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Coca-Cola is one of the most recognizable brands in the world.

The Beginning

On May 8, 1886, an Atlanta pharmacist, Dr. John Pemberton, produced the Coca-Cola syrup, carried a jug of the new product down the street to Jacobs Pharmacy, and sold the first glass of Coca-Cola. During the first year, sales averaged 9 drinks per day.

The first advertisement for Coca-Cola was in the Atlanta Journal newspaper on May 29, 1886, just a few weeks after the drink was first served in Jacobs' Pharmacy. The ad featured the slogan "Delicious and Refreshing." This slogan was used in almost every ad, and on merchandise until 1920.

Vintage Coca-Cola Metal Sign (on left)

Vintage Coca-Cola Refrigerator Magnet (on right)

Dr. Pemberton never saw the amazing success of Coca-Cola. He sold portions of his business to various partners, and in 1888 (shortly before his death), sold his remaining interest in Coca-Cola to Asa G. Candler. Mr. Candler was an astute businessman who proceeded to buy additional rights and acquire total control of Coca-Cola.

Coca-Cola headquarters building.

Coca-Cola Headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia.


In the mid-1890's, Coca-Cola hired advertising agencies to create the ads for the company.

The first ads were wordy slogans following the style of the day. But, as advertising practices changed, there were several ad agency changes throughout the years.

The longest-running tagline, “The Pause That Refreshes” (1929), was used in one form or another for almost three decades.

Advertising changed again after World War II, when jingles started to play an important role in ads. In 1956, Coca-Cola hired the advertising firm of McCann Erickson who made big changes in Coca-Cola's advertising.

In 1963, the creative director for McCann, Bill Backer, wrote the jingle “Things Go Better with Coke,” and had the Limeliters record the demo. Coca-Cola loved it and used that demo for the next six years! Bill Backer also created the slogan, “It’s the Real Thing,” for which he and his team wrote “I’d Like to Buy the World a Coke” in 1971. This commercial is still a classic!


Products with the Coca-Cola logo are popular with folks of all ages.

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