There are few brands more iconic than Coca-Cola. A universal image, the red and white Coca-Cola logo is instantly iconic – in fact, it’s been reported that it’s recognised by 94% of the world. So, it’s no surprise that the American company’s TV adverts number amongst the world’s most famous, beloved and celebrated.
We’ve put together some of the best Coca-Cola adverts of all time, featuring some classic spots and some newer ones you’re sure to recognise. So, grab an ice cold Coke and dive into our list…
We couldn’t omit this iconic piece of advertising history from this list. The now famous phrase “I’d like to buy the world a Coke” was actually just a throwaway doodle from Bill Backer, the then-Creative Director at agency McCann Erickson.
The advert, featuring a huge group of young people singing gleefully and clutching Cokes, cost over $250,000 due to various filming mishaps, making it the most expensive commercial ever made at the time. The catchy song in the background of the now famous advert was adapted from I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing (In Perfect Harmony) by Susan Shirley.
The advert was famously featured in the series finale of Mad Men, which suggests that Don Draper actually dreamed up the concept on a meditation retreat – cementing the commercial in the annals of advertising history.
Holidays Are Coming, 1995-present
There can be few advertising campaigns as iconic, famous and beloved as Coca-Colas ‘Holidays Are Coming’. Coca-Cola has carved out a unique position in festive branding, as one of the few brands consistently linked to Christmas.
The company has been using their now familiar Santa Claus character since 1931, when artist Haddon Sundblom was commissioned to create a painting of Father Christmas sipping on a glass bottle of Coke.
The classic ‘Holidays Are Coming’ ads feature a caravan of trucks journeying through towns and villages, with festive lights and a catchy tune to boot. Research by Kantar has revealed that the Coke adverts are considered by many to be an essential part of Christmas. In the true spirit of Christmas, you can even buy merchandise bearing the slogan and Coke branding – everything from t-shirts to toy trucks.
Where Everyone Plays, 2019
Few things can summon British passion like football, and Coca-Cola’s Premier League advert for 2019 perfectly summed the feeling up.
Featuring fans from various clubs and watching in all kinds of venues, the Coca-Cola advert is a brilliant representation of the diverse fanbase of football in the UK. Complete with celebrity cameos from the likes of Jermaine Jenas and Jesse Lingard, the brilliant football advert has a real feelgood vibe that’s just as addictive as Coke itself.
The Letter, 2020
Part of Coca-Cola’s long history with Christmas advertising, 2020’s ‘The Letter’ took a slightly different tone from the usual ‘Holidays Are Coming’ commercials.
Though it still features the iconic red Coca-Cola truck (even driven by Father Christmas), the advert documents a father’s heartwarming commitment to getting home for Christmas (and delivering an all-important letter to Santa).
The advert was successful, coming second in Kantar’s research into effective festive campaigns, behind only Holidays Are Coming. The advert was directed by Academy Award-winning director Taika Waititi and created by Wieden + Kennedy.
Diet Coke Break, Gardener, 2013
Diet Coke is one of Coca-Cola’s most popular and successful brands, and the Diet Coke Break campaign ran from 1994 to 2013. 2013’s ‘Gardener’ was launched to celebrate 30 years of Diet Coke in Europe, and was created by agency BETC London.
Starring Andrew Cooper as a gardener who catches the eye of a group of women as he’s mowing the lawn, the ad is set to Etta James’s I Just Want to Make Love to You. In the ad, a woman rolls a can of Diet Coke to the gardener, and gestures for him to drink it. When he opens it, it sprays over his t-shirt as the women laugh. The gardener then removes his shirt to reveal a muscular physique, leaving the women speechless.
The advert was the most popular from Diet Coke in two decades, and was even broadcast during the Oscars – the first non-US made Coca-Cola advert to make the show.
Do you have a favourite Coke TV ad? Let us know below!