The Chronicle of Coca‑Cola: A Global Business


Entering the last quarter of the 20th century, the deep emotional bond between Coca‑Cola and its consumers grew even more powerful and more global. In 1971, young people from around the world gathered on a hilltop in Italy to sing "I'd Like to Buy the World a Coke," a counterpoint to turbulent times. This was also a glimpse into the Company's future: an expanding global presence and an even closer attachment to the world's most cherished trademark.

The power and prestige of Coca‑Cola were exemplified in 1988, when three independent worldwide surveys conducted by Landor & Associates confirmed Coca‑Cola as the best-known, most-admired trademark in the world.

Perhaps a more human assessment of consumers' loyalty to Coca‑Cola had come in 1985. The Company startled the American public by announcing a new taste for Coke, the first change in the secret formula since Coca‑Cola was created in 1886. The new taste was overwhelmingly preferred in taste tests, but all the testing and research could not measure the emotional attachment Americans had for the original formula. That original taste had become more than just a soft drink, and consumers' deep feelings, memories and loyalties to it came alive. The Company listened to its consumers and quickly responded by returning the original formula to the market as Coca‑Cola classic®.

The Company's global strategy during the 1980s continued to bring consumers on every continent refreshing products for every occasion and every lifestyle. In 1982, soft-drink history was made with the introduction of Diet Coke®, the first extension of the trademarks Coca‑Cola and Coke, and the most successful new soft drink since Coca‑Cola itself. Within two years, Diet Coke had become the top low-calorie soft drink in the world.

Advertising during the 1970s and 1980s continued a long tradition that presented Coca‑Cola as one of life's simple pleasures,distinctive and acceptable anywhere. In 1976, the "Coke Adds Life" campaign was introduced, laying the foundation for the 1979 introduction of "Have a Coke and a Smile," a campaign of heart-warming emotion best captured by the famous television commercial featuring Pittsburgh Steelers tackle "Mean" Joe Greene.

In early 1982, the theme "Coke Is It!" was launched around the world to reflect the resurgent, positive spirit of the 1980s and to reaffirm the leadership of Coca‑Cola. "Can't Beat the Feeling" wrapped up the 1980s, while "Can't Beat the Real Thing" led the way into the 1990s, and the innovative "Always Coca‑Cola" campaign debuted in 1993, followed by "Coca‑Cola … Real" in 2003 and "The Coke Side of Life" in 2006.

From Small Beginnings

The Coca‑Cola Company began building its global network in the 1920s. Now operating in more than 200 countries and producing nearly 450 brands, the Coca‑Cola system has successfully applied a simple formula on a global scale: provide a moment of refreshment for a very small amount of money -- a billion times a day.

The Coca‑Cola Company and its network of bottlers comprise the most sophisticated and pervasive production and distribution system in the world. More than anything, that system is dedicated to people working long and hard to sell Coca‑Cola, Diet Coke, Sprite, Fanta and other Company products.

From Boston to Beijing, from Montreal to Moscow, Coca‑Cola, more than any other consumer product, has brought pleasure to thirsty consumers around the globe. For 125 years, Coca‑Cola has created a special moment of pleasure for hundreds of millions of people every day.

The history of Coca‑Cola is a story of special moments. Moments that originated with Dr. Pemberton in Atlanta and have been multiplied billions of times around the world. Moments made familiar and universal by Mr. Candlers's unique advertising and Mr. Woodruff's vision to put Coca‑Cola "within an arm's reach of desire." Moments that today make Coca‑Cola the most ubiquitous consumer product in the world. Each day, Coca‑Cola strengthens its position as the world's soft drink. Every day, people experience a delicious, refreshing moment that only Coca‑Cola can bring them. Through more than a century of change, Coca‑Cola remains a timeless symbol of quality refreshment.

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