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Have a Coke and a Smile

How often do you drink a Coca-cola or another Coke brand product? Not many people can answer, “never” to this question. Coke has been around over a hundred years (starting as just a syrup which still to this day is the secret ingredient), and restaurants around the world use the syrup and add carbonation in their fountain service. We all remember “New Coke.” It was almost a death sentence so they brought the original back quickly and called it “Coke Classic.”

This past week I was holed up inside a temporary bar shaped like a Coca-cola bottle at the Murray Brothers Celebrity Golf Tournament. I served celebs and drunks alike (with the Bill Murray probably being the most famous – of both.) The Coca-cola bar attracted famous musicians and sports althletes as well. They lined up for hard liquor but more often than not it was combined with a Coke mixer of some kind. (I have to give a quick shoutout to Keli Gjesdahl who endured many long shifts inside the bottle with me.) Coke sponsors just about anything that needs a sponsor from Nascar to the First Charlie Brown Christmas – from the Super Bowl to the Special Olympics – from charity golf tournaments to rock star concerts.

I’ve heard that people in other countries walk for up to four hours one way just for a case or two of Coke which they then take back and sell from their front porch – making Coke a part of their way of life. I started drinking Coke when I was only two or three years old, and where I come from, Coke is often substituted for formula or breast milk. (Those same families have a generator for electricity and they don’t wear shoes.)

In 1886 Coke debuted in Atlanta for 5 cents a glass by John Pemberton, a pharmacist. It was named by his bookkeeper, Frank Robinson. It was first produced the same year as workers were constructing the Statue of Liberty. In 1893 A.G. Candler started advertising Coke, and two years later, syrup plants started popping up in Chicago, Dallas, and Los Angeles. Let’s skip to later historical significance – In 1971, we had the famous “I’d Like to Buy the World a Coke” commercial. In 1978, the Coca-cola company was selected as the only company allowed to sell packaged cola drinks in China. Coke is enjoyed in over 200 countries worldwide and sells over 1.4 billion beverage servings every day.

Try this experiment – see how many days (or hours) pass without seeing a Coke logo or product. There are currently over 3,000 different products made by Coke including A&W Root Beer, Japanese Youki, Buzz Energy Drink, Vault, Dasani, and Tab. There are also more healthy choices like Fuze, Fresca, Hi-C Blast, and lots of Minute Maid juices (Minute Maid brand is owned by Coke). Coke also makes (owns) Nestea, Powerade and Schweppes. Better yet, try to do without these products for 48 hours. I honestly don’t know if I could do it. I drink at least 3 cokes a day (real Coke Classic) which explains why I am often bouncing off the walls.

So let’s all go out and get a nice cold Coke, pop it open, take a sip, and say “”Ahhhh! In fact, anytime you think of me, I give you permission to “Have a Coke and a smile.”

23 responses to “Have a Coke and a Smile”

  1. Avatar WreckedUm says:

    Ummmm…Do we have a Coke endorsement deal suddenly?

  2. Avatar llxt says:

    oops, this was written by papi, not me!!! sorry, papi!

  3. Hey, Papi, very enjoyable piece. I've worked in the consumer products industry – doing public and media relations – for 10+ years now, and hardly a new business presentation goes by in which New Coke isn't mentioned. (As well as Maxwell House's Brewed Coffee, Pepsi AM and Crystal Pepsi, for that matter.)
    I hope your endorsement deal works out.

  4. Avatar llxt says:

    i just don't understand why dr. pepper isn't one of the big 3, instead of the 1 that isn't part of the big 2.
    p.s. I <3 TAB

  5. I remember back in the mid-90s and they built the Whole Foods in Clarendon, VA. I'll never forget overhearing a guy say: "they've got 12 kinds of olives, but no Coke." Also interesting to read how it's used for medicinal purposes in other lands.
    I just wish they'd bring back real sugar into its formula…

  6. Avatar Kate says:

    It makes me so happy when a place sells Pepsi products. And I swear Jack Daniels mixes way better with Pepsi than coke. But these days I'm giving up the caffeine, along with another vice, and the headaches are KILLING me.

  7. Avatar llxt says:

    " I drink at least 3 cokes a day (real Coke Classic)…" that *doesn't* include the ones he uses as mixers…

  8. fent11111 fent11111 says:

    I'm happy to say I come from one of the few countries in the world where Coke isnt the number one selling soft drink.
    Ladies and gentlement, I give you 'Irn Bru".
    Ok, it's not the ardent anti-globalization stuff I usually ram down your necks, but it's a fucking start.

  9. Avatar The Tailor says:

    I've been trying to quit soda for a few weeks now. Nice angle on how pervasive the Coke brand has become.

  10. Outstanding post, I believe website owners should learn a lot from this web site its very user genial .

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papimcgill About papimcgill

Brian "Papi" McGill has never met a liquor or a sport he doesn't like. He can give you any sport stat or make any drink you desire on request. If you're ever in St. Augustine, FL, stop by the Caddy Shack and he'll entertain you with stories of his crazy days (last week), challenge you to a ridiculous bet based on obscure sports knowledge, and/or dance you off the dance floor.

Read more by this author on 30POV .


December 2010
November 2010
On My Honor
October 2010
Witch Hunt
September 2010
If, Then.
May 2010
Small Crimes
April 2010
February 2010
"It's Complicated"
January 2010