Coke Commercial 1965 - Tom Jones
American radio and ads seem to go together better than UK radio and ads. Maybe because they started in earnest half a century before.
Having used print since 1885, Coke embraced the new medium of radio by the 1920s. A singer called Jessica Dragonette became ‘Vivian, the Coca Cola Girl’ on WEAF in New York. Through the next three decades, Coke sponsored all manner of entertainment shows.
By 1963, as advertisers began to make use of spot ads, the slogan ‘Things go better with Coke’ had been adopted. McCann-Erickson persuaded the big music stars of the day to re-lyric their songs and celebrate the great fizzy drink. The likes of the Who, Roy Orbison, Marvin Gaye, the Four Seasons, Gladys Knight, Petula Clarke, Ray Charles and the Supremes joined in the fun. Enjoy here, the great Tom Jones, grabbing his microphone like the famous contoured Coca Cola bottle. If only we could play this in an ad break now. Pretty please.
The ads work. They prove that commercials with melody are remembered. If Coke know that, maybe we should listen to that lesson, rather than decry the sung ad jingle as too many programmers do.
And – yes – the famous ‘I’d like to buy the World a Coke’ was a commercial before it was a New Seekers hit; and it was a 1971 radio ad before it became a TV ad.