Coca-Cola Advertising

“The Coke sign does not simply mean a refreshing drink: it means America got there first.” So says Humphrey McQueen in his book, The Essence of Capitalism: The Origins of Our Future. Studying the development of youth culture should include the impact of Coca Cola’s television advertising campaigns. I grew up with the images of fun-loving teenagers on the beach spilling and drinking coke, and rolling around inside giant plastic balls. “Coke adds life and everybody wants a little life”. It was no coincidence that my first spending from my income as a lawn-mowing teenager was coca cola. However my fascination with the ‘life drink’ was dampened by an incident at work in the supermarket. Coke was sold in glass bottles still. Out in the store room one of the bottles had broken without anyone knowing for a couple of months. I found the sticky mess left – black sugar. Yech.

Coca Cola Web Site 2005

I never really bought into the “Like to teach the world to sing – It’s the Real thing” ads. It felt like it was slightly before my time.

Reward Your Curiosity

Coca cola has continued to up the ante on television advertising. I think of the phrase, “Reward your curiosity” whenever I drink Vanilla Coke. And I think of the 2002 ad where this guy (Jesse Pinkman) peeks through a hole in the fence only to be dragged in and put in a head lock by taste merchants (Chazz Palminteri and sidekick Jimmy) offering smooth and intriguing vanilla coke.

The ad was directed by Phil Joanou of Villains, LA with The Martin Agency in Richmond. (Phil directed U2’s Rattle and Hum)

Life Tastes Good

Coke’s probably aiming at my teenage kids now. There’s the Night Swimming ad – “Life Tastes Good” – with the more daring version of the beach ad of my teenage years.

See more stories from Coca Cola here on The Inspiration Room using the Coca Cola tag.

  • asmaa

    hey send me some coca cola info for my assignment please i would be very greatful

  • What kind of info are you after?

    • kaustubh

      ripit agin

    • Stanley

      Hi have a tv advert would love 2 sell its new

  • danny

    please can you send me some adverts for coca cola please

  • No I can’t. But you can use the search facility at the top of this page to search for coca cola on this site, and find where you can view and download them for yourself.

  • stacey

    I would like to know where to get a recording of the music used in the coke add …” give a little love and it all comes back to you, youa re gonna be remembered by the things you say and do.” as seen during the super bowl. Can you tell me the credits?

  • Hi Stacey. See my post on the Coke Video Game.

  • freddy

    oi have you got tha advert with the wierd lookin people playin football in it?? because im trying to find out the theme to that advert! wud b gratefull if uv gt ne info..

  • freddy

    it goes like adekadekadee deek a dee

  • Michele

    Hi Duncan, there’s a new Coke commercial ad out with an older woman’s background vocals(maybe ella fitzgerald) The commercial shows a guy on a subway tring to drink his coke and his can is empty, another guy is throwing his empty can in the garbage and a woman at a restaurant reaches for a coke can she thought was on the table but wasn’t. The lyrics go something like ” What would I do if you were no where around I would be blue,” etc.. Sorry thats all I can remember.. Its a slow song very pretty possibly from the 1930’s 1940’s era. Thanks if you can figure this one out.

  • alyssa

    hi my mum was in a coca cola tv commercial in the 70’s is there anyway i can view this please help me! be much appreciated!

  • Duncan McMath

    hi Duncan. Strangely enough I am also looking for a coca cola advert from the late sixties/early seventies that my mum was in. Any advice on how to find it? Thanks!

  • Dave

    Can you please tell me the coca cola ad where people are riding camels what the song is playing in the background, i think it was around between 2000 – 2003

  • tim pellett

    i want to know if y got copy of new coke add thats on in 7 latin american countries during the world under 20 soccer coming out soon shot in toronto last month

  • Zac Hillard

    I was in a Coca Cola Ad in the late 70’s and was wondering if there is a site that has all of these old ads. It was shot on Great Keppel Island and I would love to get a copy of it.
    If you can help me at all it would be greatly appreciated.

    Thank you

  • sean


    It’s Judy Garland — What’ll I Do. A bunch of people have sung it, Nat King Cole, Allison Krauss, etc.

  • Anna


    I’m trying to track down a Coca Cola ad I was in in 1999. I was sitting on a sofa watching TV with Coke and pizza with ‘mum’ and ‘brother’ – she turns into a monster. Sounds a bit weird I know! It was on TV in Oct 1999 and filmed in May 1999 in Liverpool. Tina O’Brien from Coronation Street (TV show – UK) was also in it.



  • Gary

    I’m trying to track an advert for coca cola from the mid eighties. It started off with a teenage girl singing alone in a huge hall, she sings the words ” I am the future of the world, I am the hope of my nation”. ” I am tomorrows people, I am the new generation!”. then she is joined by many more teenagers of all races to join in the chorus.
    any help would be greatly appreciated.

  • mary

    i need this info for my assignment….. I would like to know why Coca Cola used polar bears and penguins for some of their TV ads?

  • Neil

    The music to that advert with the footballer with 3 legs is called “BADDEST RUFFEST” by Backyard Dog.

    Have been trying to find out myself for ages, and just found it on youtube

  • Joanne

    does anyone know who sings in the new 2007 Christmas coke ad that is shown in theaters? Its the one where the little girl is given a coke by santa every year while they show her growing up. Then in the end, as an older lady , she gives santa a coke. The song is called the greatest gift, but I cant find who sings it, it is so pretty.

  • cary

    i too am looking for the singer and song in the new christmas coke commercial shown in theatres. it sounds like amy winehouse…”the greatest gift is your smile…” i have posts everywhere but to no avail. anyone?

  • Joan

    I’m also searching for the Amy Winehouse christmas coke audio. Can anyone help?

  • Haridos

    Hey Duncan,
    I was wondering if you could tell me where to find the christmas Coca Cola advert which has a female singer singing the line “Reindeer always fly and sleigh bells always ring, whenever Santa’s thirsty it’s always the real thing”
    I’d appreciate your help. I’ve searched everywhere for it and I cant find it anywhere.
    Thanks again.

  • leanne

    hi can you play the advert where the girl is walking down the street handing out bottles of coke and singing i wish by the lighthouse family. My favorite advert is still the one with the lorry and santa winks as he goes past with holidays are coming playing in the back ground .xxxxx thanks

  • Povilas

    Hai, so what about “gratest gift is your smile” or something like that, could someone tell what’s the real song name?

  • Povilas

    probably it’s Angela McCluskey voice.

  • Hannah

    Hi Duncan,

    Just wondering if you knew what year Coca Cola used a VW Kombi in their advertisements?? And if you do, where can i get a copy of the ad?

    Thanx Heaps 🙂

  • Joseph

    Coke Denmark has responded that it IS Angela McCluskey on the ads with the song. The ones with the different music aren’t as good as the “greatest gift” song.

  • James

    Hi Duncan
    I am searching for a Coca Cola commercial that my sister was in. I think it was in 2004 or 2005. The commercial is set at a concert with people dancing, and a guys piercing gets ripped out. I think the theme was Coca Cola is “Real”
    Thanks, James

  • evelyn

    can you please send me an advert of cocoa cola which i can download explaining meaning of colours in that advert and the self. it is for my assignment

  • BOB

    I think coca cola are so cool and there ads are to die for they make me laugh and laugh all day and night i love them. they make me go to sleep smiling and i want to be a coca cola man when i am old because of the ads plz make more and send some to me i want to laugh i have had such a bad day 🙁 my father took my coca cola away this morning i want to watch all the ads plz send them I LOVE COCA COLA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Jim Page

    Do you know what C/W female singer that openened for Jackson Browne in the late ’70’s also had done Coke commercials?
    Thanks a bunch,

  • Trevor


    I am trying to track down the coke ad from the eraly 70’s featuring “Gimme dat thing (Ring)” that was used to advertise Cokes new Ring Pull cans.

    The original song was by the Pipkins. Also if you know or have the “I’d like to buy the world a coke” ad also from the early 70’s


  • catherine

    i was wondering if you could help me find the coke ad from a few years ago, where there is a female singer singing ” i wish i could sing all the things thats in my heart, remove all the ______ that keep us apart” or something like that. I would really love to find out the song and would greatly appreciate it if you could help me out.


  • Eric

    Looking for the music used in one of the 2008 Olympic TV ads from Coke. I think it was also used in a movie soundtrack but I cannot remember the movie! The add only has the instrumental portion of the song (piano only). Been looking for this song for a long time but don’t know the name….can anybody help?

  • TZ

    It’s “Breath me” Sia. Also used as final song for six feet under finally

  • tina

    Give a little love is the Coke ad that I’m seeing in the 2008 Olympic TV ads, and it comes from the Bugsy Malone movie. What I’m looking for is the name of the female singer who is singing it also, not the grand-theft auto rendition. Both ads are running.

  • Adam

    Looking for the song for coca cola commercial – Still the one 2008. Sounds like torri amos. Nobody famous in commercial that I can recall. Your help is appreciated.

    Thanks, Adam Scott

  • khrsitna Campbell

    How does Coca-Cola get all the advertisement & why!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Ellie And Ciara

    Hey Duncan =D

    How Are Ya?

    Just Wondering What Time We On For On Saturday ?

    Also Loving The New Commercial 😉


  • Tom Jerry

    How do you make the coke bottles look sooooo lush, they make you just wanna gobble them up 😉

    It makes you just sooooo thirsty, and crving coke, i want to do that to my self, you no wt i mean 😉

    luv ya

  • Irene

    I remember a commercial from the late eighties/early nineties that ends with a shot of beautiful woman wearing a white dress in the family’s dining or living room. She’s laughing with her family as the shot fades to the red screen. I always got the feeling that she might be Latina and that it was her wedding celebration. I cannot remember any other part of the commercial but would love to track it down. I’ve been in love with that dress since i first saw it and would like to consider the design for my wedding. Any ideas?

  • donald randall

    i have a cute photograph taken in 1958 of my brother and i having a coke while eating lunch using a cardboard box for a table while setting in our little chairs outside. we were only 3 and 2 years old at the time my parents took the picture. everyone tells us it would make a great coca-cola add. how can i show it to you? if your interested.

  • Sonja

    I am trying to find the gospel sounding song from the “at the table” coke commercial. I believe it was released in the U.S. in late ’09. I would greatly appreciate any help!
    Thanks, Sonja

  • Daniel

    Hello, I’m trying to find the commercial from the early 90’s that featured an R&B group sitting in an apartment singing “Always” a cappella. There were no lyrics, they just harmonized to the word “Always” for the entire song. Really need this, thanks!

  • dhaney Ilan

    Hi.. Can you tell me the meaning why coca cola use penguins for your commercials?

  • elly

    hi duncan 🙂

    could you give me a little information about coca cola advertisement please i would be very greatfull.thank you

  • Renee

    Hi, I remember a commercial about vanilla coke i think it was on the radio.. it started with a beat and some music, with a lady saying “vanilla coke, smooth and intriguing” then some guy says something and takes away the music so its just the lady’s voice.. What was that?

  • mujahideen

    does coca cola use in-house advertsing or an agency? if they use an agency could u tel me which one? plssss

  • Chuck Walle