Thursday, February 28, 2013

Coca Cola and The Help


Product advertisement in movies has become a common aspect of the films we watch. Companies often sponsor movies in order to have their product displayed in their film for the audience to see. This practice is known as product placement. What helps to distinguish it from normal advertisement is its nuance (Smith 1). The goal is to promote their product in a way that creates an argument which drives viewers to want to purchase it. The Help provides a great example of the existence of sponsorship in movies. Coca Cola is discussed and promoted in multiple scenes throughout the film. The company is creating an argument with the use of ethos, logos, and pathos to show why people should consume their product.
Each setting where Coca Cola is brought up in the movie, involves a hostess providing a drink for their guest. For example, this happens when Celia Foote offers a coke to Minnie Jackson who came to Celia’s house as a potential maid for the Footes. Hilly Holbrook also asks her maid to provide Skeeter with a Coca Cola when she arrives at the Holbrook’s to go on a double date. Coca Cola is making the argument that their drink is the perfect choice to provide to guests. It gives credibility to the idea that if a person is having people to his house, he should have Coca Cola as a refreshment for them to drink. It establishes trust which is key in making an ethos argument (Lunsford 45). The use of Coca Cola in the movie shows that people can trust that this product is a great choice to offer others as a drink option.
Using the product in situations where somebody is hosting another also creates a logos argument. Not only does the movie suggest that the product is a viable option to give a visitor, but that it is also the smartest option. In the film, Celia told Minnie “Let me go get you a cold Coca Cola” immediately after she arrived at her house (The Help Movie). Minnie did not even ask for the refreshment, but it was instead offered as what the guest would obviously want. Hilly also told her maid to get Skeeter a Coca Cola without Skeeter asking for one. The movie portrayed giving a Coca Cola to a visitor as if it were a given. Whenever a person has someone to their house, it is the logical decision to give them a Coca Cola.
 Just seeing the product Coca Cola helps to provoke a feeling of fun and giddiness inside its customers. I know for me it normally takes me back to happy childhood memories of hanging out with friends as we drank a coke along with an afterschool snack. The Coca Cola Company has successfully promoted themselves over the years in a way that associates them with happiness. In fact, their motto used to be “drink happiness.” This blended well with the scene involving Minnie and Celia. When Minnie decided to take the job of being the Foote’s maid, Celia jumps up and down with joy with a bottle of Coca Cola in her hand. The company is able to make the pathos argument that their product produces feelings of happiness through having an excited character holding it.
Through sponsoring The Help, the Coca Cola Company made an effective argument for the purchase of their product with the use of ethos, logos, and pathos. The film, also, however, benefited from having the product in the movie. The old, glass Coca Cola bottle used in the film helped to add to the setting of the film. They were perfect props to further show the film was taking place in the early 1960s. Since each the movie and company benefited from their partnership, I give the product placement of Coca Cola in The Help 3 out of 3 tickets.

1 comment:

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