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#3 – Coca-cola advertisement

February 20, 2011 14 comments

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?