A few days ago, I did a post on sampling coupons and the impact that they had on our early business. One reader left a comment suggesting that I do a follow-up story on another version of those coupons that occurred a few years later. I am happy to do so.
As the twentieth century dawned, The Coca-Cola Company began to use a number of personalities in its advertising. One of the more prominent individuals was an American opera singer named Lillian Nordica (1857-1914). Nordica regularly performed at the Metropolitan Opera in New York City and was one of the superstars of the stage.Her image graced serving trays, calendars, posters and novelty items distributed by the Company. In 1905, Nordica appeared in a full color magazine ad that was published in the leading magazines of the time including Good Housekeeping, Munsey's Magazine and Scribner's Magazine. Attached to the bottom of the ad was a sampling coupon for a free glass of Coca-Cola at the soda fountain.The coupon could be clipped from the magazine ad and redeemed for the free sample.During 1905, almost $43,000 worth of coupons were redeemed in that year alone.
If you were able to find one of those Nordica ads with the coupon still attached, it would have a value in the area of $750.
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- Why the Coca-Cola Archives is Digitizing More than 6,000 Analog Tapes
- The Story of Frank O'Hara's ‘Having a Coke With You’ Poem