Sunday, December 09, 2018

Coca-Cola Christmas 2018: Be Santa

The ad above is Coca-Cola’s Christmas ad for 2018 and, as we would expect, it’s a good one—they almost always are. It’s all to help keep it the most popular brand in the world, and as the sixth most valuable brand, they have an incentive to make really good commercials to keep their popularity and, thus, the value of the brand. They're also masters at international marketing, as the various versions below show.

This ad contains no spoken words, making it usable in any country. However, the printed words are often changed for other languages, and the imagery is sometimes changed for different regions (see other versions below). The ad features the brightly lit Coca-Cola truck from other years, and Santa Claus resplendent in Coca-Cola red. It uses the well-known theme of inspiring the Christmas spirit in people who don’t have it. As they say in the YouTube description:
The world is increasingly becoming more and more divided. We need to take action and do what’s within our power, as regular people, to make it a better place.
Who can argue with that? Which makes this a good ad to the end of this year’s series of Christmas ads. Many of the companies I’ve been monitoring haven’t posted share-worthy ads this year, and some haven’t posted any at all, which I think is sad because this is a year when we could have used a dose of Christmas cheer.

Still these posts have been about sharing Christmas-themed ads from various countries and companies, and that, too, makes Coca-Cola a good place to end this year’s series. As they have other years, the company has created versions for various international markets, and the differences, sometimes subtle, other times not, are interesting. What follows are some of those international versions, along with some of the changes that were made.

First, a very different version for English-speaking markets:

The version for Greece, in which nothing much is changed apart from the final words:

Here’s the Serbian version – the “closed” sign and the “elderly center” sign have been translated:

The Romanian version translates the stickers on the shop’s fridge door, the closed sign, and the “elderly center” sign:

In the Bosnian version, the “closed” sign has been translated, the young man isn’t wearing the helmet inside the shop, and the town scenery is different:

The Spanish language version does away with the door/closed sign scene (which makes the young man giving the old man a Coke seem pretty random compared to the other versions). The elderly center sign was translated. It also has different scenes in the town. The background music also starts differently, using a piano:

The Albanian version takes a very different tack, starting with the end of the commercial, “2 orë më parë…” (“two hours ago…”). It also translates the stickers on the shop’s fridge door, the closed sign, and the “elderly center” sign:

This series of posts has been about showing a small slice of how Christmas is marketed around the world. Coca-Cola is a master at that, clearly. If only people could buy the message as easily as the product.

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