20 years ofZoë CumlerZoëProfessor Maureen EbbenCMS 200: Research Methods in Communication4/22/12 Picture: (en.wikipedia.org)
Motivation for ResearchPepsi has been a popular soft drink for many years. The television many commercials for Pepsi have transformed year after year, and provide a great example for how Television ads have changed over time. time.
Question:How have TV ads changed over time? Pictures: (http://gregglitman.wordpress.com/; futurity.org)
HISTORY OF PEPSIPepsi-cola (originally named “Brads Drink”) was invented in New Bern, North Carolina in 1898 by pharmacist and drugstore owner, Caleb Bradham.Bradham founded the Pepsi-cola Company in 1902 in a back room of his pharmacy.The first Pepsi advertisement made history with its catchy jingle when it was played over network radio in 1940.One of the first Pepsi commercials to air on television was in 1950, featuring James Dean in his first paid job as an actor.Beginning in the 1990s, Pepsi-cola starts operations worldwide. (pepsi.com; retronaut.co)
Advertising HistoryAfter the Great Depression, Pepsi begins using the theme, “Twice as Much for a Nickel” in 1939 to show customers that it is still affordable.In 1950, Pepsis theme is changed to “More Bounce to the Ounce” when the company is forced to raise its prices.To reach out to the younger, trendier audience, Pepsi changes its theme in 1958 to “Be Sociable, Have a Pepsi”In 1966, Pepsi introduces Diet Pepsi to the mix, whos new musical campaign, “Girlwatchers” was a Top 40 hit.The “Pepsi Generation” campaign was launched in the early 1960s and continued through the 1980s. (Pepsiusa.com; Pepsi.com)
Gender StereotypingIn a study done by Martin Eisend (2009), he found that the odds that females in ads “are associated with domestic products (body, home, food) is more than two times the odds for males” (p. 431).According to a study done in 2000 (Coltrane, Messineo), research continues to prove the use of gender stereotypes in advertising, “with women shown as young, thin, sexy, smiling, acquiescent, provocative, and available” (p.369). On the other hand, male characters are portrayed as “knowledgeable, independent, powerful, successful, and tough” (Coltrane, Messineo, et al.).Women are often shown wearing clothing that is sexy, revealing, alluring, etc., and are usually the focus of anothers attention (Signorielli, McLeod 1994).
Cola WarsHuron (as cited in Klein, 2008), explains that Pepsi and Coca-Cola are examples of “parity products”, where similar products compete very closely with each other in advertising.In Morarus study (2010), the positioning efforts in the competition between Pepsi and Coke are explained. The author describes how “Pepsi started as a poor and distant relative, but had used every moment of Coca-Cola’s weakness for gaining points in front of the enemy” (p. 53). Now, Pepsi is just as stable as Coca-Cola.Klein (2008) explains how Cola companies compete by using popular music in their advertising as a way of saying that music can change the world, “and transformed it into the suggestion that cola can change the world” (p. 16).
Child-TargetingIn a study about ads targeting children (Warren, Wicks, Wicks, Fosu, and Chung, 2007), it describes how advertisers use a combination of “production techniques and emotional appeals” (p.797) as a strategy to come across to children.Kaiser Family Foundation (as cited in Zwarun, 2008) found that food advertisers often feature childrens favorite characters from the media in their ads.According to Larson (2003), “More than one-third (35%) of the commercials that featured child characters included some type of aggression” (p. 73).
ExpectationsThe information that I found in the literature tells me about the trends in advertising from the past 2 decades.I am expecting to observe ads that contain Gender Stereotyping.I also expect to observe ads that contain competitive material between the products.Finally, I should expect to see ads that feature (therefore, targeting) children. Hypothesis: Hypothesis: By watching the ads, I expect to find many changes in marketing strategies over the past 20 years.
MethodsI have decided to conduct a content analysis on a sample of Pepsi commercials aired over the course of the past 20 years (1992-2012).I chose this method because I thought that it would be the best indicator of how advertising strategies have changed over the past 20 years, by allowing me to categorize and code each commercial I watch.I will then be able to conclude the major changes/ trends in advertising over this period.
CategorizingThe method I used to categorize the ads depended on the overall tone of the commercial.The first category was called Celebrity. If the ad used one or more celebrities to endorse the product, I put it under this category.I chose to use this as a category because celebrities hold huge influences over consumer audiences. For example, if a person sees their favorite singer drinking a particular brand of soda, they are more likely to buy that brand of soda.
Categorizing (cont.)The second category was titled Humorous. If the ads main focus was to endorse the product by using humor, but didnt involve a celebrity, it was placed under this category.I chose to use humor as a category because people enjoy ads that make them laugh, or incorporate some form of sarcasm that seems comical.
Categorizing (cont.)The third category I used was named Serious. If the commercial used a serious tone to market the product, I placed in under this category.I used this as a category because there were specific instances where the company was trying to depict the product with a serious message.
CodingUnder the Celebrity category, I had 5 different ways that the ad could be coded.1. The first code was called Sex Appeal. This section included ads that used gender stereotyping. If a celebrity was shown wearing revealing clothes, dancing, or just plain strutting their stuff, or if the ads main focus was to portray the celebrity in an alluring, desirous, sexy, etc. manner, I used Sex Appeal as its code. Celebrities like Cindy Crawford, Britney Spears, Beyonce, Pink, and Shakira were used in these ads.2. The second code was called Goal. This section included ads where the celebrity/celebrities used racing, martial arts fighting, soccer show-downs, sing-offs, or any other form of competition to get to their Goal, in this case, Pepsi, it was placed in this code. Celebrities like Jeff Gordon, Hallie Kate Eisenberg, Beyonce, Jennifer Lopez, David Beckham, and others were used in these ads.
Coding (cont.)3. The third code was named Competitive. Commercials included in this section were ones that compared Pepsi to other beverages/soft drinks (mainly colas). One commercial used Pepsis ongoing battle with Coca-Cola to prove that it was the better soda. Celebrities like Michael Richards, Cindy Crawford (again), and Jackie Chan were used in these ads.4. The fourth code was named Next Generation. The only ad in this section features the female pop group from the UK, the Spice Girls. This particular commercial was difficult for me to code because the girls are all wearing “sexy” clothing and dancing around, so originally I was going to put it in the Sex Appeal code. However, the whole commercial is a music video of them singing about “Generation Next”, which was a campaign for Pepsis next generation look. Since there are no apparent “admirers” or fans shown in this ad (which are shown in the Sex Appeal codes) I put it in a new section.
Coding (cont.)5. The last code for the Celebrity category was called Classic/Timeless. The only ad in this section features singer, Britney Spears. It shows her holding or drinking Pepsi through the different generations (1958, 1963, 1966, 1970, 1989, and 2002, which was the present day). She repeats the jingle “Pepsi. For those who think young” throughout the ad.Under the Humorous category, there were 4 different ways that an ad could be coded.1. The first code was called Competitve. Again, these ads used Pepsis ongoing battle with Coca-Cola to prove that Pepsi was the better choice. In some ads, it even Coke “employees” preferred Pepsi over their own brand of soda. The message throughout these codes was that Coca-Cola was the worst choice.
Coding (cont.)2. The second code was named Healthier. The only ad under this section featured a husband who makes unhealthy choices when it comes to food, and his wife who punishes him for his poor choices. At the end, it shows him drinking a Pepsi Max, which has 0 calories but still tastes great. When his wife sits next to him, he thinks hes been caught again and flinches away expecting her to hurt him. Instead, she tells him that he did good.3. The third code in the Humorous category was called Next Generation. Again, there is only one commercial under this particular section. It was an ad for the Superbowl, and it features sports announcers, celebrities, and people from all over the world who are falling asleep at inconvenient times. Its supposed to be a parody of a Saturday Night Live skit called “Night at the Roxbury”. The only cure to everyones sleep-attacks is the new Diet Pepsi Max, which now has Ginseng, more caffeine and 0 calories.
Coding (cont.)4. The last code for the Humorous category was called Youth. The only ad in this section shows 2 bored teenage boys. Boy #1 asks his friend what he wants to do. Boy #2 answers this with his plans for the rest of his life. He goes off on this rant about all the things he plans to do (all of which are very average – “wife, house, kids, bowl on Wednesdays, etc.). When he is done, his friend rephrases the question by asking him what he wants to do “TODAY”. He replies “The beach!”. The point of this ad is to enjoy youth while you still can. “Be Young. Have Fun. Drink Pepsi.”Under the Serious category, there were 2 ways an ad could be coded, each code has 1 ad each.1. The first code was called Classic/Timeless. This ad shows how the look of Pepsi (can/bottle) and its label has changed throughout the century. It incorporates Pepsi into major events throughout the generations to show that it is a timeless favorite.
Coding (cont.)2. The last code in the Serious category is named Going-Green. This ad shows dozens of frames of different people. In some shots the people are holding signs about how they care about trees/the planet/community. The ad is to introduce the Pepsi Refresh Project, which gives away money to people who give Eco friendly ideas. The ad follows the “Going-Green” trend that has become popular in recent years.
Findings: Gender StereotypingFirst, one of the expectations I had after the literature review, was to observe Gender Stereotyping in the ads. The first type of Gender stereotyping I was expecting to see was that females are associated with domestic products (in this case food/beverages) twice as much as males. 9 of the 21 commercials had females as the main character(s): 2 of those 9 were of a little girl; 7 of those 9 were of women.5 of the 21 commercials had males as the main character(s): 1 of those 5 commercials were of 2 teenage boys; 4 of those 5 commercials were of men.7 of the 21 commercials had both males and females as the main characters.With these results, my original expectation was almost met, with almost twice as many female main characters as there were male.
Findings: Gender Stereotyping (cont.)The second type of Gender stereotyping that I expected to see was that women in advertising are often portrayed as lean, sexy, available, young, provocative, etc. ,wearing sexy clothing, or the object of someones attention. I found 8 of the commercials to have one or more of these characteristics in the female characters.The last type of Gender stereotyping I expected to see, was that men in advertising are often portrayed as smart, independent, powerful, successful, or tough. I found 7 of the commercials to have one or more of these characteristics in the male characters.
Findings: Cola WarsThe second expectation I had after the literature review, was to observe some sort of competitive material between Pepsi and some other beverage (most commonly Coca-Cola) in the ads. In total, I observed 6 commercials that contained some sort of competitive nature between Pepsi and another brand of soda.
Findings: Child-TargetingThe third expectation I had after the literature review, was to observe ads that targeted children in some way.The first type of child-targeting that I expected to see was commercials that use childrens favorite media characters. In total, I found 4 of the commercials that featured children. 3 of the commercials I observed featured a child actress named Hallie Kate Eisenberg. She starred in Pepsi commercials for 3 consecutive years in a row (1998, 1999, 2000). Between 1998-2000, she starred in 4 children/family movies. Since she is a child and she is an actress that other children would recognize, this commercials would most likely have influenced child audiences.The second type of child-targeting that I expected to see was that advertisements featuring children would include some form of aggression. However, these 4 commercials were the only ones that featured children, and there was no aggression whatsoever.
ConclusionMy findings and results lead me to believe that most of my expectations were correct. I observed clear instances of gender stereotyping. I found clear instances of competition (a.k.a. Cola Wars). As for child targeted ads, I only observed a total of 4 commercials that featured children. The only possible reason for me to believe that they could have targeted children in any way, were only the ads that featured the child actress. Other than that, I really didnt see any other techniques used to appeal to children in any way.As I expected, my hypothesis was correct in that I did observe many different marketing strategies used in these commercials over the past 20 years. These commercials used celebrities to influence audiences. Humorous competition was another strategy used to casually give other similar products a bad name in order to endorse this particular product. Another major strategy used was taking matters that people can relate to at any age, like incorporating brief histories of the products, or using the brand to raise awareness about Global Warming.
Conclusion (cont.)The strategies used in these commercials are good examples of the trends that have occurred in advertising over the course of the past 2 decades. We know that strategies like gender stereotyping and child-targeting arent the most morally correct. Measures have been taken in recent years to fix these problems, which is mostly evident in commercials from the past 4 years.
Works CitedColtrane, Scott, and Melinda Messineo. "The Perpetuation of Subtle Prejudice: Race and Gender Imagery in 1990s Television Advertising." Sex Roles 42.5/6 (2000): 363-89. Academic Search Complete. Web. 23 Apr. 2012.Eisend, Martin. "A Meta-analysis of Gender Roles in Advertising." Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science 38.4 (2010): 418-40. Communication and Mass Media Complete. Web. 15 Apr. 2012.Huron, David. ‘‘Music in Advertising: An Analytic Paradigm.’’ The Musical Quarterly 73, 1989: 557–74.Kaiser Family Foundation (2004). The role of media in childhood obesity, http://www.kff.org/entmedia/upload/The-Role-Of-Media-in-Childhood-Obesity.pdf (accessed June 17, 2007).Klein, Bethany. "In Perfect Harmony: Popular Music and Cola Advertising." Popular Music and Society 31.1 (2008): 1-20. Academic Search Complete. Web. 15 Apr. 2012.Larson, Mary S. "Gender, Race, and Aggression in Television Commercials That Feature Children." Sex Roles 48.1/2 (2003): 67-75. Academic Search Complete. Web. 23 Apr. 2012.Moraru, Madalina. "The "positioning" Concept and the Fight between Two Well Known Brands Coca-Cola and Pepsi." Journal of Media Research 3.2 (2010): 47-62. Communication and Mass Media Complete. Web. 23 Apr. 2012.Signorielli, Nancy, Douglas McLeod, and Elaine Healy. "Profile: Gender Stereotypes in MTV Commercials: The Beat Goes on." Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media 38.1 (1994): 91-101. Academic Search Complete. Web. 21 Apr. 2012.
Works Cited (cont.)Warren, Ron, Jan L. Wicks, Robert H. Wicks, and Donghung Chung. "Food and Beverage Advertising to Children On U.S. Television: Did National Food Advertisers Respond?" Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly 84.4 (2007): 795-810. Academic Search Complete. Web. 16 Apr. 2012.Zwarun, Lara. "Policy Worth Perpetuating? An Analysis of How Well Food Commercials Marketed to Kids Comply With CARU Self-Regulatory Guidelines." Southwestern Mass Communication Journal 23.2 (2008): 1-12. Communication and Mass Media Complete.Web. 16 Apr. 2012.Websites:Pepsi. PepsiCo, Inc., 2005. Web. 23 Apr. 2012. <http://www.pepsi.com/PepsiLegacy_Book.pdf>."Pepsi - FAQs." Pepsi. PepsiCo, Inc., 2008. Web. 23 Apr. 2012. <http://www.pepsiusa.com/faqs.php?section=highlights>."James Dean Pepsi Ad, 1950." Retronaut. 23 Aug. 2011. Web. 23 Apr. 2012. <http://www.retronaut.co/2011/08/pepsi-commercial-with-james-dean-1950/>. * All Pepsi commercials (1992-2012) were watched at www.youtube.com