Vintage Advertising: Old Coca-Cola Advertising

Vintage Advertising: Old Coca-Cola Advertising

Vintage Coca-Cola Ads

From the very beginning, the Coca-Cola Company has believed in the power of advertising. This belief has propelled Coke to one of the most recognizable brands in the World. Fun, exciting, colorful, entertaining, and memory making are a few of the words and phrases that can be used when describing Coca-Cola advertising. Here we present a collection of 42 vintage Coca-Cola ads from 1886 to the 1950s. Enjoy!

Vintage Coca-Cola Ads -

Coca-Cola was first sold to the public at a store called Jacob’s Pharmacy in Atlanta, Georgia on May 8, 1886. John Pemberton, Coca-Cola original founder, ran the first advertising campaign a little later that month, on May 29th to be exact, in the Atlanta Journal newspaper. The first ad promoted Coca-Cola as “Delicious! Refreshing! Exhilarating! Invigorating!”

May 29, 1886

First Ever Coca-Cola Advertisement - Atlanta Journal - May 29, 1886

The very first Coca-Cola ad – May 29, 1886 from the Atlanta Journal newspaper.

Pemberton ran the above Coca-Cola ad on May 29, 1886 in the Atlanta Journal. Using the words “Delicious! Refreshing! Exhilarating! Invigorating!” to describe his soda, this was the first promotional ad ever ran for the soft drink giant.


First Coupon Ever - Ticket for a Free Glass of Coca-Cola- ca1887

These promotional tickets for a free glass of Coca-Cola were first distributed in 1887.

This is believed to be the first “coupon” ever offered in the United States. This ticket for a free glass of Coca-Cola was distributed beginning in 1887. By 1913, more than 8.5 million of the promotional tickets had been redeemed.


Coca-Cola - First Advertising Calendar 1891 The first known Coke promotional calendar was issued in 1891. Note the ad for Coca-Cola at top-right and the ad for De-Lec-Ta-Lave at top left. The item featured at left was a mouthwash product owned by Asa Candler, one of Coke’s early owners. After 1892, Candler realized that Coca-Cola deserved its own branding and no longer cross-promoted other products with the beverage.

It is believed that Coca-Cola distributed at least one calendar each year after 1891, but calendars from 1905 and 1906 have never been found. Early calendars touted the health benefits of Coke with statements like “Relieves Mental and Physical Exhaustion” and “Cures Headaches.” The 1908 calendar featured the slogan “Good to the Last Drop,” which was later trademarked by Maxwell House Coffee (and is still their slogan today).

Late 1890s / Early 1900s

Hilda Clark - First Coca-Cola Celebrity Advertisement - 1890s Hilda Clark “Drink Coca-Cola 5¢”. A glass of Coca-Cola was available for just 5¢ from 1886 all the way until 1959.

The First Celebrities – The first celebrity to be featured in Coca-Cola advertising was famous music hall singer, Hilda Clark. Ms. Clark was featured on calendars, serving trays, metal advertising signs, posters, bookmarks, note pads and other advertising products from the late 1890s to 1904.

The Ideal Brain Tonic - Coca-Cola Advertising - Hilda Clark - 1890s

“The Ideal Brain Tonic” – 1890s Coca-Cola advertising featuring Hilda Clark.

Beginning in 1905, Clark was replaced in Coca-Cola advertising by an even more recognizable personality of the time, Lillian Nordica. Lillian was one of the earliest American soprano singers to become successful in the European opera circle. During her 11 seasons at the Metropolitan Opera, she sang in nearly 200 performances in 19 different roles. Her likeness graced calendars, magazine advertisements, posters, sampling coupons, serving trays and other promotional items.

First Ever Coca-Cola Magazine Ad - 1905 - Featuring Lillian Nordica and Coupon for Free Coke

First ever Coca-Cola magazine advertisement. 1905 – Featuring Lillian Nordica and coupon for a free Coke.

Above is the first ever magazine advertisement for Coca-Cola.  The full-page ad featured Lillian Nordica and ran in Good Housekeeping and other leading magazines of the day. Attached to the bottom of the ad was a promotional coupon for one free glass of Coca-Cola. Nearly $43,000 worth of coupons were redeemed in 1905.

Lillian Nordica - Coca-Cola Serving Tray - ca1905

Lillian Nordica featured on a Coca-Cola serving tray – ca1905.

1907 - Good Housekeeping Magazine Coca-Cola Advertisement

“From the Realm of Fancy to Reality” – Drink Coca-Cola – 1907 advertisement

1907 vintage Coca-Cola advertisement from Good Housekeeping magazine.

1909 Coca-Cola Advertising Poster

1909 Coca-Cola Advertising Poster


Vintage Coca Cola Ads - The Housewife - June 1910 Coca-Cola’s depiction of the 1910 housewife.

1911 Coca-Cola Advertising Calendar 1911 Coca-Cola advertising calendar – “The Coca-Cola Girl.”

Vintage Coke Ads - 1914 Coca-Cola Paper Poster Vintage Coke Ads – 1914 paper poster.

1916 Coca-Cola Advertising

1916 Coca-Cola Advertising

1919 Coca-Cola Advertisement - Delicious and Refreshing 1919 advertisement pairing Coca-Cola with food. Drink Coca-Cola Delicious and Refreshing!


1922 Coca-Cola Cardboard Cutout - In Store Advertising 1922 Coca-Cola cardboard cutout / in-store advertising.

1924 Coca-Cola Advertisement for Six Pack of Bottled Coke 1924 Coca-Cola advertisement for six pack of bottled Coke. It wasn’t until the mid to late 1920s before bottling began to overtake the fountain business in terms of the number of gallons that were served to consumers.

Coca-Cola's First Outdoor Billbaord Advertising - 6 Million Drinks Served a Day - 1925 Coca-Cola’s first outdoor billboard advertising was called “Ritz Boy.” Launched in 1925, the billboard promoted just how popular the drink had become – with 6,000,000 drinks served per day.

1925 Coca-Cola Cardboard Cutout of Carrier Boy Selling Coca-Cola 1925 cardboard cutout / stand-up advertising of a carrier boy selling Coca-Cola.

1928 Coca-Cola Paper Advertising Sign - Refresh Yourself - Drink Coca-Cola 1928 Coca-Cola paper advertising sign. “Refresh Yourself – Drink Coca-Cola”


1931 Coca-Cola Saturday Evening Post - Santa Advertisement - Painted by Haddon Sundblom Coca-Cola first used Santa Claus in their advertising in a 1931 Saturday Evening Post magazine ad. The artwork was painted by Haddon Sundblom, who continued to paint a new Coke Santa every year up until 1964.

1932 Los Angeles Olympics Record Keeper - Vintage Coca-Cola Advertising 1932 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, California. Attendees received these “Olympic record keepers” to keep track of world records in various sports.

1934 Coca-Cola Ad - Actress Jean Harlowe Next to Lillian Nordica 1934 magazine advertisement featuring actress Jean Harlowe next to Lillian Nordica.

1935 Norman Rockwell Coca-Cola AdvertisingVintage Coca-Cola Ads:  Artist Norman Rockwell painted six different illustrations to be used in Coca-Cola ads from 1928 to 1935. This piece from 1935, “Out Fishin,” depicted a young boy fishing on a tree stump, drinking a Coke with his dog by his side.

1935 Vintage Coke Ad - It's a Treat to Go to the Soda Fountain Vintage 1935 Coke Ad – “It’s a treat to go to the soda fountain…”

50th Anniversary Coca-Cola Advertising - 1886-1936 1936 – 50th Anniversary Coca-Cola Advertising.

1937 Coca-Cola Cardboard Cutout Advertisement - Ice Cold Coke 1937 Coca-Cola in-store cardboard cutout advertising. These standup cutouts are very popular vintage Coca-Cola ads with collectors


1942 Coca-Cola 'Howdy, Friend' World War II Ad 1942 Coca-Cola “Howdy, Friend” World War II advertisement.

1943 - Three Service Women Enjoying Coca-Cola - 'The Pause that Refreshes' 1943 – Three service women enjoying Coca-Cola – “The Pause that Refreshes”

'My Old Friend Coke' - 1944 World War II Advertising Another World War II Coke ad… “My Old Friend Coke” – 1944.

1945 - 'Just Like Old Times' - Post WW II Advertising As WW II was coming to an end and soldiers were returning home, Coke shifted its advertising to slogans like “Just Like Old Times.”

Coca-Cola 'Yes Girl' Advertising - 1946 Coca-Cola “Yes Girl” advertising debuts – 1946. Like the Santa Claus artwork, this was painted by Haddon Sundblom.

1947 Print Ad - 'Here's Coke... The Pause that Refreshes' 1947 Print Ad – “Here’s Coke… The Pause that Refreshes.”

1948 Coca-Cola South African Poster Advertising 1948 Coca-Cola poster from South Africa – Play Refreshed.

Vintage Coca-Cola Ads - 1949 'Designed for Hospitality' Vintage Coca-Cola ads – 1949 “Designed for hospitality.”


1950 Coca-Cola Spanish Poster 1950 Spanish Coca-Cola advertising poster.

65 Years of Coke - 1886-1951 Coca-Cola’s 65th anniversary advertising.

1950s Coke Paper Advertising Poster Vintage Coca-Cola Ads: 1950s paper advertising poster.

1955 'Almost Everyone Appreciates the Best' Coca-Cola Print Ad 1955 “Almost everyone appreciates the best” print ad.

1956 Coca-Cola Promotional Calendar - There's Nothing Like a Coke! 1956 Coca-Cola promotional calendar – There’s Nothing Like a Coke!

1957 - Mary Alexander - First African American Coca-Cola Advertisement 1957 – Mary Alexander was the first African American person featured in Coca-Cola advertising. Mary appeared in approximately 15 print ads throughout the 1950s.

1957 Coke Ad - Sign of Good Taste 1957 – Sign of Good Taste.

1959 Coke Print Ad - Be Really Refreshed... Pause for Coke! 1959 Coke print ad – Be Really Refreshed… Pause for Coke!


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May 14, 2018 / by / in

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