Landscapes of Global Capital
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Introduction
Feed the children
Corporate paternalism
The cure
High tech classroom
Techno-metaphor
Child prodigy
The obnoxious visionary
Unfettered imagination
We care
Harmonious music
Cynicism of legitimation
You can't buy love
Harmony of technology

In 1969 Coca Cola assembled a chorus of young people on a hilltop in Italy. The commercial starts with a close-up of the face of a young woman singing Coke's lyrics. Overhead lighting reflects off her blonde hair. As other voices join in, the camera slowly pulls back revealing a multi-racial chorus of young people neatly dressed in their traditional garb, all holding a bottle of Coke.

I'd like to buy the world a home and furnish it with love
grow apple trees and honey bees and snow white turtle doves.
I'd like to teach the world to sing in perfect harmony
I'd like to buy the world a coke and keep it company.
It's the real thing.
I'd like to teach the world to sing in perfect harmony.
I'd like to buy the world a coke and keep it company.
It's the real thing.
Coke is what the world wants today. Coke Cola
It's the real thing
Coke is what the world wants today. Coke Cola
It's the real thing

Made during the Vietnam era, this ad creates a fantasized alternative to a world that was then moving into a new stage of disorder. Mimicking the American Peace Corps program philosophy, the ad suggests that young people can achieve what their elders have failed to do-create an harmonious world. Multi-racialism signifies diversity and Coke the totem of world harmony. Its international chorus restores communal relations at the global level. Even the triangular organizational form suggests harmony. Perhaps it was Coke's attempt to appellate the love generation--a 'Make love, not war' gesture. This commercial appears at the end of the American era in which American ideological hegemony was breaking up in the United States. The belief that the rest of the world would mimic both American democracy and economic development was no longer sustainable at home.

Reminiscent of the 1969 Coca Cola commercial Quantas assembles it own children's choir. Rather than just showing us global landscapes, Quantas produced a series of commercials that arrange children in geometric formations upon these landscapes. This children's choir correlates global harmony - defined as bringing together representatives of all cultures throughout the world - with the places that Quantas flies. Touchstone Energy likewise foregrounds a children's choir, mixing images of the choir with images of family and electrical power technology to create a Gemeinschaft tone. Its tagline "The power of human connection" and logo of three children holding in a balanced formation reinforce the equation that Touchstone Energy means a harmonious communal relationship.


Sign Formulas & Branding

Signifying Clusters

Structural Frames

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© Copyright 1998-2003
Robert Goldman, Stephen Papson, Noah Kersey