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#TBT Slideshow: Musical Memories with Coke

By:  Emily Bucherati Aug 22, 2013
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1920 "Refresh Yourself" ad

The association between Coke and music began early, as shown in this 1920 Fred Mizen advertisement. Coke's first radio show would launch seven years later, with "Vivian the Coca-Cola Girl."


Earlier this week, we published a story on how Coca-Cola invited the biggest artists of the 1960s to "Swing the Jingle," transforming the relationship between music and advertising. So for this Throwback Thursday (#TBT), we're jumping onboard with a look back at some of Coke's most memorable musical moments throughout history. From the big bands of the 30s to the mulleted models of the 80s, check out these highlights of our musical past!


The Coca-Cola Radio Program

Radio would prove increasingly successful for Coke, particularly in the 30s. The Coca-Cola Radio Program featured a 31-piece big band orchestra and broadcast every Friday night over NBC's stations.


Babatunde Olatunji

Babatunde Olatunji was a Nigerian musician, educator, and activist. Here he plays a Coca-Cola contour bottle with Raymond Paige of the Radio City Music Hall Symphony Orchestra, shortly after Olatunji's arrival in America in 1950. Coke bottles have been used to make music for years - for two great listening experiences, check out Japanese DJ Jun Fujiwara Fujiwara's innovative Remix Bottle, or Kurt Hugo Schneider's Coke-fueled covers of "Little Talks" and "Feels So Close."


"The Right Note" ad

This magazine ad from 1954 features model Mary Alexander in a musical family moment. You can see more ads with Alexander in our profile of Moss Kendrix, who led Coke's first advertising campaigns directly targeting black American consumers.



"There's Music in Fanta!" ad

"There's Music in Fanta!" If the hairstyle didn't give it away, we're jumping forward to the 80s with this Danish ad. Fanta bottles at the time featured music trivia on the back of each label. Here Danish teens are encouraged to test each other's knowledge of rock, pop, disco, and reggae.


Sizzlin' Sounds Sweepstakes

Sizzlin'! In 1984, Canadian Coke bottles featured the "Sizzlin' Sounds Sweepstakes." These days, Coke's Canadian campaigns might instead encourage bystanders to tweet or text on behalf of the polar bears.


Pop Music compilation CD

In the early 90s, Coke partnered with Columbia Records to bring listeners four compilation CDs. Today, we're partering with Spotify to bring you Coca-Cola Placelists - some of which are even curated by the up-and-coming bands featured in our 52 Songs of Happiness.


MTV Coca-Cola Live 2003

This Italian poster promoted the MTV Coca-Cola Live concert in 2003. Concerts continue to evolve today - check out our recent coverage of Bonnaroo and the EDM scene.