14 Ancient Advertising Lessons From Cocacola

What can a beverage company that’s been around since the late 1800s teach us about marketing and advertising? The answer is: A lot. Coca-Cola was among the first to understand human psychology and how to use that knowledge to influence consumer behavior. 

In spite of its massive size, Coca-Cola has kept up with changing times and technology, using creative marketing strategies that appeal to both customers’ hearts and their wallets. Here are 14 ancient advertising lessons from Coke on how they did it:

The Disturbing History of Coca-Cola – YouTube
Key Takeaways
1. The Power of Storytelling: Coca-Cola’s success is attributed to its ability to tell captivating stories through its ads.
2. Consistency in Branding: Maintaining a consistent brand identity over the years has contributed to Coca-Cola’s recognition worldwide.
3. Emotional Connection: Building emotional connections with consumers through relatable content is a timeless marketing strategy.
4. Evoking Nostalgia: Utilizing nostalgia in advertising can resonate with consumers, creating a sense of familiarity and trust.
5. Creating Iconic Symbols: Coca-Cola’s logo and packaging design have become iconic symbols recognized across cultures.
6. Engaging with Consumers: Encouraging consumer engagement and participation can strengthen brand loyalty and create a sense of community.
7. Adapting to Trends: Coca-Cola’s ability to adapt its advertising strategies to reflect cultural trends has contributed to its longevity.
8. Leveraging Holidays: Seasonal campaigns, like the Coca-Cola Christmas truck, can establish strong emotional connections during special times.
9. Consistent Messaging: Delivering a consistent message that aligns with the brand’s values helps build a trustworthy brand image.
10. Humanizing the Brand: Featuring real people and relatable scenarios in ads can humanize the brand and make it more relatable.
11. Showcasing Lifestyle: Associating Coca-Cola with a desirable lifestyle has been a successful strategy in its advertising campaigns.
12. Global Appeal: Coca-Cola’s universal themes and messaging have allowed it to resonate with diverse audiences around the world.
13. Focusing on Happiness: Emphasizing happiness and positive experiences in advertising can create a lasting impression on consumers.
14. Long-Term Thinking: Coca-Cola’s commitment to long-term advertising strategies has contributed to its enduring brand legacy.

1. Always Reinvent Yourself

Throughout your brand’s life, you need to keep reinventing yourself.

As we mentioned in the first lesson of this article, Coca-Cola has done it again and again over decades. Here are some examples:

Use new technology: In 1982, the company introduced Diet Coke with a new taste that was more like traditional Coca-Cola than Diet Rite had been. The innovation worked so well that it launched an entirely new product category.

Use new marketing techniques: In 1985 when Michael Jackson appeared in his first Pepsi commercial after he left Motown Records, he did so by criticizing Coke all while still drinking Pepsi! 

This marked a shift away from traditional advertising toward influence marketing (where brands partner with celebrities who have influence over their fans). 

The next year saw the introduction of New Coke (which failed miserably) and more celebrity-focused ads featuring pop star Madonna (#MadonnaCoke). 

By 1990, though, Pepsi had started airing its own versions of these types of commercials featuring rappers LL Cool J (#LLCoolJPepsi) and Vanilla Ice (#VanillaIcePepsi).

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2. Make Good Ads

Make Ads that are Engaging. Coca-Cola ads are meant to grab the viewer’s attention from the get-go, whether it be through humor or an interesting story. By making your ad interesting, you’ll keep viewers engaged until they can’t help but click on it. 

In order to do this, break away from traditional advertising and try something new! If you have a funny commercial idea or an innovative way of presenting information, go for it! 

Something simple like a catchy jingle can make all the difference in getting people’s eyes on your product (and hopefully their wallets).

Make Ads that are Relevant: When the viewer sees the ad they should instantly think “oh yeah I need this.” 

This is why Coca-Cola has always been so good at marketing soda to children; kids love ice cold beverages especially when they’re hot outside playing sports with friends during summer months.

When temperatures rise above 80 degrees Farenheit (26 degrees Celsius) which happens every year around July 4th weekend in most places across America where summer lasts longer than two months). 

3. “Invest” in Your Brand

A good ad campaign needs to be consistent, memorable and unique. Coca-Cola has been doing this since they were first founded in 1886. If you look at their old ads, you’ll see that they have always had the same logo and slogan: “Delicious and Refreshing”. 

The company has also kept their core values of fun and optimism throughout the years. And even though Coca-Cola didn’t invent the concept of using a brand character (who is not associated with any physical product).

They did create a very strong brand icon that everyone knows today – Mr. Double Happiness!

4. Keep Your Logo The Same

For example, Coca-Cola’s logo is a distinct red and white design. It’s been that way since 1886 and it has become one of the most recognizable logos in the world. If you’ve ever seen it on a shirt or hat, you know what brand it represents immediately.

Because of this consistency with its branding, Coca-Cola continues to be one of the most recognized brands over 100 years later!

In short: don’t change your logo often (if at all) because people are more likely to remember something if they see it often than if they have to memorize something new each time they see it again.

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5. Go Global Or Go Home

When the Coca-Cola Company first introduced its flagship product, it was only available in pharmacies and luxury hotels. People who wanted a glass of Coca-Cola had to ask their waiter if they could get some. 

The company’s idea of selling drinks was so different from today’s that it didn’t even occur to them that people might buy drinks at all!

Coca Cola truly understood what it meant for a business to go global or die. 

They realized their brand would fall behind if they didn’t expand into new markets, so they chose to expand globally rather than stick with the status quo and hope someone else would take care of their problems for them (like most businesses do).

6. Maintain A Consistent Look And Feel In Your Advertising

Consistency is key when creating memorable ads. Coke’s advertising style has remained consistent over the years, using similar photos and fonts, colors, logos and layouts in their ads. This consistency gives Coke a unique look that sets them apart from other brands.

A consistent style allows you to create a recognizable image for your brand in people’s minds. You want people to recognize your company as soon as they see its logo or name, even if they’ve only seen it once or twice before!

7. Know What You Represent To People, And Use It

Know what your brand represents to people, and use it in your advertising.

You can use this to your advantage if you’re the “good guy” of the category. For example, Coca-Cola is associated with happiness and fun, so they play into that in their advertising by showing happy people having fun.

You can also use it to your disadvantage if you’re not careful. If you’re known as a brand that’s snobby or stuck up or arrogant (like BMW), then using those images in ads probably isn’t going to help much either (unless they happen to be true).

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8. Don’t Preach, Entertain!

Don’t be boring

Don’t be preachy. People don’t want to be preached to, they want to be entertained. Make sure your advertising isn’t too serious; make sure it doesn’t feel like an over-the-top sales pitch. 

You don’t have to use words that would make a politician blush just keep things interesting and lighthearted!

Remember that everyone wants to feel connected. Use language in your advertising that conveys why you exist and the reason people should care about what you’re doing (i.e., “The Coca-Cola Company is committed to providing consumers around the world with great tasting carbonated soft drinks,” or something like that). 

It’s important not only for customers but also employees as well! 

This can help foster team spirit while also making them feel proud of their work…which leads us into our next point: consistency across all mediums from packaging design on down through other strategic decisions made throughout the marketing process such as pricing strategies.”

9. Everyone Wants To Be Part Of Something Bigger Than Themselves

One of the most basic human needs is to be a part of something bigger than ourselves. We all want to belong, and we want the people around us to feel like they belong too.

When you think about it, this makes sense. After all, we’re social creatures it’s what keeps us from turning into paranoid hermits! 

But there’s also an evolutionary basis behind our desire for community: belonging allows us access to resources like food and shelter that we couldn’t otherwise obtain on our own. 

But if you’re looking for an even more specific reason why people crave being part of a group or tribe, look no further than evolution itself: it’s how humans survived when competing against other animals (think lions vs gazelles).

10. A Strong Brand Builds Loyalty

Brand loyalty is important to any company. It’s especially crucial to the long-term survival of your business, as well as its reputation.

It’s not just good for a company’s bottom line; it also helps build customer loyalty, which in turn increases sales and leads to a greater number of repeat customers. 

Customers are more likely to buy from you if they feel like they know you personally, which can only be achieved through repeated interactions with your brand over time. 

The more familiar they are with what you offer and how it benefits them, the more loyal they become and the better chance they’ll buy from you again!

This means that when building a strong brand identity is key; when done correctly (i.e., authentically).

This will lead directly into strong consumer relationships that result in high levels of satisfaction among those who use it regularly – creating lifelong customers who will continue buying from us year after year because their needs haven’t changed much since their first purchase.”

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11. We Want To Know The Story Behind The Product, So Tell Us!

Coca-Cola is one of the most successful brands in history. Not only did Coca-Cola give consumers a drink that tastes good and makes them feel happy, but it also gave them a story that helped turn their brand into an international icon.

For example, Coca-Cola’s famous “Happiness Factory” commercial tells us how Coke is made (in a factory) and how it is distributed (on trucks). But what about its packaging? How does this affect your perception of the product?

In another ad for Coke bottles called “The Switch,” we see what happens when a vending machine runs out of Cokes. A man hits the machine in frustration until he realizes there’s something else inside: 

Cola bottles! He takes these instead, but they’re still not quite right until he switches on his headlights and sees that they’re actually made with sugar instead of high fructose corn syrup (which apparently tastes terrible).

12. Animalize Your Product (As A Means Of Conveying What Else It Does)

If you want to convey the benefits of a certain product, great! You could do that by talking about how it tastes, or describes how it feels in your hands. But if there are any other benefits that aren’t so tangible, animalize them instead:

  • If your product is good for people, then use animals to represent those people. For example: “Coca Cola: A Friend In Every Bottle.”
  • If your brand is friendly and welcoming, then use animals to represent the brand. For example: “Drink Coca Cola Be Cute Like A Panda.”
  • If your company has an identity as an innovator in its industry and beyond, then use animals to represent innovation itself. For example: “Coca Cola Adventurous Since 1886.”

13. Use Contrasting Colors To Be Memorable. Or Just Be Red And White. Or Blue. I Guess Any Color Works Really, As Long As It’s Consistent

The Coca-Cola brand is one that has been around for nearly 100 years, and has become an American staple. This brand has used some of the most recognizable advertising techniques in its time, including using contrasting colors.

One of the easiest ways to be memorable is to use a color scheme that contrasts against your background. Sometimes this can be done by simply having a different color from what is already present, but it can also mean making sure all of your designs are consistent with one another. 

An example of this would be Apple’s signature black and white color scheme for their products and packaging design (and even their ads).

Another example would be if there was a comparison between two brands or businesses: say you sell hamburgers at McDonalds and you want people who visit your restaurant to remember yours over theirs (because let’s face it McDonalds is everywhere). 

Your brand identity should include some sort of distinctiveness so they will remember it easily when they’re hungry again! This could involve incorporating bright colors like red into your logo design–or even adding yellow sesame seeds onto buns!

14. Be Everywhere (Including Social Media)

The Coca-Cola Company was one of the first brands to realize that being everywhere is the best way to reach people. Today, we have plenty of channels for marketing our products and services (and ourselves).

It’s not just about being on social media anymore you need to be everywhere!

Here are a few ways you can get your message in front of people:

Email – This is one of the most powerful marketing channels because it allows you to send messages directly into someone’s inbox when they want them. If you don’t have an email list yet, start building one today!

Search Engine Marketing (SEM) – SEM includes both paid search ads like Google Ads and organic search results like those displayed in organic search engine results pages (SERPs). 

Use SEM whenever possible because it gives you access to highly targeted traffic without having be follow any links or share pages with anyone else on social media platforms like Facebook or Twitter.

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Over time, Coca-Cola has proven itself to be an advertising juggernaut, crafting what is perhaps the most successful and long-lasting campaign in history. Their secrets are many, but some of them are easy enough for anyone to replicate. 

One of these secrets is consistency to be consistent with your messaging. 

This means not only sticking to the same branding elements and style across all advertisements, but also finding ways to repeat a message or image in multiple different ads so it sticks in people’s minds even if they only see one of your campaigns once! 

Another important lesson from Coke’s success can be found by looking at how they used humor as an emotional shortcut through everyday life circumstances like having a bad day on the job or feeling tired after work. 

These moments were relatable because we all experience them at some point or another; it’s just that Coke made sure its product was there when those things happened.”

Further Reading

Here are some additional resources to explore for further insights into Coca-Cola’s marketing history and campaigns:

Coca-Cola Marketing: Then and Now Short Description: Explore the evolution of Coca-Cola’s marketing strategies over the years, comparing past and present approaches.

Coca-Cola Christmas Truck: A Marketing Campaign Analysis Short Description: Delve into the iconic Coca-Cola Christmas truck campaign and gain insights into its impact on holiday marketing.

The Coca-Cola Company Advertising History Illustrated through Phonecards Short Description: Explore Coca-Cola’s advertising history depicted through the lens of collectible phonecards.


What are some key elements of Coca-Cola’s historical marketing strategies?

Coca-Cola’s historical marketing strategies have included iconic campaigns, such as the Coca-Cola Christmas truck and innovative use of collectible phonecards.

How has Coca-Cola’s marketing evolved over the years?

Coca-Cola’s marketing has evolved from traditional print advertising to embracing digital platforms and engaging in memorable experiential campaigns.

What is the significance of the Coca-Cola Christmas truck campaign?

The Coca-Cola Christmas truck campaign holds cultural significance as an enduring symbol of the holiday season and a successful example of brand-driven festivities.

How has Coca-Cola utilized collectible phonecards in advertising?

Coca-Cola has used collectible phonecards to visually represent its advertising history, showcasing various campaigns and milestones in a unique and tangible format.

What insights can be gained from comparing Coca-Cola’s past and present marketing strategies?

Comparing Coca-Cola’s past and present marketing strategies provides insights into the changing consumer landscape, technological advancements, and the company’s adaptability to stay relevant.