Why Coke goes great with everything?
It’s Monday, and I don’t know how the weather is where you live, but here in Tampa, it is HOT! Hot as in, you break a sweat when you’re walking your dogs even first thing in the morning, kind of hot.
So no heavy lifting today. We’ll talk about something that probably puts a smile on everyone’s face: A nice sweaty freezer-cold bottle of Coca-Cola.
Back in the late 1800′s in Jacob’s Pharmacy in downtown Atlanta, Dr. John S. Pemberton used to sell a mix of sweet syrup, for 5 cents a glass, from his soda fountain counter. (Did you grow up in a neighborhood with a soda fountain when you were a kid? I vaguely remember my local shop, where I used to drink egg creams and read the newest Marvel Comic Books. The place was called Dave’s Candy Shop and it was on Grand Avenue and 182nd street in the Bronx, across the street from my building.)
Anyway, Pemberton’s business partner, Frank Robinson was the one who came up with the name Coca-Cola and sketched the logo out in flowing script writing.
Here’s something funny: Right after they came up with the name, for the next 8 months, only 13 drinks a day were sold, on average. Perhaps because of this, when Pemberton was in need of cash because of some health problems he was having, he sold a two-thirds interest in the recipe for his syrup, for $1,220, along with the sole right to manufacture the syrup.
Then, when he died, his son accepted an additional $500 for the family’s remaining interest. The buyer, Asa G. Candler, was a man who’d come to Atlanta fifteen years earlier, with only $1.75 in his pockets.
Candler was a big believer in advertising, and registered the Coca-Cola trademark in 1893… and subsequently began giving away thousands of complimentary coupons for free glasses of Coke. He also had big promotional giveaways, awarding souvenir fans, calendars, clocks and other novelties.
And this is what started the big machine. Giving away samples — the age-old “try before you buy.” A few years later, Howard Candler, Asa’s son, took a jug of the syrup on vacation, when he was visiting London, and he received the first international order for five gallons of syrup. Last year, the Coca-Cola Bottling Company alone (there are literally dozens of publicly traded related companies) did over $1.5 Billion in gross sales.
Some other Coke trivia: In 1926, the company president, Robert Winship, created the first six-pack bottle carton. Packaging Coke in cans then began in 1955. Coke’s such a well-known brand, that when the first Apollo astronauts came back from their flight, the signs in Times Square flashed “Welcome back to Earth. Home of Coca-Cola.”
What’s your story?
Now go sell something, Craig Garber
P.S. You know how Coke got started — here’s how I got started: http://www.kingofcopy.com/dreamscometrue
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