Coca-Cola has launched a new television ad, “Timeline”, featuring a series of milestones in African American history complemented by images which illustrate the progression of the Coca-Cola contour bottle over time.
Chicago 1893 Black doctor performs first successful heart operation
(Dr Daniel Hale Williams at Provident Hospital)
North Pole, 1909, A black man is on top of the world
(Matthew Henson, with Robert E. Peary)
Tuskegee, 1941, Pilots prove heroism has no color
(Pursuit squadron based in Tuskegee, Alabama)
Brooklyn, 1947 Baseball shows us courage, it’s #42
(Jackie Robinson debuted with Brooklyn Dodgers)
Montgomery, 1955 Woman remains seated. And stands for justice
(Rosa Parks arrested for not giving up her seat for a white man)
DC, 1963 A Man inspires a nation to dream together
(Martin Luther King’s “I Have A Dream” speech)
Coca Cola Celebrates Black History
Click on the image below to play the video in YouTube
“‘Timeline’ pays respect to the many incredible contributions that African Americans have made to culture, science and community,” said Anne Sempowski Ward, assistant vice president, African American Marketing, Coca-Cola North America. “This special salute honors the past and inspires optimism for the future, and reminds people that Coca-Cola was there to celebrate these landmark achievements.”
The commercial is just one element in a comprehensive 2007 African-American marketing program which includes sponsorship integration and television, print, cinema and digital advertising.
“Timeline” first aired on Tuesday, January 16 at 8:00 p.m. ET/PT during the season’s first episode of American Idol. Alongside ‘Timeline’ Coca-Cola America debuted two ads well known in other parts of the world: “Happiness Factory” and “Video Game“.
The music is a track known as “Blues For Tiny”, recorded by guitarist Smokey Hormel, saxophonist Lee Allen, bassist Larry Taylor from the Hollywood Fats Band, James Cruce, a drummer with JJ Cale. Tiny was the name of Lee Allen’s wife. The track was one of eight recorded in 1994 but as far as I know it hasn’t been released commercially. Maybe this Coca-cola ad will be the impetus needed. See the Billy Davis interview with Smokey Hormel for the background.