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Spotlighting Coke and Their Customers Over the Years
this is a personal commentary. Although this topic deals with my life and a product, (Coca Cola), this is NOT an endorsement for that soda. Nor is it my plea to appeal to you, my readers to run out and buy Coca Cola. I just needed to clarify this piece of business before I went ahead with my topic. Thanks, Kenneth.
Folk Music icon, Bob Dylan was always the time re-visiting this and that in his music. He had a hit named "Highway 61," and that wasn't enough, so he recorded more about this locale and named it: "Highway 61 Revisited." I never listened to this song, but common sense said that something or someone was really attracting folk music stars to the Highway 61 scene.
But This is 2018
we are in the Tolerant, Understanding age
time for us all to be more tolerant, understanding, and evolve to a Wiser, More Sensitive Society. That's why I am writing this commentary about one of the many pieces of America Tapestry that makes "us" the Greatest Nation on Earth. Do I sound like that I am bragging? It's because that I am. Me personally? I am very proud to be living in America. I am the first to acknowledge that with the Democratic System of Government in which we live, there are a lot of bugs which can be corrected in (a) civil, peaceful way. That's the beauty about living free in in this nation.
And our nation started branding the Free Enterprise System when our country started building things in the Industrial Age--the steel and iron that gave people jobs to build the biggest, fastest, and tallest of any nation who might be looking at us. The early Americans didn't care. What they wanted to build, they built--without asking permission from anyone.
Enter Coca Cola the carbonatedsoft drink produced by The Coca-Cola Company. Originally intended as a patent medicine, Coke was invented in the late 19th century by John Pemberton and was bought out by businessman Asa Griggs Candler, whose marketing tactics led Coca-Cola to its dominance of the world soft-drink market throughout the 20th century. The current formula of Coca-Cola remains a trade secret, although a variety of reported recipes and experimental recreations have been published.
What was America's newest "darling," Coca Cola without advertising? Lonely. So from From 1950 to the '70s, Coca-Cola Co. experienced its most dramatic changes since the advent of bottling. With better and bigger packaging, the marketer began to employ a retail-oriented strategy focused on price, size and value. The company also moved into TV advertising, airing its first commercial in 1950. In 1953, Coca-Cola Co.'s ad spending reached $30 million--and keep in mind that this number, $30 million, was over 20 years. That didn't include print and radio ads, billboards, drive-in theaters and others places that the public would see.
And when 5th Avenue met and married Coca Cola, what a family was born. Mr. Candler and the Whiz Kids in the best ad agencies in New York City started putting Coke on the lips of every living and breathing American, German, Japanese and anywhere people wanted a crisp, fresh drink to enjoy while taking a break, Coke was the first thing that they thought of.
Each time that I get involved with the numerous advertising campaigns that are as far as they are wide-scope--from the War Years when America went to war, Coke went with the soldiers. My point: to make your product's name a lasting memory, place it on every wall, tree, and turtle shell. That is advertising at work and Free Enterprise in action.
I noticed inside the Coke's copywriters and designers, gave America how Coke and the Prosperous Housewife became best friends. And America's Independent Businessmen and Coke made for good friends as they both prospered. Like I said. Whenever people became thirsty, their next thought was, where is the closest Coke outlet? And outlets, stores, even Coke machines covered the landscape. The glaring red and white colors of Coke machines were embedded into the minds of free people everywhere.
I know that I sound like a One-Person PR Agency with this commentary, but I'm not. I just wanted to pay tribute to the day and time when I got my first bottle of this "liquid happiness"--it was on one Saturday morning and my dad and mom brought me to town to where they along with other people would gather-up, talk about politics, farming, and while these men were busy running their mouths, their wives would be out paying bills. It was that way during my youth and even now I can ride on the street of downtown Hamilton, Ala., and I can visualize the many groups of guys standing or sitting, smoking and chewing, and just having that one opportunity, Saturday, to stay abreast of what was going in with our town, county, and nation. The reason that most people went to congregate on Saturdays was not everyone attended church on Sunday's. But by the full church houses you couldn't prove to me that anyone was missing.
And when churches began having those idyllic years of Southern church bodies with all-day singings and dinners-on-the-ground, another "friend" was there with all of the goings on: Coke. Many wives packed a tray of ice wrapped in a towel along with six bottles of Coke to drink during the Fellowship Dinners on these special days in the South.
But as we all know, all day singings and dinners-on-the-ground are all but a fading memory. And in my town of Hamilton, Ala, for the Saturdays are just another day--the people there just park and walk to where they are going without stopping for a group of friends to share the news of their lives and hear from them.
In my lifetime, I've seen fads, businesses, wardrobe, music, and certain styles of writing go. And Coke was riding along with each facet of life. That says a lot.
© 2018 Kenneth Avery