1916 Coca-Cola Advertisement

Source: American Cookery (Boston Cooking School Magazine), May 1916
Source: American Cookery (Boston Cooking School Magazine), May 1916

Even a hundred years later, this 1916 advertisement works for me. I can’t remember the last time I bought any Coca-Cola but I’m ready to head to the store right now.

Some things haven’t changed over the past hundred years. Both then and now, advertisers seek to engage people with a brand. Ads inform, tell a story, and help create an image.

58 thoughts on “1916 Coca-Cola Advertisement

  1. Love the advertisement! My daughter is a real fan of coca- cola. She has a six pack of the small glass bottles. I think I was around eighteen when I had my first taste of soda. I remember being taken back by the fizzy bite.πŸ˜„ Growing up on the farm left no money for what Mama thought unnecessary.

    1. I drank a little more Coca-Cola than you when I was a child – but it was a very rare treat. I remember that the picnic grove where our family held its reunion each summer had a soda vending machine – and it was a really big deal to get a bottle of Coca Cola (or other type of soda) each year.

  2. Coca Cola always looks so good in the little glass bottles. I remember traveling by car when I was a kid, and we would stop at a gas station and get a bottle of Coca Cola out of the machines. It would be so cold and tasted so good! Now I can’t drink any thing with sugar in it. Diet drinks are just not the same.

    1. I have similar memories from my childhood. I used to think that it was really special when I would occasionally get the opportunity to buy soda out of a vending machine.

  3. I like ‘wholesome’ too. It reminds be of the Victorian advert for cigarettes I saw once that encouraged you to smoke them to help cure asthma!

      1. I’ve been following your site for years – I believe you just might have given you the idea that I like all the ‘old’ stuff – the recipes, their thoughts (like the diary), these ads, songs, etc……

        1. I’ve also followed your site for years. I think that we both like old stuff. πŸ™‚ It’s wonderful how our blogs have enabled us to get to know each other virtually.

    1. I think that is the key. In general, when sodas are considered an occasional treat, a small serving isn’t harmful – it’s the frequent guzzling of large quantities that is problematic.

  4. If I remember I thought I read once the coke (all soft drinks) was a “warm” beverage – ice was not easily accessible. We have come a long indeed! πŸ™‚ It probably was not as sweet as it is today though –

    1. Interesting – It makes sense that people drank it warm back then, though it doesn’t sound very appetizing to me. πŸ™‚

  5. I love the sepia tone and composition of this ad. And how unostentatious that glass is! My eyes go to her face first. I am one of those lucky people who never liked Cokeβ€”or any cola. Nothing to wean off of once we learned how bad it is for you!

    1. I also really liked this ad. I’m fascinated by the way advertisements like one successfully create an image. The designer and copywriter were very skilled.

    1. I wonder what was in the booklet, too. Maybe we could just make up a story. . . Boy meets girl. . . He buys her some Coca Cola. . . one things leads to another. . . and they live happily ever after. πŸ™‚

  6. There’s nothing better than one of the Mexican Coca-Colas made with real sugar. They aren’t too sweet, and they’re actually refreshing and thirst-quenching when they’re good and cold. I’m glad I finally found them here. I can’t abide the Diet varieties, which actually don’t help with weight loss (for a variety of reasons.) But a real Coke? I only drink one now and then, but they’re wonderful.

    I do know where there’s an old-fashioned soda fountain that serves real cherry and vanilla cokes. I’m about ready to head that direction now.

    1. I hadn’t realized that Mexican Coca-Cola could be bought in the U.S. I’ll have to look the next time I’m at the store to see if they sell it around here.

  7. Very appealing advertisement, no doubt. The problem is that unfortunately since then the bottles/cans grew bigger, and the sugar was replaced with high fructose syrup (they will claim “sugar is sugar” – which is a total lie), and so the innocent looking drink has become a serious health hazard… Then another mega-company (probably the same company just under a different name) is selling diabetes medications… Win-win situation for them. Less so for us…

  8. I enjoy old advertisements. I have several and love their simplicity. Your post led to my search for the booklet mentioned in the ad, The Romance of Coca Cola. It is a little history of the company and the ingredients in the beverage…very interesting.

    1. Thanks for researching this. It’s awesome that you were able to learn more about the booklet. I love its title – though I hadn’t expecting it to be a history.

  9. I heard that the figure of Santa Claus that we have today came largely from the Santa Claus in the Coca Cola ads. I’m not sure if that’s true or not, but it makes a bit of sense, because if you look at Santa Claus figures from a long time ago, they look nothing like the Santas we see depicted now. If it is true, what an example of how advertising influences our society!

    1. Interesting. . . it makes sense and seems very possible that old Coca Cola ads influenced the public’s perception of what Santa looks like.

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