Ever since The Coca‑Cola Company first sponsored a TV show on a US network back in 1950, our advertising has appeared on television screens around the globe in many different, often memorable forms – from the festive red trucks of Holidays Are Coming, to the group of hilltop singers in our 1971 hit I’d Like To Buy The World A Coke.

We’ve taken a look back at some of the ads that aired in Great Britain during the 20th century – watch and enjoy!

Ballroom Dancing – 1956
This glamorous 1950s ad sees Alf Davies and Julie Reaby, winners of the 1956 British Ballroom Dancing Open Championship, twirling around the dance floor, and features the slogan “Coca‑Cola puts you at your sparkling best!” This was part of a group of six ads featuring celebrities – and they were also among the first Coca‑Cola television ads to air in Great Britain!

Door, Rug and Sousaphone – 1965
The next three ads from the 1960s see a humorous cartoon duo playing tricks on each other before calling a truce with bottles of Coca‑Cola. The ads feature the catchy jingle “Only Coke will do when you’re thirstiest, Coca‑Cola refreshes you best!”

Can Opener – 1965
This ad uses the iconic 1960s slogan "Things go better with Coke" accompanied by the familiar hiss of a Coca‑Cola can being opened. The type of opener used in this ad was nicknamed a 'churchkey'.

New Ring Pull – 1968

Just a few years later, it was out with the 'churchkey' and in with the new! This ad gave a customers a demonstration on how to open Coca‑Cola cans using the 'new aluminium pull-open top'.

Tea Break – 1979
In 1976 the Coke Adds Life campaign was introduced, and the slogan appears in this 1979 ad, which shows Coca‑Cola as a teatime treat.

Moving with the times

  • Newspapers: Our first print advert was published in 1885 in The Atlanta Journal.
  • Magazines: From around the turn of the 20th century through to the 1960s, we commissioned leading artists to create colour illustrations for our magazine adverts. An iconic illustration that’s still used today is the Coca‑Cola Santa, first created by painter Haddon Sundblom in 1931.
  • Radio: From the mid-1920s radio became the most important method of communication for Coca‑Cola. In the 1960s the "Things go better with Coke" jingle became a radio hit.
  • TV: On Thanksgiving Day 1950 American ventriloquist Edgar Bergen and his sidekick Charlie McCarthy appeared on the first live television network show sponsored by The Coca‑Cola Company. As its brand presence on TV evolved from programme sponsorship to ad breaks, many famous celebrities featured in Coca‑Cola’s television adverts.