Coca-Cola, Then & Now

Coke is it!  There's nothing like a cold Coca-Cola when you're really thirsty, even when you're an owl (what?!).  Amanda knows what I'm talking about. Here's a look at Coke ads, then and now.  My favorite HooplaHa Coke ad?  Have a Coke and a smile, of course!(Story Sources here, here and here!)


Coca-Cola, a refreshing beverage that I personally prefer over Pepsi, got an early start in the American beverage industry. The first Coca-Cola was sold in 1886, and the rest seemed to be history. Let’s take a journey through some print advertising of Coke, plus find out when my favorite, Diet Coke, was added into the mix.



In the late 1880s, that first, all text advertisement was the first ever to appear in print. Although it looks absolutely nothing like what we’re used to seeing today, it was a start.

Next came the first ever spokesperson for Coca-Cola, who also happened to be a woman: Hilda Clark. In the 1890s, the print ads simply promoted that you drink Coca-Cola.


After Hilda, you could find advertisements that pitched Coca-Cola as a solution for quenching thirst. This concept still seems to resonate throughout all soda brands since most want to be the one you choose to quench your thirst.

This one is definitely a favorite with the target market definitely being a certain class, yet it seems so silly to think that if you were in a fur you wouldn’t drink a Coca-Cola. I guess that was the way in the 1920s, maybe?


Come the 1930s and 1940s, war was upon the country, so it’s very interesting to me that they chose to use some of their advertising as the drink that everybody knows. I definitely appreciate that they were trying to make it a universal ad at the time.








In the late 1950s, early 1950s, again there was variety. Because of the writer in me, this one caught my eye the most. I can definitely picture myself having this printed and hung up in my office!

Bring on the Diet Coke! One of my go-to drinks, I couldn’t wait to find some fun advertisements for this one. Introduced in the 1980s, I found humor in the fact that all of the faces of Mount Rushmore were enjoying their Diet Cokes.

Also introduced in the 1980s was pairing some Coca-Cola with booze. In this ad, it’s specifically rum, which is a popular combination when you head to the bar.











The Polar Bears that always resurface at Christmastime because a Coca-Cola class in the 1990s.

Now, with the theme “Live on the Coke side of life,” you’ll find Coca-Cola advertising everywhere. My personal association with these ads are just finding joy in life while enjoying a nice, cold Coke.

Which of all these decades were your favorites? Can you pick just one? I definitely don’t think I can!

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