In July 1946, this billboard had its debut. (And, yes, it is actually called "Yes Girl"!)
Our first Coca-Cola billboard, "Ritz Boy," appeared in 1925. It showed a bellhop carrying a tray with a bottle of Coke on it, with the text of "6,000,000 a day." (Think about that: We sold 6 million drinks per day in 1925, when in 1886 we only sold nine drinks a day!)
The next year, the first "Coca-Cola girl" billboard appeared. I know today we would never use a term like "Coca-Cola girl," but that is what they were called, and what collectors and those who study Coke's artwork still call the women who appeared in our early ads. I didn't come up with the name!
Early Coke billboards won awards and honors year after year in annual competitions. By 1959, in 27 years of competition, 86 Coca-Cola billboards (an average of more than three each year) had been picked as among the "100 Best Posters of the Year." The winners included this famous "Yes Girl" image, which remains a milestone of poster design.
Sundblom was one of Coca-Cola's most prolific artists, painting everything from soda-fountain scenes to bathing beauties. During his peak period in the 1940s, he created at least half of all the Coke billboard art.
Do you have a favorite Coke billboard or "Coca-Cola girl" image?
More on Journey
- The Maple Leaf Forever: How Coca-Cola is Showing its Canadian Pride for Canada 150
- From One Fan to Another: The Story Behind Unbox Therapy's Coca-Cola Cooler
- Andy Warhol and Coca-Cola: From Classic to New Coke and Back Again
- Meet Canada's Top Coca-Cola Collector
- 'Blizzard' of Taste: How Fresca Lived Up to Its Tagline, Literally, for 1967 Debut in New York