Today marks the birthday of the most famous brand ever invented – and starting today, Coca-Cola wants to share the anniversary with everyone.

On May 8, 1886, Coca-Cola debuted at Jacobs’ Pharmacy in downtown Atlanta.

For the last 15 years, Coca-Cola has celebrated this birthday with employees, using the name Founders’ Day. The name harkened in part to Dr. John Pemberton, who invented Coca-Cola, along with other leaders who built the company into a global powerhouse.

The company now wants to make the day a bigger celebration – Coca-Cola owes its success to its people, their families and to customers and consumers everywhere, so the anniversary is being renamed Coca-Cola Day.

“Coca-Cola Day actually gives us a new opportunity to celebrate…with every person who loves Coca-Cola,” Chairman and CEO Muhtar Kent told employees at an event company headquarters in Atlanta.

Share a Coke

The name change coincides with another big birthday: the 100th year of the iconic Coca-Cola contour bottle.

“Coca-Cola in an ice-cold bottle is simply the best drink in the world,” said Katie Bayne, senior vice president, global sparkling brands. The birthday is a year-long celebration of Coke, including a worldwide art tour and a myriad number of programs aimed at increasing sales. 

The famed "Share a Coke" campaign has also returned to markets worldwide. The success of putting names on packages is a reminder of why people have loved Coca-Cola for so long.

"Share a Coke" works because of a “timeless truth,” said Wendy Clark, president of sparkling brands and strategic marketing, Coca-Cola North America. “A Coke is best shared,” she said.