I am not a drinker of Coke-Cola, although I know that millions around the world are daily partakers. The company has also made stunning commercials over the year, memorable in so many ways. The recent finale of “Mad Men” hearkened back to the famous 1971 “I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing” advertisement. That homage suggests just how powerful the brand is not just in sales but also as a cultural icon.
Accordingly, I have listed below my top five Coke commercials below. One of them, perhaps my favorite, is not actually a Coke commercial. There are lost more to choose from. Missing from list is the famous Mean Joe Green commercial. It’s terrific but I’m not much of a football fan and omitted it for that reason. So, here is my countdown. What’s on your list?
5. “Things Go Better with Coke.” In 1963 Coke-Cola began this campaign, with the jingle sung by The Limelights. It ran for six years, and most people were tired of it long beforehand.
4. “Always Coca-Cola.” This jingle premiered in 1993 and is still occasionally played.
3. Coke-Cola Northern Lights Polar Bears. This one also premiered in 1993 and the polar bears were an immediate hit. How can anyone not love them.
2. “I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing.” No doubt about it, this is the most famous Coke commercial ever, and for good reason. It has quite a story behind the making of it in 1971. It speaks to the counterculture movement of the era when it first aired, to the desire for peace and justice, and to the sense that there is a family of humanity. And then Coke-Cola turned all of those great ideals into an opportunity to sell a product.
1. “Don’t Want to Go Where There’s No Coke-Cola.” In 1985 the feature film, “The Coke-Cola Kid,” was released starring Eric Roberts and Greta Scacchi. The film was not really very good, but it has the best jingle for Coke ever written. The Eric Roberts character is trying to create a marketing campaign for Coke in Australia, reflective of the local culture, and he enlisted the help of a musician played by Tim Finn of Split Enz and Crowded House. The result is superb. Too bad it was never used for marketing purposes by Coke-Cola, at least I never saw it in the U.S.