In one of my Communication for Multinational Corporations classes with Dr. Gao, I learned about different ways the Coca-Cola company pushes their products in mainland China. During this lesson Dr. Gao spoke about how in China Coca-Cola gives small businesses signs for free. These signs are given to businesses that sell Coke products and cannot afford their own sign with their shop or restaurant name on them.
The catch to these free signs is that, in addition to the name of the shop or restaurant, Coke includes a big logo or a “Coca-Cola Sold Here” type message. For small businesses, these free signs with advertisement on them are greatly appreciated and displayed, because without the free signs the business might go unlabeled or have a cheap makeshift sign.
While in Granada, Spain I found many small businesses with matching Coca-Cola signs. Most of these businesses, however, looked well established and had nice signs. None of the business owners were in the shops and restaurants to talk to about how they acquired the signs, however, I would bet that Coke gave them to the businesses. Based on what I have learned in Dr. Gao’s classes, I believe that Coke may be struggling to advertise in Granada and found this as an outlet to do so. Granada is an old city with little room for billboards and flashy ads.
Granada was the only city I saw matching Coca-Cola signs in. I am curious to know if they have reached out to other cities and hopefully will learn more about this unique advertising tactic. Here are photos of all the businesses I found in Granada with these matching signs: