Campaign Management Guide

Coca Cola rules: 10 Best commercials ever


Who has not come across the iconic red labeled bottle of carbonated soft drink? Yes, we are talking about our favorite soft drink, Coca Cola. It is undoubtedly the global leader in beverages and has the same percentage of devoted fan following across the globe in over 200 countries of the world. Just imagine what could be the major ingredients of secret to success of Coke (as we lovingly call it)? They are the quality, packaging and of course, the powerful ad campaign that kept the committed fans besotted with Coke all these years. We have handpicked ten Coca Cola ads that we have found best of the best. Here they are for you.


1. 1931 Santa Claus

It was during the year 1931, when artist Haddon Sundblom created a new image of holidaying in the minds of masses. Santa Claus, the living epitome of chilly winters and long holidays, was seen in a frolicking mood, with a glass filled with Coke held in his hand. His signature red colored clock became synonymous with the red label of Coca Cola. We must say that the then ad executive of Coca Cola, Mr. Archie Lee, did a really great job in recognizing the inherent skills of Sandblom and vesting him with this responsibility. The illustration was an instant hit and so was Coca Cola and its iconic red colored label!

2. 1963 Beach

This ad was the finalist among a few more ads that were created to promote Coca Cola among the teens. The black and white video had enough prowess to do justify with the campaign slogan, ‘Things go better with Coke’. The account director of MC Cann Erickson ad agency did a really great job in capturing the spirit of youth in this video. A group of youngsters having fun on the beach on a sunny day and quenching their thirst with Coca Cola appeared quite a refreshing idea. It was also a milestone in terms of incorporation of pop music and musical arts. These were totally new concepts during that time. Cheers to McCann Erickson for the idea!

3. 1971 Hilltop

This ad campaign by McCann Erickson ad agency is third in our list of top Coca Cola ads. It hit the emotional strings of the masses with its opening lines, ‘I like to buy the world a home and furnish it with love’. The end line said, ‘I like to buy the world a Coke and keep its company, a real thing’. This was a subtle request of the brand to its fans to treasure the company of Coke forever. Bill Backer, the creative director knew that the lilting tune and easy to murmur lyrics of this song will revolve from lips to lips, working as an indirect ad for popularizing Coke. Good assumption Bill!

4. 1979 Mean Joe Greene

This ad of Coca Cola was such a smash hit that it had to be developed into a full length movie under public demand. You might remember it seeing in NBC Channel quite often. The chemistry of the retired hurt Pittsburgh Steelers player and his 12 years old tot co-star was powerful enough to bring smile to anybody. The campaign tag, ‘Have a Coke and Smile’ was immensely encouraging for sure.

5. 1986 Max Headroom

This Coke unquestionably discovered that the techno savvy teen population could be potential coke consumers. This ad was perhaps an attempt to capture their attention and the reports say that it was quite successful in its design. A computerized character, Max Headroom, the brainchild of London based video producers, Rocky Morton and Annabel Jankel, was all set to get over the hearts of the techno teens with its mechanical voice and of course, new Coke formulation.

6. 1993 Northern Lights

We can very well guess the good amount of fortune Coca Cola corporation had spent on the hi tech graphics and advanced computer technology of their ‘Northern Lights’ ad campaign in 1993. Whats more, this ad took its proper shape after 12 weeks of painstaking effort! But, they can hardly deny the enormous amount of response the animated polar bears received when people spotted them gulping down bottles of Coke while partying in a moonlit night. Quite an impressive idea for sure!

7. 2006 Videogame

Sheena Brandy, the creative director of Coke definitely needs a toast for her imaginative and fertile brain. She came up with the brand new concept of casting Coke into an uber violent, interactive video game setting. She even declared that she wished to eradicate everything from this world that was the catalyst of unhappiness. Now, we are skeptical if Coke really has such a charm so as to dispel all sources of sorrow from the earth! But her earnest thought needs a cheer.

8. 2007 Happiness Factory

A magic happens as soon as a man slides a token into the vending machine to get his bottle of coke. The coin reaches the factory where happiness is being manufactured by merry super human characters. They celebrate the success of their toil at the end with firework. But the man standing on the other side of the vending machine remains unaware that he is actually drinking happiness. Wow, a nice concept of Wieden & Kennedy! We definitely appreciate how you made happiness synonymous to a bottle of Coke.

9. 2007 It’s mine

The race of a balloon boy and a balloon doggie to win over a giant balloon Coke was indeed an incredible idea of Hal Curtis, creative director of Coca Cola at Wieden. The awestruck faces and anxiety of the public in the road, watching with curiosity who will be the winner at the end, literally transcended the boundaries of the idiot box and crept into our homes too. The climax was even more funny and unexpected, when a third balloon boy came and gained control over the Coke. The moral of the ad was undoubtedly, go and grab your bottle before the stock ends!

10. 2010 Happiness Machine

Last year Coca Cola found a new idea to spread happiness among its millions of fans across the globe. This watchable ad video by the agency, Definition 6 exhibited to us how a simple Coke vending machine became a happiness lending virus! Let’s get straight into it. Actually, it showed that as soon as a college girl inserted a token inside it, tones of Coke bottles, munchies, burgers, giant hot dogs, etc. etc. went on coming out of it and the process never ended till the end of the video! The ad is definitely a hit. But does Coca Cola Corporation really intend to install such a vending machine anywhere? We will look forward to it!

Dr Prem Jagyasi and Team (C)

Dr Prem is an award winning strategic leader, renowned author, publisher and highly acclaimed global speaker. Aside from publishing a bevy of life improvement guides, Dr Prem runs a network of 50 niche websites that attracts millions of readers across the globe. Thus far, Dr Prem has traveled to more than 40 countries, addressed numerous international conferences and offered his expert training and consultancy services to more than 150 international organizations. He also owns and leads a web services and technology business, supervised and managed by his eminent team. Dr Prem further takes great delight in travel photography.

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