Jeff Greenhouse

Experienced Marketing & Analytics Executive

A Tale of Two Cokes: Budget Isn't Everything

A Tale of Two Cokes: Budget Isn't Everything

The battle plays out every day across meeting tables. Agencies fight for more budget, clients fight to spend less. There’s no right answer, except that a brilliant concept will trump a big budget every time. Coca-Cola had two spots air during last night’s Super Bowl. Both were creative and fun, and they show that dollars run a distant second to inspiration.

Here are both ads:

Coca-Cola: “Siege”

Coca-Cola “Border”

Undoubtedly, the difference in production budget between these two spots is at least one digit if not more. One had a full 60 seconds of detailed, high quality 3D animation, replete with character animation, particle systems and pyrotechnics. The other had a cast of two, zero dialogue, minimal set and costumes and no special effects. They are both strong ads, but in my opinion, the second, simpler one was the better ad.

The success of an ad begins with the concept and script itself. There are great concepts that need a big budget to be properly realized (Kia’s “Black sheep” ad for the Soul is a great example), and there are concepts so weak that they don’t deserve to take up airtime, even if they don’t cost a dollar to make. Whether you are going to spend one dollar or a million, fight for the best concept so each of those dollars is well spent.

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