Analysis of The History of Coca-cola's Successful Use of Advertising

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About this sample


Words: 1411 |

Pages: 3|

8 min read

Published: Jan 28, 2021

Words: 1411|Pages: 3|8 min read

Published: Jan 28, 2021

Ads have evolved in recent years thanks to the internet and social media which has expanded it to new territory never seen before. The internet offers people a better chance to advertise their product or service than it was years ago. Our advancements in technology has not only pushed society but advertising as well, becoming more widespread and much easier to produce at minimal cost. Advertising is now more accessible to the public than it was years ago. In the late 20th and 21st, early century companies used the internet as an alternative advertising source. The potential of it was amazing that their multiple ways of advertising on the internet than television, billboard, and magazine. Advertisers have more creative freedom on the internet than before.

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Ads have become more descriptive, linked to your interests and more personalized to you when shopping in online stores or on YouTube. There’s even an option in google to whether if you want your ads to personalized or not. When scrolling through YouTube then selecting a video an ad shown is related. It would either draw or annoy the consumer. Having online ads have both positive and negative reactions they may gain an audience, but they can also be easily ignored. The focus of the paper is the history of Coca-Cola’s successful use of advertising.

Back in 1886, John S. Pemberton invented Coca-Cola originally it was a tonic for common ailments like the cold. The soda receipt consists of Coca leaf, Cocaine, and Kola Leaf. His bookkeeper, Frank Robinson, Pemberton’s bookkeeper named the drink, Coca-Cola. John later sold his receipt to local soda foundation and drink became huge success. Asa Griggs Candler took over ownership of Coca-Cola company in 1891. Candler redirected his attention of merchandising of Coca-Cola, which created a large demand for the soda. Candler’s marketing decision to add coupons to Coca Cola increase sales (Asa Griggs, The Coca-Cola Company). While selling phenomenally drink Pemberton removed the cocaine from the drink in 1903. The cocaine was removed from Coca-Cola’s formula, because consumers were addicted to the cocaine found in the drink. After the controversy, they needed an ad for a fresh start.

First Ad from Coca Cola features actress and singer Hilda Clark. She made Coca-Cola look sleek, which drew more customers to product than before. Her image rebrands the drug spiked drink into an afternoon beverage to settle down. Hilda Clark was the first celebrity to be featured in Coca-Cola her likeness found in multiple merchandise. Her influence in the ads marked a transition for Coca-Cola to branch out of its shady past. In 1925 Coca-Cola’s first billboard, ‘Ritz Boy,’ promotes how popular the drink had become.

6 years later Coca-Cola puts an image of Santa Claus on an ad that debuted in the Saturday Evening Post and appeared regularly in magazines. It was painted by Haddon Sundblom, who continued to paint a new Santa for Coke every year until 1964. During the 1932 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, spectators received these ‘Olympic record keepers’ to keep track of world records in various sports. Between 1928 and 1935, artist Norman Rockwell painted six different illustrations that were used in Coca-Cola ads. A 1935 Coca-Cola calendar ad ‘Out Fishin,” depicts a young boy fishing on a tree stump. In 1944 Coca-Cola ad shows a soldier is seen on this World War II-era ad. Year after The Coca-Cola debut ‘Yes Girl’ billboard. It was painted by Haddon Sundblom, who also created the iconic Coca-Cola Santa Claus. Then in 1951 ad celebration of Coca-Cola’s 65th anniversary.

In the 1957 Mary Alexander was the first African American woman to appear in Coca-Cola advertising. For the first time Coca-Cola started advertising towards African Americans because Pepsi doing it during the 1940’s eventually Coca Cola gave in to the idea. She appeared in about 15 Coca-Cola print ads throughout the 1950s. Coca-Cola struck gold yet again with one of their most famous ads of time named “Hilltop”. It features a multiracial group holding cokes and singing “I like to buy a Coke”. This ad represents that not only America only enjoys Coke, but international countries enjoy it as well.

8 years after that classic ad came in another beloved ad featuring “Mean” Joe Greene which ended becoming one of the most memorable Super Bowl ads of all time. This 1979 Super Bowl Coca-Cola commercial depicts a boy give Joe Greene a Coke then Joe gives the kid his jersey. The 1980’s was new era for companies wanting change up their style or expand their brands Coca-Cola decided to expand their beverages to a new audience. So, in 1982 Coca-Cola introduced Diet Coke it was a substitute for those who want lose weight but to drink coke with less calories. 1985 Coca Cola made another Coke called Coke Cherry. Coke Cherry is a Coke with a cherry flavored taste which is homage to Americans back in the day using cherry syrupy in their Coke. In the same year Coca Cola releases New Coke which is supposed for the generation of Coke drinkers. It was supposed invigorated sales but failing spectacularly and gaining backlash over this decision. The negative press with the drink led to it being discontinued 79 days later.

6 years after that New Coke fiasco made return in advertising with another hit slogan called “Can’t Beat the Real Thing.” It ran for 2 years until 1993 when Coca Cola started a campaign called “Always” which is one of the most unforgettable runs of all time. This campaign ad features animated polar bear drinking Coke. They often appear during the holidays. This ad a large appeal to not only adults but kids wanting to drink what the polar bears are drinking.

After that successful campaign that plays even today a new campaign occurred in 2011 that it still going strong. It’s called “Share a Coke” originally released in Australia is currently one of Coca-Cola’s most successful marketing campaigns to date. They’re responding to consumers’ desire for personalization, by adding common names to Coca-Cola packaging. The campaign launched in the United States in 2014. In 2014 advertising of Coca Cola includes Taylor Swift promoting Diet Coke to her fanbase. They use Taylor Swift because her fanbase named “Swifties” who were waiting for her new song to be released in the ad. This song was part of her unreleased album “1989”. Coca Cola also made a partnership with Taylor Swift, to create a contest where her fans can win tickets to her performance to IHeartRadio. Taylor’s impact boosted views in the kitten’s advisement, engaging a large young audience into their market. These loyal fans boosted sales in diet coke, to be more “connected” to their idol Taylor Swift. Coke through this mass following used this opportunity to be the first brand to sponsor a radio show hosted by an A-listed celebrity.

Coca Cola is introducing an energy drink called “Coca Cola Energy” is targeting to people who are on the go. They want ingredients that are recognizable and from a brand they known and loved. From their research the consumers want energy drinks with little to non-calories. Coca Cola tested out their invention in a convention at National Association of Convenience Stores at Atlanta. It was well received because of its low calorie option and consumers can recognize the ingredients on the can. Coca Cola Ads have affected 2 generations of customers and showing future advertisers how they can create much of an impact as they did. Coca Cola has many successful campaign reminders of what not to do when marketing to not only your own customer base but new customers who are interested with your products. Anyone can achieve the amount financial and critical the same way Coca Cola. A team that has a vision, passion, being motivated and understanding of the product.

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In conclusion, Coca Cola ads have affected two generations of customers and influenced future advertisers with their methods that created an impact in the advertisement business. Coca Cola also experienced massive flops that almost ruined their brand like New Coke. Those mistakes are a reminder of not to change the older generation Coke, as it can lose the older loyal customers. Coca Cola changed their slogans for Coke and personalized their brand to compliment the consumers’ desires in the soda that they are drinking. Coke Cola employs a competent team of advertisers that has vision, passion, motivation and understanding of the product and effectively markets their product on television, billboards, magazines, radio and on the internet.

Works Cited

  1. Baer, J. (2013). Coca-Cola's Content 2020 Advertising Strategy. Convince & Convert.
  2. Bragesjö, F. (2011). Coca-Cola: History, Advertising and the American Dream. Culture Unbound, 3, 413-435. Crossland, K. (2019). The History of Advertising: A Comprehensive Timeline, From Print to Digital. Hubspot.
  3. Gaffney, J. (2019). How Coca-Cola Became the King of Advertising. HousingWire.
  4. Green, C. (2019). Coca-Cola's Evolution of Ads: From Polar Bears to Sustainable Development. Triple Pundit.
  5. Kleinberg, A. (2014). The Evolution of Advertising. Inc.
  6. Nudd, T. (2014). History of Advertising: How We Got Here. Adweek.
  7. Raye, A. (2015). A Brief History of Coca-Cola Advertising Slogans. The Daily Meal.
  8. Sabatier, G. (2019). Digital Advertising: Past, Present, and Future. Millennial Money.
  9. Stanton, J. W. (2007). Coke's Recipe for Success. Harvard Business Review, 85(11), 30-32.
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Analysis of the History of Coca-Cola’s Successful Use of Advertising. (2021, January 25). GradesFixer. Retrieved December 5, 2023, from
“Analysis of the History of Coca-Cola’s Successful Use of Advertising.” GradesFixer, 25 Jan. 2021,
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