How Branding and Data Explain Coca-Cola’s “America the Beautiful”

How Branding and Data Explain Coca-Cola’s “America the Beautiful”

How Coca-Cola’s latest ad campaign follows its brand guidelines and ties to changing demographics.

“It was merely honest and forward-thinking enough to show us the demographic mosaic that is our present country.” –Barbara Lippert

Coca Cola’s “America the Beautiful” ad, which debuted during the 2014 Super Bowl, featured the song “America the Beautiful” sung in nine languages: English, Spanish, Tagalog, Mandarin, Hindi, Hebrew, Keres, Senegalese-French, and Arabic.

Most of us know that companies with Coca-Cola’s advertising prowess choose from a few different options when it comes to their Super Bowl advertisement. While we can’t know what else Coca-Cola considered, let’s assess why it chose this ad in light of its brand promises—and the latest U.S. demographic trends.

As we reviewed in our article on brands as promises, Coca-Cola’s brand values and attributes are as follows: Simple pleasures, optimism, happiness, and human connections/bringing people together. If you think back on past Coca-Cola advertisements—especially its “I’d like to teach the world to sing” classic —the company has hewed closely to its brand standards throughout its history.

And its “America the Beautiful” fits the mold perfectly. If Coca-Cola brings people together and inspires optimism, most certainly the United States of America has done the same—from the beginning of the nation’s history and even still today.

Let’s look at a few recent statistics on the United States:

  • If we start from the big picture, Pew Research estimates that the “foreign born” population in the United States totals more than 40 million people, an increase of 29.7 percent from 2000-2011 and totaling 30.7 percent of the country’s population.
  • In terms of region of birth, the majority of the U.S. foreign-born population came from Mexico (29.0 percent), followed by South and East Asia (25.2 percent), the Caribbean (9.3 percent), Central America (7.6 percent), South America (6.7 percent), the Middle East (3.7 percent), and “All Other” (18.5 percent).
  • California, New York, Texas, and Florida have the highest percentages of foreign-born populations, but the predominant regions of birth vary in each state. For example, in California, the majority of the foreign-born population comes from Mexico, South and East Asia, and the Middle East (36.5 percent, 32.1 percent, and 30.6 percent). In New York, the majority of the foreign-born population comes from the Caribbean, South America, the Middle East, and South and East Asia (27.8 percent, 21.3 percent, 10.4 percent, and 10.1 percent).
  • The foreign born population is younger than the native born population.

At its core, outstanding marketing gains special insight into a market, knows how to best get your message to connect, and stays true to your brand’s promise, values, and attributes. (Want insight into how to craft your own brand promise, values, and attributes? Read our article series on the topic.)

Coca-Cola understands that the United States is a country of immigrants who came here with hopes and dreams—and recognizes that its U.S. market is increasingly made up of younger people who come from all over the world. This market analysis ties well with Coca-Cola’s values and its brand promise to inspire moments of optimism and uplift.

So how better for Coca-Cola to connect its message with its targets than to use a quintessentially American song sung in languages from all over the world? Inclusion. Bringing people together. Inspiration. Hope.

Spot on, Coca-Cola. Spot on.

Posted: Feb 26, 2014
Updated: Oct 10, 2019
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