Advertising Analysis: Coca Cola – Across Geographies

Coca Cola as a brand has enthralled masses across geographies with its advertising campaigns; shoring up the youth in flights of fancy and throes of passion. With some of the best marketing campaigns the multi-billion dollar brand has always taken care that the campaigns are mindful of the culture in the geographies they have been designed for. Having analyzed two advertising campaigns released in India and the US by using the Hofstede model one of the best known frameworks to assess cultural dimensions of a geography leads to some interesting conclusions and insights into how truly different the advertising campaigns are.

Indian Ad: Coca Cola- #OpenHappiness


“Sector 11 kidhar hai?,” the girl next door (Deepika Padukone) asks Sunny, the happy-go-lucky boy who believes in celebrating “choti choti khushiyaan” and sure enough he does so. Without replying to her, Sunny races back to his home to devour a glass of coke as he daydreams of having a lifetime of happiness with the perfect girl made for his dreams and the ad ends with the tag line: “Choti ho ya badi, har khushi main Coca Cola”

Analysis using Hofstede Model:

Power distance index (PDI): Power distance of a culture is a measure of how comfortable you are with a hierarchical order. Here the power distance is low. Sunny is a happy-go-lucky lad who was dumbfounded when the beautiful girl next door asks him about Sector 11 so much so that he doesn’t even reply to her. In his happiness he goes back to the room to celebrate the moment.  

Individualism  vs. collectivism: The ad is underscored by collectivism. When celebrating the moment, Sunny talks about his dreams of them being together and charting a life together which shows a high degree of the collectivistic thought process

Uncertainty avoidance index (UAI): UAI index is low. Although it hasn’t happened yet and there is no way of knowing whether Sunny and Deepika will end up together; the former is pretty certain that now that they have initiated a small conversation, they would be able to eventually settle down together

Masculinity  vs. femininity: This ad is high on feminity. It believes in cheerfully celebrating all forms of happiness whether big or small. It displays the giddiness one feels when they get talk to someone they feel very strongly about

Long-term orientation  vs. short term orientation: Long term orientation is emphasized here as Sunny starts thinking into the future of a happy life together with the girl he believes he is in love with

Indulgence versus restraint : The ad displays benevolent indulgence as the ad displays the happiness being indulged with sips of Coke!

American Ad: Coca-Cola – #CokeChase


This ad set against the desert landscape of Las vegas features three teams: the Las Vegas dancers, the cowboys and the dirty bikers in a race against each other to grab the coke. It is the ultimate chase. It ends with them arriving at the huge Coke billboard set in the far distance on the Vegas landscape where they finally find that the actual destination if 50 miles ahead. The ad ends in suspense, the question remains: “Who is going to win the Coke Chase?”

Analysis using Hofstede Model:

Power distance index (PDI): The PDI is high. There are three teams all competing against each other- each wanting to win and each thinking that they are better than the other two. Thus the PDI is quiet high as there is a stark difference between perceptions of power of each group about itself vis-à-vis the other two groups

Individualism (IDV) vs. collectivism: This is highly individualistic. Each team wants to well for itself and wants to outdo the other two teams. There is a high need for achievement at an individual level within each team driving them to outdo the other team rather than collaboratively trying to help each other out and reaching the destination

Masculinity vs. femininity: The ad is inclined towards the masculinity scale as it projects emotions such as a high need for achievement, aggression, the go-get-it attitude is very much predominant in the same

Long-term orientation (LTO), vs. short term orientation: Since each team wants to win and outdo the other the goal is quite in-the-moment. It is therefore focused on short term orientation

Indulgence versus restraint : The society is quiet indulgent. It wants to celebrate victory, aggression and gratification via having that coke exclusively for oneself after winning

Overall Comparison

Having compared the Indian and American ad for Coca Cola  Hofstede model can bring out the following differences

Indian Ad- Coca Colaà #OpenHappiness :

It concentrates the emotional aspect of the audience- where you celebrate sweet nothings, young blooming love and a dream of a meaningful future all in that one sip of coke- more joyous than ever

American Ad- CocaColaà #CokeChase:

The campaign reflects the American values of chasing your dreams in keeping with the true spirit of the “American dream”. It urges you to be driven and motivated, quiet aggressively so to go after what you want and do so with the single minded focus !

– Sonal Sapale

Sonal Sapale


Sonal is a Chemical Engineer from ICT Mumbai currently in her 1st year at SPJIMR. She has worked for C Tech Corporation, a specialty chemicals company. Travelling and writing short stories & human interest articles interest her.  She has served as the editor for ICT’s non-technical magazine.

Read Sonal’s Ad analysis of Lifebouy here.

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