The History of Coca-Cola

Coca-Cola is a brand that you see pretty much all over the world. Their delicious soft drink has been around for decades, constantly staying relevant and being drank by millions of people. It's almost impossible for anyone to remember the time when Coca-Cola wasn't there, that's how long the brand has been out for! Let's take a dive into the history of Coca-Cola, the largest beverage company in the world.

The Coca-Cola Company, founded in 1892 in Atlanta Georgia, is the biggest beverage manufacturer in the world. The syrup for the sugary soft drink was first developed by Dr. John Pemberton in Atlanta Georgie on May 8th, 1886. The drink's name refers to two of its original ingredients: Coca leaves and kola nuts. The local pharmacist, John Pemberton, originally created the syrup as a patented medicine. However, he produced the syrup and carried a jug of the new product down the road to Jacobs' Pharmacy, where it was sampled. To his surprise, everyone loved it and deemed it as 'excellent'. He proceeded to place his new invention on sale for a whopping 5 cents per glass! Carbonated water was then added to the delicious syrup to produce the famous drink we all love, Coca-Cola. Frank M. Robinson, Johns business partner and book keeper, mentioned how the two C's would look amazing together for marketing purposes and proceeded to sketch the Coca-Cola name in his unique script, which remains the same to this day.

The first ad for Coca-Cola was placed in a local newspaper, The Atlanta Journal, and invited thirsty citizens to try the new popular sensation. As the days and weeks went by hand-painted signs reading "Coca-Cola" started appearing on store awnings, informing people of that the new beverage was meant for soda fountain refreshment. During the first year of sales, Coca-Cola averaged 9 drinks per day which works out to 45 cents.

To our surprise, Dr. Pemberton didn't have a lot of interest in and never realized the potential of Coca-Cola. As a result, he ended up selling portions of his business to various partners and prior to his death in 1888, he sold his remaining shares of Coca-Cola to Asa G. Chandler, whose marketing tactics led Coca-Cola to its dominance of the world soft-drink market throughout the 20th century. After seeing the success of the company, Mr. Chandler proceeded to buy additional rights and acquire full control over Coca-Cola.

Moving forward to 1899 two lawyers from Chattanooga, traveled to Atlanta to negotiate the rights to bottle Coca-Cola. The product had been a popular soda fountain drink established 13 years prior to the negotiation. Within these 13 years, Coca-Cola went from selling 9 drinks per day to being sold in every state in the US by 1900. Thomas and Whitehead, the lawyers, wanted to capitalize on the popularity of the beverage by bottling it to be consumed outside of a soda fountain. They signed a geographic contract and the Coca-Cola Company started franchising the rights to bottle the tasty drink in cities across the U.S. By 1920, Coca-Cola had over 1,200 bottling operations established throughout the U.S.

Between 1920 to current day, Coca-Cola has been responsible for a host of memorable marketing campaigns. The most iconic Coca Cola campaign is the 'Hilltop' ad released in 1971. Shot on a hilltop in Italy, this ad depicted a diverse group of people from all ethnicity's gathering on a hilltop singing. The ad featured The New Seeker's track, 'I'd like to teach the world to sing', which after the ad, instantly became attached to Coca Cola's brand. Fast forward to 2012, Coca Cola landed a huge spot with the Super Bowl during the half-time show to release their polar bowl campaign. The ad, which focused on a group of polar bears watching the game and taking part in their own, also extended its reach online. Fans were able to visit to watch the polar bears react and interact with the game live. The genius marketers behind this campaign took it one step further and staged a polar bear takeover of Coca Cola's twitter account. One of the biggest international campaigns directed by Coca Cola was the 'Share a Coke' campaign.

Originally starting in Australia, the campaigns slogan was built upon Coca Cola's image of being a brand associated with friendship and bringing people together. The campaign started by placing the most popular Australian names on bottles of Coke to drive sales and create a more personal connection to their customers. After seeing the success in Australia, the 'Share a Coke' campaign spread all over the world. This campaign led to Coca Cola launching a number of innovative experiences for consumers, including specially designed twist tops that required another bottle to open them.

Although Coca Cola is famous for their original flavour, over the years they've released new flavours for their consumers to enjoy. Some of the most iconic and popular ones are, Vanilla, Cherry, and Orange Vanilla. They've also released Coke Lemon, Cherry, Maple Syrup, Diet, Zero Sugar and Orange. Coca Cola has also released some new drinks including, Coke with Coffee and Coke Energy. As the company continues to grow and run the beverage industry they will need to keep innovating with their flavours and types of drinks to cater to all types of consumers around the globe.

Fast forward to current day, Coca-Cola is a household brand known across the world. With their amazing marketing campaigns and partnerships with major companies, Coca-Cola will continue to thrive and dominate the beverage industry for years to come.


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