    I like how Coca-cola used the concept of borders in its ad. I think it really captures your attention because the audience might be thinking “How is this related to Coca-cola?” This concept also expresses the idea of proxemics, which examines space and distance in communication. Obviously, neither guard is supposed to cross each other’s border. I mean, even a piece of paper that flew to the other guard’s territory was seen as “intruding” into his personal space.

    Anyway, I think this is a pretty cool advertisement! If only border conflicts can be solved just by offering the other party a bottle of Coca-cola.

  2. milollita
    February 20, 2011 at 9:31 pm

    Actions speak louder than words sometimes but I think that it plays an important part here. Even though the blue guard’s expression is subtle, the other guard recognises the expression as yearning for something. It is interesting to see that their non-verbal communication is understood by each other and that they are able to put aside their difference. Love this ad 😀

  3. wensssy
    February 21, 2011 at 1:38 pm

    I like this ad because it displays the image of coca cola being universal and being able to reach beyond borders. And the most important thing is that the message is brought across without any need for the exchange of words.
    I think in some situations where we get fed up and feel that blowing up and throwing a tantrum is unnessary, we will turn to showing our rage by frowning our brows. This is like an intent to get the other party to know that we are annoyed without spelling it out loud to cause awkwardness.

  4. February 22, 2011 at 6:57 pm

    Brilliant advertisment by the mass-loved Coca Cola! Interesting non verbal communication cues used here!

    We have to note that non verbal cues are an extremely influential source of meaning, be it with strangers or at the other part of the world. I think the non verbal cues used in this advertisement are universally acknowledged due to the stereotypical understanding we have for most product advertisements. This is because non verbal cues are subjective and it really have to depends on the context and the people viewing this advertisement.

    Well, I kind of prefer to use non verbal cues when I am with big groups of friends. Like when I am bored, I could most probably be sitting quietly playing with my mobile phone. Or when I am in an extremely lovely mood, my pitch and volume are definitely LOUD!

    Good insight on this advert btw 😀

  5. Jeannette
    March 28, 2011 at 1:57 pm

    I saw this ad too! (when ad-surfing for my blog :D). Anyways, it was a very clever use of non-verbal communication. One use could be environmental non-verbal stimuli? The music, for example, emphasizes the ‘messages’ we are getting from the two people in the film. One such instance would be in the beginning, where the two sides were patrolling the border, and each glares at each other, almost daring the other to attempt crossing the line. This is complemented by the use of almost military sounding beats, with the drums and the use of instruments. (Almost like a military band kind of thing. :D)

    Interesting advertisement to watch, it shows how powerful non-verbal communication can be.

  6. April 4, 2011 at 3:14 pm

    As they always say ‘action speaks louder than words”
    It’s quite interesting to see how their actions are understood by each other 🙂

  7. April 7, 2011 at 2:17 pm

    hahahahah ingenious advertisement! but its coca cola, so we shouldn’t be surprised at their creative team.

    personally, i tend to use oculesics to replace my verbal cues. eyes are the window to one’s soul, yes?

  8. April 17, 2011 at 6:00 am

    Very cleverly constructed! It’s rather engaging and the music makes me feel more intrigued to know what’s to come. Non verbal cues portrayed in the advertisement were definitely very apt and brings about an impact. It truly shows that you do not need words to understand content (at times).

    Most of the time, my non verbal cues consist of kinesics (to complement or contradict my verbal comm) and oculesics (eye roll). But after the lecture on verbal and non verbal communications, I’ve learnt to be more aware of my surroundings as well as the actions of my friends to help me with communication.

  9. April 17, 2011 at 7:59 am

    Interesting advertisement.

    Both verbal and non verbal communication skills/cues are important. It is understood isn’t it? Sometimes you don’t mean what you actually say. Which is more important? It depends.
    I believe there are some who are just bad at expressing their feelings in actions. They may tell you they care, and perhaps due to pride or some other factors, they may secretly do things to make you happy but they would not take credit for their actions. In the end, you may feel that they just don’t care (because they don’t actually tell you that “hey I did this for you” and you simply have no idea either).
    People have different ways of expressing themselves. I suppose if we are patient enough with them and we care enough, we may be able to find the common ground for communication after all.

  10. shazz
    April 17, 2011 at 10:26 am

    I think it’s really an interesting advertisement. I like how they make advertisements that seems to not sense at first and leave the audience to figure it out.

    I tend to use emblems and affect displays to replace my verbal cues.

  11. Ayu
    April 17, 2011 at 1:34 pm

    This advertisement is very cool! I like how a simple message can be transmitted solely through nonverbal cues.

    Most of the time, I used nonverbal cues to illustrate my points or show my emotions. I think my friends observed that I used hand gestures more when I am happy!

  12. Liza
    April 17, 2011 at 2:07 pm

    Nice advertisement. I was anticipating the appearance of coca-cola in it, and I must say I like the concept of coca-cola being the peacemaker between conflicts.

    Usually I use facial expression to complement my nonverbal cues or even replace them. When I am sad or troubled, rather than saying it to friends, I would just be less talkative and slouch my shoulders. These actions are unintentional and my friends over time managed to observe these traits.

  13. Cassandra
    April 17, 2011 at 3:37 pm

    Interesting advertisement, but I am not surprised since it’s coca-cola! I think this ad stands out from the clutter, since it uses only nonverbal cues, unlike other. I think this is one of the best ad I have seen so far! I like the use of music in this ad too, it sets the mood and complement the message. In a way it replaces the verbal communication.

    I think my usage of nonverbal cues are usually unintentional. When I am calm, I tend to sway in my seat. Especially before tests, this is a good way for me to calm down.

  1. March 8, 2011 at 12:19 pm

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