Coca-Cola’s new ‘Coming Together’ advert
“There’s an important conversation going on about obesity out there. We want to be a part of the conversation.”
I’m interested in this sentence - the positioning of the advert moreso than the actual content.
Now there’s a brand that’s bought into social media listening and the narrative that social has turned advertising on its head. No longer are brands able to broadcast what they mean at passive audiences - no! instead consumers are having conversations, and constructing webs of signification with each Like and Reblog, and all a brand can hope for is to humbly generate content in the hope that it might be used as currency in this attention economy.
“Consumers’ most valuable relationships are not with brands but with other consumers,” says Mark Earls - hell, I’ve even used that line myself…
“The Rise of the Empowered Consumer” - MediaCom, PWC, IBM.
It’s “The Real Thing”, right? Well. I’m less interested in this as a truth-statement or Big Idea that Coca-Cola are reorienting their entire marketing strategy around; instead it’s something we need to examine as ideology. This is the story that brands are choosing to tell us. Us as marketing professionals, us as consumers.
Is it a defensive strategy - as in, this IS the new reality and their only hope of survival is to acknowledge the new paradigm?
Or does capital’s capture of signification continue unabated, and we are now only being told that we are free and powerful in the hope that we might slip the bonds of regulatory guidance and indulge in that refreshing icy-cold beverage we have always wanted, but, since 1989, have been replacing with mineral water and sports drinks?
“The crisis consists precisely in the fact that the old is dying and the new cannot be born; in this interregnum a great variety of morbid symptoms appear.”
Antonio Gramsci, Selections from the Prison Notebooks, 1971.