Delicious and Refreshing?
“On May 8, 1886, Dr. John Styth Pemberton, a chemist, carried a bottle down the street in Atlanta, Georgia, to Jacob's Pharmacy on the corner. There, soda water was added to it, and the new drink was put on sale for five cents a bottle. The drink contained sugar, water, the leaves of the coca plant, and the juice of the kola nut. Dr. Pemberton's partner, Frank Robinson, thought of a name for it.
"Coca-Cola," he said. "The two Cs would look well in advertising."
For the first year of its life, Coca-Cola sold only thirteen drinks a day. By its hundredth birthday, in 1986, it was selling 7.9 billion dollars' worth a year. Not much of the money went into John Pemberton's pocket. He died two years after he had invented Coca-Cola, and Asa G. Candler, a clever businessman, bought the business for $2,300.
From then on, Coca-Cola's success was all due to advertising. The words Coca-Cola, delicious and refreshing, in flowing, graceful writing, were soon to be seen everywhere: on calendars, clocks, trays, and walls. The more people heard of it, the more people wanted it, and by 1895, Candler could say, "Coca-Cola is now sold and drunk in every state in the United States."
But the great days of Coca-Cola were still to come. In World War II, the company made a promise that every American soldier, sailor, and airman could have a Coke for five cents a bottle, anywhere in the world. The company knew they would lose money, but it was worth it. In one smart move they made sure that five billion bottles of Coke would find their way around the world, creating new demand in more countries. They also knew that the idea of Coca-Cola as something truly, especially American would be strengthened.In the years that followed the war, Coca-Cola managed to make itself one of the most powerful symbols of America both inside and outside the States. "Drink Coca-Cola, and you will share in the American dream," the advertisements seem to say.
So what is in this magic drink that has become the most successful product in world history? That secret is locked up in a bank in Atlanta, and only a few people alive know the exact recipe.
One very important question remains: Is Coca-Cola good for you? Dentists say that sugary drinks like Coca-Cola harm your teeth. Doctors say they add to problems of fatness that lead to heart disease. Delicious and refreshing? Maybe.”