Analyzing Visual Argument

When trying to reach the target consumer, advertising agencies and rival businesses have a specific method of making sure that their products are favored and obtain an advantage. Since their inception, Pepsi and Coca-Cola have competed against one another based on this idea by making sure that their names are distinctive and have an appeal that is meant to draw in customers. An examination of the company profile through the marketing of carbonated beverage cans reveals a number of noteworthy similarities and variations that have been crucial to the two businesses' efforts to outperform one another. The use of visual effects that create contrast in the visual interpretation of Pepsi and Coca-Cola serves to communicate with the targeted viewer in a manner that makes them form informed choices about their preferences from what they feel and see.

A notable feature that is common for the two images is that the advertising strategy for both firms considers the need for evoking an emotional argument that is based on the use of pathos. The principle that is used in many adverts is that an image communicates a message in a quicker manner than words do, which creates the effect of an emotional response (“Strategies for Creating an Effective Visual Argument”). Image 1 by Lim published on Hongkiat is an example of an effect that creates an emotional feel is the author considers to illustrate the rivalry between the two companies (Lim). From the image, one notes that the two cans are placed in a ring and the Pepsi appears to throw a punch at Coca-Cola. The effect of a fight between the two companies is likely to ignite a feeling of sympathy when the target audience favors one product more than the other. In fact, a closer look illustrates that the Coca-Cola can is raising one hand, possibly as a sign of surrender. The technique can thus be perceived as a strategy that Pepsi is using to win over the consumers because it will be thought that because of the portrayal of Coca-Cola as the conceding brand, one would be compelled the more influential carbonic drink, Pepsi. Nevertheless, the significant feature that is paramount is that through the image, one is more likely to experience an emotional appeal that would make them sympathize for one product relative to the other.

Another fundamental concept that is common between the adverts for the two companies is the use juxtaposition. A person who has no idea about the rivalry between the two companies will get the effect of juxtaposition and immediately relate that it is likely Pepsi and Coca-Cola are firms that share certain features. Image 2 is a perfect example that can be used to justify the use of this effect from the realization that the adverts are made to appear to be of the same size physically both vertically and horizontally, and the visual effect will ignite an effect of companies that share some specific features (Lubin). Further scrutiny to warrant the use of juxtaposition is the realization that they have different colorations even though they also have similar rust marks. The effect of juxtaposition is further noted in Image 3 where it is demonstrated that the two are made brands are portrayed in a similar background but the two images have different shapes (Lovejoy). The juxtaposition thus creates an effect of radically different categories that will make the viewer think of the possible associations. The role of this effect in the advert is that the editor enables the viewer to not only create an association between the two images but also form conclusions (“Strategies for Creating an Effective Visual Argument”).

Another key feature that is common in the two images is that there is a consideration of symbolism from the way the images are structured and also through the assessment of the background. Symbols are used to denote a concept that is greater than what is perceived by the eye in any given context. In image 2, it is apparent that both images appear to be stained possibly by sections of rust. The symbol that this effect creates is that the two brands represent companies that have been in the market for such a long time that they have started depreciating. The impression of rust can thus be used either to promote the two brands from the notion of having stayed for a long time and being established firms. Alternatively, they can also be used to depict depreciation of value, which is a negative effect. Another effect that involves the consideration of a symbol effect is the realization that Image 1 appears to have been set in a ring. The implication would be that the two brands represent companies that are fighting and seek to gain dominance over each other. In both cases, it is clear that the adverts have a deeper meaning than what the viewer perceives through assessing the image superficially (“Strategies for Creating an Effective Visual Argument”).

A further effect that is created in the advertisement depicting Pepsi and Coca-Cola is the effect of a photographic appeal from the inclusion of visually-appealing features. One critical effect that is intended to create the graphic interest in the image is the use of contrasting colors for the two brand. In image 1, it is apparent that Pepsi is made to appear in a blue color a sharp contrast to Coca-Cola that assumes a red color. The target audience is likely to be influenced into favoring on brand relative to the other depending on their preferences. The reader will be able to choose from the two easily because of the manner in which the advertising agencies make it easy to read the two brands. The other feature that enables the reader to relate easily with the image is the consideration for the color effect for both brands in the analysis of the top sections. The font and the sucking sections are made to appear white and silver respectively, which makes it appear that while the two are different, there are notable similarities that the two share and the intended customer should not perceive the two companies as if they are entirely different. Apart from the coloration, it is also significant to identify that the fonts are made to appear legible and in greater effect to be read easily (“Strategies for Creating an Effective Visual Argument”).

In summary, the analysis of the two images of Pepsi and Coca-Cola creates an effect where the viewer relates notable similarities and differences that enable them to perceive the imminent rivalry. Among the major elements that link the two carbonic drink images include the use of an emotional argument, the effect of juxtaposition, symbolism, and a visual appeal all of which tend to make the viewer make opinions based on their individual preferences. As it is entirely intended solely for advertisement, it is plausible to warrant that the images succeed in their intended message as they communicate with the consumer as they can relate what they see with what they feel about each company’s products.


Lim, Hongkiat. “Battle of the Brands: Pepsi vs Coke Advertisements.” Hongkiat. N.p., n.d. Web.

Lovejoy, James. “Analysis: The Coke vs Pepsi Social Presence Showdown.” Brandwatch (2015): n. pag. Web.

Lubin, Gus. “Here’s The Real Difference Between Coke And Pepsi.” Business Insider Inc. N.p., 2012. Web.

“Strategies for Creating an Effective Visual Argument.” English Compandilit (2017): n. pag. Web.


Image 1 : Image obtained from Business Insider by Lubin

Image 2: Image obtained from Hongkiat by Lim

Image 3: Image obtained from Brandwatch by Lovejoy

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