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Coca-Cola Advertising

Probably the most recognizable of all soft drink advertising items are those that were produced to promote Coca-Cola. John S. Pemberton, an Atlanta pharmacist, invented the popular soft drink in 1886. Mr. Pemberton was attempting to create a patent medicine. His efforts resulted in a flavored syrup that, when mixed with carbonated water, was deemed excellent by those who tried it. The mixture was named Coca-Cola by Dr. Pemberton’s book keeper, Frank M. Robinson, and was sold at the soda fountain at Jacob's Pharmacy in Atlanta for 5 cents per glass.

Advertising was a huge factor in Coca-Cola's success from the beginning. Asa Candler, who bought the Coca-Cola formula from Dr. Pemberton in 1887, aggressively marketed the product to pharmacies outside of Atlanta. Mr. Candler used newspaper ads, coupons for free drinks, and a multitude of novelty souvenirs to promote the soft drink. These early advertising pieces are now quite rare and valuable.

Today, both vintage and current Coca-Cola advertising pieces are prized by advertising collectors. The most sought after Coca-Cola advertising pieces include tip trays, calendars, coolers, mirrors, and thermometers.


Quick Facts

  • The original Coca-Cola formula, which was marketed as a tonic, contained extracts from the caffeine-rich kola nut as well as trace amounts of cocaine. Coke still contains caffeine, but cocaine was removed from the formula in 1905
  • Frank M. Robinson, Dr. Pemberton's book keeper and partner, had perfect penmanship. He named the new soft drink Coca-Cola because he thought the two Cs looked attractive
  • The most expensive Coca-Cola collectible ever sold is a marble and alabaster soda fountain from the 1893 Columbian Exposition in Chicago. The item sold for $4.5 million at a 2012 live auction

Recommended Items at Auction

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TIN SIGN SIGN OF GOOD TASTE DRINK COCA COLA
Dec 02, 9:00 AM CST
TIN SIGN SIGN OF GOOD TASTE DRINK COCA COLA
by Millers Auction Co.
Est: $0- $0
$27511 Bids
TIN SIGN COCA COLA SIGN OF GOOD TASTE
Dec 02, 9:00 AM CST
TIN SIGN COCA COLA SIGN OF GOOD TASTE
by Millers Auction Co.
Est: $0- $0
$32510 Bids
NOS EMBOSSED TIN SIGN PAUSE DRINK COCA COLA
Feb 11, 9:00 AM CST
NOS EMBOSSED TIN SIGN PAUSE DRINK COCA COLA
by Millers Auction Co.
Est: $0- $0
$2258 Bids
PAM CLOCK DRINK COCA COLA YELLOW DOT
Dec 02, 9:00 AM CST
PAM CLOCK DRINK COCA COLA YELLOW DOT
by Millers Auction Co.
Est: $0- $0
$3508 Bids
LIGHT HALO COCA COLA SIGN TAKE ENOUGH HOME TODAY
Dec 02, 9:00 AM CST
LIGHT HALO COCA COLA SIGN TAKE ENOUGH HOME TODAY
by Millers Auction Co.
Est: $0- $0
$2258 Bids
2 SIDED PORCELAIN SIGN COCA COLA SODA FOUNTAIN
Feb 11, 9:00 AM CST
2 SIDED PORCELAIN SIGN COCA COLA SODA FOUNTAIN
by Millers Auction Co.
Est: $0- $0
$5257 Bids
TIN THERMOMETER SIGN COCA COLA SIGN OF GOOD TASTE
Dec 02, 9:00 AM CST
TIN THERMOMETER SIGN COCA COLA SIGN OF GOOD TASTE
by Millers Auction Co.
Est: $0- $0
$2507 Bids
PAM CLOCK DRINK COCA COLA SODA POP
Dec 02, 9:00 AM CST
PAM CLOCK DRINK COCA COLA SODA POP
by Millers Auction Co.
Est: $0- $0
$3506 Bids
TIN SIGN DRINK COCA COLA YELLOW DOT SODA POP
Feb 10, 9:00 AM CST
TIN SIGN DRINK COCA COLA YELLOW DOT SODA POP
by Millers Auction Co.
Est: $0- $0
$2256 Bids
TIN SIGN COCA COLA BOTTLE SODA POP COKE
Dec 02, 9:00 AM CST
TIN SIGN COCA COLA BOTTLE SODA POP COKE
by Millers Auction Co.
Est: $0- $0
$2256 Bids
TIN SIGN THINGS GO BETTER WITH COKE COCA COLA
Dec 02, 9:00 AM CST
TIN SIGN THINGS GO BETTER WITH COKE COCA COLA
by Millers Auction Co.
Est: $0- $0
$3256 Bids
TIN THERMOMETER COCA COLA SIGN OF GOOD TASTE
Dec 02, 9:00 AM CST
TIN THERMOMETER COCA COLA SIGN OF GOOD TASTE
by Millers Auction Co.
Est: $0- $0
$2505 Bids
PORCELAIN SIGN COCA COLA FOUNTAIN SERVICE
Dec 02, 9:00 AM CST
PORCELAIN SIGN COCA COLA FOUNTAIN SERVICE
by Millers Auction Co.
Est: $0- $0
$3005 Bids
COCA COLA SCHOOL ZONE DRIVE SAFELY CURB SIGN
Dec 02, 9:00 AM CST
COCA COLA SCHOOL ZONE DRIVE SAFELY CURB SIGN
by Millers Auction Co.
Est: $0- $0
$1755 Bids
TIN THERMOMETER SIGN DRINK COCA COLA IN BOTTLES
Dec 02, 9:00 AM CST
TIN THERMOMETER SIGN DRINK COCA COLA IN BOTTLES
by Millers Auction Co.
Est: $0- $0
$1755 Bids
TIN SIGN COCA COLA SIGN OF GOOD TASTE SODA POP
Dec 02, 9:00 AM CST
TIN SIGN COCA COLA SIGN OF GOOD TASTE SODA POP
by Millers Auction Co.
Est: $0- $0
$1005 Bids
NOS TIN SIGN DRINK COCA COLA
Dec 02, 9:00 AM CST
NOS TIN SIGN DRINK COCA COLA
by Millers Auction Co.
Est: $0- $0
$2505 Bids
CONE TOP 1 GAL COCA COLA SODA FOUNTAIN SYRUP CAN
Dec 02, 9:00 AM CST
CONE TOP 1 GAL COCA COLA SODA FOUNTAIN SYRUP CAN
by Millers Auction Co.
Est: $0- $0
$2504 Bids
Coca Cola thermometer
Dec 16, 9:00 AM EST
Coca Cola thermometer
by Chupp Auctions & Real Estate, LLC
Est: $25- $2,000
$1004 Bids
90% Silver Half Dollar Redlines Hotwheels Barracuda Badge Coke Cap Caps NFL Football
Dec 02, 5:00 PM EST
90% Silver Half Dollar Redlines Hotwheels Barracuda Badge Coke Cap Caps NFL Football
by Plain City Auction
Est: $5- $100
$104 Bids
PORCELAIN COCA COLA DRUG STORE SIGN
Dec 02, 9:00 AM CST
PORCELAIN COCA COLA DRUG STORE SIGN
by Millers Auction Co.
Est: $0- $0
$3504 Bids
EMBOSSED TIN THERMOMETER COCA COLA 1923 PAT
Dec 02, 9:00 AM CST
EMBOSSED TIN THERMOMETER COCA COLA 1923 PAT
by Millers Auction Co.
Est: $0- $0
$1253 Bids
PORCELAIN SIGN DRINK COCA COLA FOUNTAIN SERVICE
Feb 11, 9:00 AM CST
PORCELAIN SIGN DRINK COCA COLA FOUNTAIN SERVICE
by Millers Auction Co.
Est: $0- $0
$2253 Bids
12" THERMOMETER SIGN DRINK COCA COLA SODA POP
Dec 02, 9:00 AM CST
12" THERMOMETER SIGN DRINK COCA COLA SODA POP
by Millers Auction Co.
Est: $0- $0
$503 Bids

Sellers Who Sell Coca-Cola Advertising


Millers Auction Co.

Millers Auction Co.

Matthews Auctions, LLC

Matthews Auctions, LLC

Vintage Auctions Online

Vintage Auctions Online