The first Coca Cola sale was at Jacob’s Pharmacy in Atlanta, Georgia, on May 8, 1886. It was initially sold as a patent medicine for five cents.
Coca-Cola’s promotion has had a significant impact on American advertising and its overall culture. It is even (erroneously) credited with the invention of the US traditional Santa Clause image.
Anyway, Coca Cola advertising history demonstrates how the marketing science has been developing over time. Below there is a visual tour into the company print advertising:
Drink Coca Cola
Coca-Cola first print ad was published in 1895 featuring a young Bostonian actress named Hilda Clark who was the company spokesperson.
The ad campaign featured various people and concepts.
Delicious and Refreshing
Coca-Cola Revives and Sustains
It satisfies the thirsty and helps the weary (via stealthsettings.com)
Take one glass of Coca Cola when weary with shopping. It imparts energy and vigo (via stealthsettings.com)
Thirst Knows No Season
The pause that refreshes: (via adflip.com)
“Thanks for the pause that refreshes. Drink Coca Cola: Delicious and refreshing” (via dismuke.org)
“Be refreshed! Pause for Coke! Only Coca-Cola gives you the cheerful lift that’s bright and lively… the cold crisp taste that deeply satisfies! No wonder Coke refreshes you the best!”
“Spending the day on the water? You’ll really welcome the cold crisp taste of Coca-Cola that so deeply satisfies… the cheerful lift that’s bright and lovely. No wonder Coke is the real refreshment… anytime… anywhere” (Via flickr.com).
Things Go Better with Coke
The “Things Go Better with Coke” campaign was adapted to the youth market by using catchy colors and fashionable concepts.
Burger Hot. Coca-Cola Cold. Taste Bold, refreshing, never too sweet. Ummm! Burger never better. Things go better with Coke.
“This is the time for real refreshment- ice cold Coca-Cola. Coke gives a lift to your spirits… a boost to your energy… a big, bold, unmistakable taste. In Short: Coca-Cola is more than an ordinary soft drink. Things go better with Coke”.
It’s the Real Thing
“Real life calls for real taste. For the taste of your life – it’s Coca-Cola. Here and now.”
During the mid-1970s, the political uncertainty in the United States determined Coca-Cola advertising campaign. As the nation questioned its direction, Coca-Cola reminded Americans of their country’s positive values in the “Look Up, America” campaign.
Look Up, America
Look up, America. It’s the real thing. Coke
Coke Adds Life
In May 1976, The Coca-Cola Company introduced a new campaign, presenting the brand as the soft drink for all occasions. Aimed at the young and young-at-heart, the new campaign, “Coke Adds Life to …,” was designed to show viewers that Coca-Cola added simple enjoyment to life.
Have a Coke and a Smile
After “Coke Adds Life,” the advertising campaign for Coca-Cola, “Have a Coke and a Smile” was launched – it further emphasized the ‘young’ and ‘cool’ spirit:
Coke is It!
In early 1982, Coca-Cola launched a new ad campaign, “Coke Is It!” The direct, positive statement was meant to appeal to the forthright mood of Americans in the 1980s. “Coke Is It!” represented the new taste and concept:
The public, however, demanded the return of the traditional drink, so the campaign turned out to be fiasco.
Always Coca Cola
In 1993, The Coca-Cola Company made a dramatic shift in its advertising by introducing the memorable “Always Coca-Cola” campaign, by Creative Artists Agency and later Edge Creative. Animated polar bear became one of the most popular symbols of Coca-Cola.
The Coca-Cola Polar Bear ice skating, from 1995
The Coke Side of Life
Coca Cola New Zealand Campaign: “Summer as it should be”
Use your imagination and recycle. Our future depends on it.
Further recommended Reading:
- Slogans War Between Pepsi and Coca-Cola;
- Flickr Collection of Coca Cola Advertisements;
- Official History of Coca Cola;
- Coca-Cola Image Collection;
- Coca-Cola Retro Pop Art Calendar.
Post image: by Mike Licht