Happy birthday Coca Cola. Last Sunday (May 8th) saw the great grand daddy of fizzy drinks celebrate 130 years in business. Love it or hate it (and let’s face it, as one of the world’s most well-known brands then lots of us do like it), Coca Cola has been an important part of all our lives, especially travellers. Who hasn’t arrived somewhere, hot, tired and thirsty and seen the familiar red logo as the ideal first drink?
Modern attitudes towards sugary drink are changing, of course, and you can’t get much more sugary than Coco Cola. Drinking 500ml of coke would mean you’re also eating the equivalent of 13 cubes of sugar as well. It’s no wonder that the medical profession has expressed its concern and, in the process, persuaded the Chancellor of the Exchequer to see it (sugar) as a handy way of raising more tax.
Given that most of us think that Coca Cola is sugar, water and very little else, the company has done a remarkable PR job in persuading us all that there is a secret recipe. And one that has remained a secret to this day. In fact, it’s so secret that the company keeps it original recipe inside a bank vault with only two executives knowing the details. What happens when these two employees leave or pass away is anyone’s guess.
For a company that represents the ultimate in consumer marketing (its 1970s advertising campaign, “I’d like to teach the world to sing” inspired a generation of copy-cat advertising) it has celebrated this particular birthday in a surprisingly low key way.
Admittedly, it has hosted a special ‘Shareowners Day at the World of Coca-Cola’ but this just meant holding – for the first time – its Annual General Meeting for shareholders at its Atlanta headquarters. Hardly earth shattering.
The company’s distinctive bottle is also pretty elderly now too. It celebrated its 100th birthday last year. That occasion was marked by fifteen new ads, while the High Museum of Art in Atlanta mounted an exhibition devoted to it, entitled ‘The Coca-Cola Bottle: An American Icon at 100’.
The advertisements are, as you would expect from Coca Cola, highly watchable. Click here to see the first one or visit the company’s YouTube channel to see the rest.
So from all of us at Explorer Travel Insurance, happy birthday Coke.