What I am holding there is a replica of an antique Coca-Cola bottle, first produced about 1907. The curved bottle used today came along about 1917. The antique replica was given to me when Coca-Cola celebrated its 75th anniversary at the Springer Opera House.
Did you know that Coca-Cola is really about love and friendship? You probably thought it was about other things, things like money and power. Some people in Columbus are filthy rich because their parents and grandparents bought into Coca-Cola a long time ago, some as far back as 1919, and some Atlanta families are too because they are descendents of Columbus native Robert Woodruff, who moved to Atlanta and made Coke an international hit.
That sort of thing, though, was not what Hugh Gordon, Coke’s special projects man, talked about when he brought the Coca-Cola 125th anniversary message to Columbus Rotarians. Nor did he get into the Columbus connection to the Coke, things like it being concocted here by Columbus citizen – no, he wasn’t a native, being born in Rome, Georgia – Dr. Pimberton. Mr Gordon was more concerned about how Coke spreads love and friendship around the globe.
Marrying Coca-Cola with love and friendship has proven to be a masterful marketing campaign. It started back in the 70’s with the song “I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing (in Perfect Harmony.” The song used in a Coca-Cola TV commercial, which also contained the phrase, “It’s the real thing,” was so popular that a non-Coca-Cola version was recorded and ended up selling millions of records. Coca-Cola, according to Wikipedia, donated the royalties to UNICEF.
Now Coca-Cola has a new hopeful commercial. He showed it during his Rotary presentation. It’s called “Reasons to Believe” and maintains there are reasons to believe in a better world. You can see and hear it on YouTube. It opens with “For every tank built in the world, 131,000 stuffed dolls are made,”and goes on making a list of such comparisons, with the last one being “While one weapon is being sold in the world, there are 20,000 people sharing a Coca-Cola.”
Add to this the secret formula myth and you have an incredibly successful marketing campaign. 1.7 billion Cokes are consumed in the world every day. Coca-Cola and Diet Coke, according to Mr. Gordon, rank one and two in the soft-drink best seller list.. And it all started right here in Columbus, GA.
I can remember when I was a kid, just about every adult in my extended family drank four Coca-Colas a day, every day. I mixed mine up with Nehi- Orange and other soft drinks. Now, I almost never drink a carbonated beverage, and when I do drink a Coke, it is always a caffeine-free Diet Coke Most of the time I settle for water, which is an unbeatable thirst quencher. Coca-Cola has that covered, too, with Dasani. I drink that more than Coca-Cola, but most of the time I drink tap water. Wikipedia says Dasani is also tap water, but it goes through a filtering process, and costs a lot more than regular tap water.