Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login

> I don't really think [brand advertising] has anything to do with it. [...] Soft drink choices come down to availability most of the time.

Coca Coca spends about $3 billion a year on advertising. [1] I couldn't find a breakdown for how much is brand-building versus other goals, but I think we can agree it's a lot.

That suggests two hypotheses: A) People in charge of a $3 billion budget for an incredibly profitable and long-lived company know what they're doing, or B) An anonymous non-expert on the Internet has correctly realized that advertisers are just fooling themselves, and he (and everybody else) is above being manipulated by brand advertising.

No offense, but I'm going with A.

[1] http://www.ajc.com/news/business/coca-cola-spent-more-than-2...

I'm going to go with B. Just because "everyone is doing it" doesn't mean they know what they're doing. Coke spends a ton of money on advertising because they want more sales and common wisdom says the way to get more sales is to spend a ton of money on advertising. It might work, it might not, but it isn't a simple 1 to 1 thing and it works differently on different people.

On a personal note, I grew up drinking Coke (because my dad preferred it), and I generally prefer the taste of Coke most likely because it's what I grew up drinking. I've seen Coke ads, and I've seen Pepsi ads, and neither one makes me want to drink one or the other or go buy one or the other. About the only thing it might do is influence me to go get a Coke if I was already feeling a bit thirsty although even if it was a Pepsi ad it would probably still make me want to get a Coke. In this case it would be a win for Soda vs. some other kind of drink like say a Starbucks coffee, not specifically Coke vs. Pepsi.

There was a really great discussion on Reddit (of all places) about the purposes and results of advertising. One of the things someone brought up was that a lot of times, ads are there to reinforce your existing preferences and purchasing decisions, and not to influence your making of them.

Post: http://www.reddit.com/r/explainlikeimfive/comments/14y695/el...

See the first reply to the first post:

> Holy fuck. You're right. I bought a car recently, and while the TV spots had nothing to do with my decision, now when I see them, I sing along with the song and cheer at the TV and shit.

It turns people who bought your product in to people who are fans of your product, which makes them more likely to become repeat purchasers (and less likely to seriously consider other brands when it's time to purchase).

Completely off topic, but reading this ^^ has made me go and grab a Coke from the office fridge. Can't say I wasn't thirsty but can say seeing the word Coke several times above did have an effect.

Related to A - there's an old quote from John Wanamaker, father of advertising: "Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don't know which half." It may not be clear to anyone (even Coke themselves) whether facebook advertising, or any other channel, is effective; they just know their total efforts are working very well.

Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact