By Thibault Vandershooten
Dear Sodaholic Reader,
Since the last 1800’s and its first ad, Coca Cola has always used advertisements with simple and direct slogans with the famous red color and different characters, throughout the years.
The Coca Cola Company always used the world in which it lives to communicate about the brand. The history began in 1886 with the first Coca Cola ad, published in the Atlanta Journal. The slogan was: “Delicious! Refreshing! Exhilarating! Invigorating!”
The Coca Cola ad-story continues throughout the years and throughout the time. The second major ad and slogan was in 1906. It is the first example that proves that Coca Cola always used the current context. At that time, Americans put aside alcoholic beverage: Coca Cola had the genius idea to use it in its advertisement with the slogan « The Great National Temperance Beverage ».
Coca Cola has always wanted to target the largest audience possible and vaunted its product as healthful and delightful. Pretty soon, one of the most famous Coca Cola slogans has been launched: “delicious and refreshing”. Without Internet, they wanted to spread their slogan with their first subway’s ad in 1910. They really often used young and happy women in their advertisements.
The company also used the two world wars to communicate about his product. During those periods, soldiers replaced young and happy women on Coca Cola advertisements. The amazing story of Robert Woodruff, the CEO of the company in 1941, said that every single men in uniform should get a bottle for 5 cents and a Coca Cola employees special team were in charged of distributing the famous bottle during the WW2.
Between the two wars, Coca Cola came back to its old and famous slogan launched in 1904: “delicious and refreshing”. At that time, the red and the “contour bottle” was at the middle of the advertising strategy of the company.
The imagination of Coca Cola had no limit, and they invented tens and tens of slogans such as “Refresh Yourself”, “It had to be good to Get Where it is”, “The pause that refreshes” or “Ice Cold Sunshine”. And in 1931, the first ad with Santa Claus was born: always with red color and the “Contour Bottle”.
In 1942 Coca Cola invented a new character for its advertisements: “the sprite Boy” with its large smile. This little boy was in charge of making a transition in the brand nickname, “Coke”. In fact, the company didn’t want people to use the term of “coke” for Coca Cola, but they finally accepted to put it in an advertisement with this new little guy who has the aim to connect the two names: “Coca Cola” and “Coke”.
Slogans also followed products and new tastes. In 1985 Coca Cola had two recipes: the classic Coca Cola and the New Coca Cola, and led to two different slogans: “Red, White & You” for Coca-Cola classic and “Catch the Wave” for Coca-Cola. They used Max Headroom as the main character of the campaign. He was a fictional British artificial intelligence character.
In 1993, Coca Cola decided to make a sustainable campaign. Indeed, the Company has changed the slogan more than forty times and the universe around their advertisements between 1900 and 1993. They decided to use a character that was created in 1920 in France, and was used sporadically in print ad: the Polar Bear with the famous quote “Always Coca Cola”. It was so successful that Coca Cola created his all family and didn’t change their ad and slogan until 2000 with a new slogan: “Coca Cola. Enjoy”. The polar bear and his family were still used since a few years ago.
With the XXI century, Coca Cola made lots of ads with different slogans such as “Life tastes Good” or “Make it Real”, and lots of flashy colors, and happiness… In 2009 they finally decided to choose a simple slogan “Open Happiness”. Simple. Effective. Attractive. It was a real success.
The love story between Coca Cola and advertising is a part of the success of the Coca Cola Company and it is not finished yet with the last campaign of 2016 : “Taste the Felling”.
Slogans for Coca-Cola From 1886 to 2006
1886 – Drink Coca-Cola
1904 – Delicious and Refreshing
1905 – Coca-Cola Revives and Sustains
1906 – The Great National Temperance Beverage
1917 – Three Million a Day
1922 – Thirst Knows No Season
1923 – Enjoy Thirst
1924 – Refresh Yourself
1925 – Six Million a Day
1926 – It Had to Be Good to Get Where It Is
1927 – Pure as Sunlight
1927 – Around the Corner from Everywhere
1929 – The Pause that Refreshes
1932 – Ice Cold Sunshine
1938 – The Best Friend Thirst Ever Had
1939 – Thirst Asks Nothing More
1939 – Whoever You Are, Whatever You Do, Wherever You May Be, When You Think of Refreshment Think of Ice Cold Coca-Cola
1942 – The Only Thing Like Coca-Cola is Coca-Cola Itself
1948 – Where There’s Coke There’s Hospitality
1949 – Along the Highway to Anywhere
1952 – What You Want is a Coke
1956 – Coca-Cola… Makes Good Things Taste Better
1957 – Sign of Good Taste
1958 – The Cold, Crisp Taste of Coke
1959 – Be Really Refreshed
1963 – Things Go Better with Coke
1969 – It’s the Real Thing
1971 – I’d Like to Buy the World a Coke (part of the “It’s the Real Thing” campaign)
1975 – Look Up America
1976 – Coke Adds Life
1979 – Have a Coke and a Smile
1982 – Coke Is It!
1985 – We’ve Got a Taste for You (for both Coca-Cola & Coca-Cola classic)
1985 – America’s Real Choice (for both Coca-Cola & Coca-Cola classic)
1986 – Red, White & You (for Coca-Cola classic)
1986 – Catch the Wave (for Coca-Cola)
1987 – When Coca-Cola is a Part of Your Life, You Can’t Beat the Feeling
1988 – You Can’t Beat the Feeling
1989 – Official Soft Drink of Summer
1990 – You Can’t Beat the Real Thing
1993 – Always Coca-Cola
2000 – Coca-Cola. Enjoy
2001 – Life Tastes Good
2003 – Coca-Cola… Real
2005 – Make It Real
2006 – The Coke Side of Life
2009 – Open Happiness