Sunday, April 6, 2008

Coke Reality II: The Transformation

Coca-Cola has gone through a number of different advertising slogans in its long history. In fact, here’s a list I’ve conveniently taken off the official Coca-Cola company website:

Slogans for Coca-Cola -- 1886-present:
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

Despite the numerous transformations in Coke’s advertising schemes over the century, it’s become obvious that they have continued to focus their slogans to sell “reality” and leisure life; proving Duncombe’s argument of marketing dreams and fantasies. Yes, their campaigns have changed, independent to each, and their media relived to any spectacle one can imagine*, but they cannot let go of what works and ultimately what sells. And they probably know this.
From this list, I have also noticed that Coca-Cola has kept to a modest attitude during the very early years of their advertising. I suppose they soon found out that it wasn’t enough to only sell the beverage based on how well it tasted.

*I’m alluding to the sillier and unnecessary projects that Coca-Cola has created or endorsed to draw attention such as the international exhibit of oversized Coke bottles (some over 10 feet tall), and their popular Times Square spectacular of an electric advertising sculpture being one of the largest digital canvases in the world.


1 comment:

I. Reilly said...

regarding the transformation of coca cola's "attitude", see thomas frank's "the conquest of cool." there's a chapter on the cola wars between coca cola and pepsi.