Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Rhetorical Analysis of the Share a Coke Campaign

I am writing about the recent ad campaign that was sweeping the nation this summer: The Share a Coke Campaign.  The idea is very simple, they start selling cokes with the top 250 most popular names in the United States on them.  They then throw advertisements out all over the place suggesting that you buy a coke with a friend or family member's name on it and share it with that person.

This campaign was meant to expand the sales of Coca Cola especially to those that hadn't tried it before.  It was an extremely successful campaign with an increase in sales dollars of 2.5% in the last year.  The reason for this is because the message of the campaign is to share, and someone sharing a coke with a friend is essentially advertisement in itself.

In this advertisement it starts out with a girl buying cokes from a store and having obvious interest in the cashier.  She continues coming back to get more and more cokes with her and her friends, who seem to just have the most wonderful times while drinking coke.  Then at the end of the commercial the girl finally invites the cashier to come outside and party in the streets with them (or whatever it is they are doing).  

The reason that this commercial was so successful was because of the use of the rhetorical triangle.  From start to finish we see plenty of pathos: the happy music, the chemistry between the girl and the cashier, the fun that these kids have together, the heartfelt love story theme, and last but not least when the girl grabs the cashier's hand at the end of the commercial.  These are all examples of things that appeal to our emotions, thus being categorized as pathos.  Although ethos is not quite as apparent in this commercial as pathos it is indeed still there.  I found ethos in this commercial with the use of the famous coca cola logo.  The logo is placed fairly often throughout the advertisement, this is an example of ethos because what is more credible and well-known than the coca cola logo?  I had a hard time trying to find anything related to logos in this commercial considering that the commercial itself if fairly illogical (I kind of doubt that coke really makes people have that much fun).  So, i am just going to say that the appeal for this particular commercial is mostly pathos and ethos.  

This campaign was a very well thought out plan to bring sales up and was extremely successful in doing so.  I am sure that coca cola will have more great ads to come in the near future and i am excited to see what they bring to the table.  


  1. I didn't know that they picked the 250 most popular names when they did this, that's pretty cool. And the goal to get people to buy a coke and share it with a friend or potentially someone who hasn't had it before is really smart on CocaCola's part. I know if I say a drink with my name on it I'd be more likely to get it. Great analysis of the campaign.

  2. The Share a Coke Campaign was definitely a successful campaign. The majority of this advertisement seems to lean towards the pathos side of the rhetoric triangle, but posters and advertisements such as your first post of Barrack Obama bring out the ethos side of the triangle. Advertisements like those work surprisingly well, since celebrities have a great influence on the large group of people that follow them. It was exceptionally interesting to read your blog, and learn more about this campaign. Great job!

  3. Coca-Cola has been around for a long time and they know the power of using pathos to get their customers attention. The campaign was a good one because coke tapped into people’s need to feel love and have a sense of wellness. The Coca-Cola Company has been around for many years and is very well established. In my country we have Coca-Cola products and people trust them to deliver a good product every time. There are a lot of other drinks out there but Coca-Cola has stood out as a giant by using nothing but simple human emotions. The power of pathos is never to be overlooked because when you make a connection you hold on to it. Ethos is established and you stick together thru it all. At this stage in their company’s history coke only really needs to use pathos to sell their product. People know who they are and as long as they show friends and family coming together they don’t need anything else.