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When we look at ads over time, the examination can focus on content or style or both (Messaris 1997, p. 209). Whereas ad content consists of verbal statements of attribute possession and visual depictions of objects, people, and settings, ad style consists of the method or manner by which that content is expressed. Style can carry a great deal of information, as has been argued by semioticians, art theorists, and literary critics (Scott 1994). Moreover, consumers can use style to infer properties of brands.

            Ad’s focus on content and style is under the “creative” dimension. On the other hand, there is also the “effectiveness” dimension in advertising. According to Young (2000), advertising effectiveness can only be defined in terms of consumer response to the advertising.  As advertising agencies exist, sometimes precariously, in unstable environments (Hirschman, 1989), stability in both organization and output generally are preferred whenever possible by agency management. Management's goal is to have stable output which is predictable and effective. Ad effectiveness has many different dimensions by which it can be measured; the key element is some reliable measurement on which agency management and clients can concur. Usually, that measurement is an aspect of persuasion or marketplace sales.

            Thus in creating a “perfect ad”, creativity and effectiveness must be harmonized. Consumers need an aesthetics of experience; it is important that they are exposed to creative concepts. People behind the effectiveness dimension must also meet their goal, that is to increase their market and sales.

The team proposes an ad design to Coca-Cola. The purpose of the proposal is to convince Coca-Cola that we did design the perfect ad. Through the survey that will be conducted, we are hoping to resolve the conflict between creativity and effectiveness. We will find if the ad we designed for Coca-Cola will be aesthetically enjoyable and persuasive to consumers.


Method of Research

This study will employ the descriptive research method using and survey. In this method, it is possible that the study would be cheap and quick. Nonetheless, it would be very hard to rule out alternative explanations and especially infer causations. Descriptive research is a type of research that is primarily concerned with describing the nature or conditions and degree in detail of the present situation (Landman, 1988; Creswell, 1994).

A general sample of consumers will be asked to view our Coke design. After viewing the design, participants will be asked to respond in view of the commercial's ability to elicit interest in the brand/product advertised, its likability, internal congruency, and its creativity. In addition, the participants will respond to a battery of emotional descriptors to help determine the affect of each commercial.

We will conduct a national random telephone sample to select one hundred twenty-five consumers who will view our Coke design. As an incentive, participants were told they could keep the copy of our design. The sample size places the researcher in a difficult position. Overall, it is large enough to permit some statistical analysis; however, individual cells are too small to allow for similar treatment. For the interview part, the team will select seven advertising creative managers using a purposive sampling method. The interviewees will be asked what they think of our design in terms of creativity and effectiveness.

In summary, the goal of this research is to find out if our design for Coca-Cola is a perfect ad. In this study we will attempt to determine what further improvements, if there are any, are needed for our ad design.


The “Perfect Ad”


Coca-Cola is among those companies which invest heavily on advertising. As a result, Coke maintains its reputation as one of the most popular brands in the world. Coke had been a forerunner in the beverages industry. It has the world’s best advertisers and creative minds. In fact, in 1931, it had created one of the most influential advertisement- the Santa Claus image during Christmas. The advertisements are so popular; Santa Claus is often associated with Coke. The Coca-Cola Company developing a Santa Claus that would be both realistic and symbolic was one of the most revolutionary and most popular advertisement ever made.  This is an example of a perfect ad.

One may wonder, is there a perfect ad? The plain and simple truth is there is no "perfect ad." In essence this is true. An advertisement that scores high with one type of consumer will score extremely low with the other. However, there are ads that are undoubtedly catering to the tastes of majority of consumers. Ads such as those that prompt changes in the society are considered perfect ads. 

            As previously discussed, perfect ads can only be attained through reconciling differences between creativity and effectiveness dimensions. Creative typically deride the criteria used by management and clients and allege they have little to do with the way advertising really works. Creative people believe that creativity is necessary for effectiveness, that the creative element pushes the message into viewers' minds. In fact, some even feel that creativity is effectiveness (Kover, 1995). This belief seems general despite a few creative people who believe that creativity is merely a front for self-indulgent "artistic" attempts. Therefore, as might be expected, many agency managers mistrust creative advertising. Creativity as defined by "the creative" can be bothersome, costly, and time-consuming. Creative advertising may win awards but may have little to do with advertising effectiveness (Gaylord, 1994). 

Therefore, In order for an ad to be a perfect ad, it is important that creative and those behind the effectiveness dimension come up with a unified concept that is both creative and effective.



Designing a perfect ad for Coca-Cola is a challenging task. It is necessary to carefully conduct an assessment of its market and what its consumer consumers’ needs are. The survey that will be conducted by the team to determine the level of creativity and effectiveness of our Coke ad design shall be the basis of our proposed magazine commercial that shall improve, freshen and innovate the previous magazine advertisements of Coke. Moreover, the team will explore the evolution of Coca-Cola’s magazines commercials specifically targeting Christmas.



Creswell, J.W. (1994) Research design. Qualitative and quantitative approaches. Thousand Oaks, California: Sage.


Gaylord, M. (1994) How Account Management Interacts with the Creative Function. Paper presented at an Advertising Research Foundation Special Seminar.


Hirschman, Elizabeth C. "Role-Based Models of Advertising Creation and Production." Journal of Advertising 18, 4 (1989): 42-53.


Kover, A. J. (1995) Copywriters' Implicit Theories of Communication: An Exploration. Journal of Consumer Research, 21, 4: 30-45.

Landman, W. A.  (1988) Navorsingsmetodologiese Grondbegrippe.  Pretoria: Serva.

Messaris, Paul (1997), Visual Persuasion: The Role of Images in Advertising, Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, Inc.


Scott, Linda M. (1994), Images in Advertising: The Need for a Theory of Visual Rhetoric, Journal of Consumer Research, 21 (September), 252-273.

Young, C. E. (2000) Creative Differences between Copywriters and Art Directors. Journal of Advertising Research, Vol. 40, 2000




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