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In order to understand how Coca-Cola targeted the current zeitgeist one has to understand the social and political climate of the time in which each advertisement was broadcast.  During the early 1970’s when the commercial for “Hilltop” aired America was suffering a major economic downfall.  Due to the Vietnam war, and the coming of age of the baby boomer generation, people endured economic hardship.  As a result of these two initiating factors the economy suffered stagflation (stagnation in economic growth and employment together with inflation affecting the price of consumer goods), causing the largest recession and economic downturn since the great depression of the 1930’s.  As a direct result of the Vietnam war and in conjunction with the economic hardships being experienced by the American population the peace movement reached its peak.  The peace movement was an initiative and desire for hope and unity of all peoples in protest and opposition to the Vietnam War. At this time Coca-Cola created one of the most famous and successful advertisements in history with “Hilltop”.  “Hilltop” was directly related to the need and desire for multinational harmony, using people of all races in traditional dress, all holding Coca-Cola bottles with the trade name in many different languages. In contrast, during the 1980’s, post-recession, America was very affluent, enjoying a long and large economic boom, the stock market was dong better than it had ever done, and wages were increasing, inflation was decreasing  and prices on consumer goods were dropping.  In 1986, America was in the middle of the greatest economic expansion it had ever experienced during peace time. Despite all the positive economic factors during this time period America was also experiencing the Cold War against the USSR.  America supported the Cold War which stimulated nuclear and industrial production and resulted in increased employment for its population.  As a result, there was a significant decrease in active protesting of war and being in the military no longer had the same negative connotation as in the previous decade.  People were proud to be American during this time, the  cold war made things very black and white, good versus evil, the USA versus the USSR.  Coca-Cola now used this atmosphere to infuse its new advertising campaign with patriotism and a thriving America.  From beginning to end “Red, White and You” is directly related to the current economic status.  The advertisement displays abundance (a girl juggling eggs), prosperity (a young man washing his Ford Mustang), productivity (people working and having fun doing so) and patriotism (inserting a young sailor drinking Coca-Cola at the end of the commercial).  Coca-Cola exploited the current economic conditions and pushed the idea of American independence and “Home of the Brave” and Land of the Free”.  For each of these advertising campaigns, “Hilltop” and “Red, White and You”, Coca-Cola capitalized on the sociopolitical and economic dispositions of the time.

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