Following the Detroit race riots and tragic assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in the late-1960s,
In 1969, photographer Jay Maisel captured a group of black and white boys in New York City. In the iconic shot, which Coke used in print and TV ads in the years that followed, the teens are relaxed and happy. They’re sitting on a city bench, sharing a fun, lighthearted moment over a Coke.
Looks innocent, doesn't it?
When you take a closer look at the photo, you see that the boys are sitting on a segregation bench. Coke mixed things up and tackled taboo head-on. The boys are sitting shoulder to shoulder, with their arms touching across the segregation bar. The ad known simply as “Boys on a Bench” was -- and still is -- a powerful brand statement about togetherness and inclusion.
Feel like a champion: The
Coca-ColaPremier League Trophy Tour
Holidays Are Coming… with Rak-Su x
- Dry January tips: The mocktails that’ll see you over the finish line
- Where Everyone Plays: Behind the scenes with Jesse Lingard, Jermaine Jenas and the fans
- Coca-Cola and the Premier League: Welcome to ‘Where Everyone Plays’