Analysing Coke Adverts
Coca-Cola was first sold in 1886 in Atlanta, Georgia and was the creation of John Styth Pemberton. Pemberton was the creator of patent medicines, and Coca-Cola was one of his experiments with the coca leaf and the cola nut. Pemberton unfortunately died at the age of 57 penniless, before Coca-Cola became popular. It was Pemberton who made the first Coke advert, using the advertising slogan "Delicious, Refreshing, Exhilarating" which, compared to today's short, snappy and easy to remember slogans, is primitive.
It was Asa Candler who made Coca-Cola the popular drink of today, after having bought Coca-Cola for a small price in 1888. He changed the recipe by removing the alcohol and cocaine and spent a record 20% revenue on advertising. Candler was one of the first people to make advertising pay off in a big way for their company. In a short space of time the drink was being sold and loved all over America. Asa Candler was one of the pioneers of large-scale advertising, which has brought Coke its great success. Coke slogans are much more sophisticated today, compared to the original adverts used by Candler and are usually very short to influence the audience straight away. "Coke is it", 1982 and "Always", 1993 are examples of new campaigns in which the audience are reminded that Coke is the original cola.
Today Coca-Cola is the most recognised brand in the world. Most of its success is based on over one hundred years of advertising and a very recognisable logo designed by Frank Robinson, Pemberton's book keeper.
Robert Woodruff took over from Candler when he retired, and controlled Coke through the difficult years of the Second World War. Woodruff made sure that every allied soldier could have a Coke for 5 cents wherever they were and at whatever the cost to the company. The decision to maintain Coke supplies near the front line of the war would pay off when the war was over. Coke engineers went to North Africa where the allies were fighting, to set up several new factories to provide over three million bottles, ordered by General Dwight D Eisenhower. When the war was over these factories carried on producing, enabling Coca-Cola to access new markets. The allied troops other than Americans had also tasted Coke and had liked the taste so the demand for it was there from other nationalities. The war effort also created close links between Coke and the American government. President Eisenhower rewarded Coca-Cola's input into the war by making Coke the official drink of the White House. This helped Coke, as the USA is now a symbol of wealth and freedom so to be associated with the government further reinforced Coke's association with the USA. However, this association came with some drawbacks. Coke was banned in some anti-American states in the Middle East.
Despite helping in the Second World War Coke has moved with the times and has helped promote peace when the U.S sentiment suited this approach. It promotes peace in its adverts including the most successful Coke advert in 1971, "I'd like to buy the world a Coke". This great advert which featured young people of different races and nationalities united on a hillside in Italy to promote world peace when the Cold War and Vietnam War were at their height. The advert also shows Coke as an international company that sells its drink to all countries and races. The advert suggests that Coke links and unites these countries even when war is tearing them apart. In 1993 after some hostility in the Middle East, Coke was served in the Arab-Israeli peace talks.