In the early 1940s, the "Sprite Boy," an elf-like cartoon figure -- a sprite -- made his appearance in magazine ads for Coca-Cola.

Coke_sprite_boy_italian_signThough it is a common misconception that the Sprite Boy is named for our Sprite brand, the two are unrelated. In fact, Coke did not introduce the drink Sprite until 1961, after the Sprite Boy was no longer really used in advertising.

The Sprite Boy was created to help associate the term "Coke" with Coca-Cola. (For some time, our Company fought the idea of using the shorthand "Coke" to refer to Coca-Cola.)

We used the word "Coke" for the first time in magazine ads in June 1941, and began a campaign to connect the names "Coke" and "Coca-Cola" -- with the Sprite Boy as its primary image.

The Sprite Boy was used so often in advertising he wore two hats -- a bottle cap and a soda jerk's hat -- to represent both sides of our business (Coke in the bottle and Coke at a soda fountain).

Sprite Boy was featured on advertising and promotional materials into the 1950s.

Check back later to read about the collectibles that feature Sprite Boy.