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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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Vintage Coca-Cola Cast Iron Fountain Service Sign
May 25, 10:00 AM MST
Vintage Coca-Cola Cast Iron Fountain Service Sign
by EJ'S Auction & Appraisal
Est: $0- $0
$406 Bids
1989 Coca Cola North Carolina First Edition Complete Wax Box - Michael Jordan Cards
May 22, 7:00 PM EDT
1989 Coca Cola North Carolina First Edition Complete Wax Box - Michael Jordan Cards
by Richard L. Edwards Auctioneer
Est: $0- $0
$144 Bids
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DECORATOR CAST IRON COKE DOOR STOP & COKE BOTTLE CAP MONEY BOX
May 23, 9:00 AM AEST
DECORATOR CAST IRON COKE DOOR STOP & COKE BOTTLE CAP MONEY BOX
by Albion Antique Auction Centre
Est: AUD10- AUD40
AUD303 Bids
Amber Coca-Cola Painesville,O & Mineral Springs Co Bottle
May 20, 12:00 PM EDT
Amber Coca-Cola Painesville,O & Mineral Springs Co Bottle
by Atlee Raber Auctioneer
Est: $10- $1,000
$203 Bids
M2 COCA COLA IN PACKAGE
May 29, 7:15 PM CDT
M2 COCA COLA IN PACKAGE
by Auctions By Moldenhauer
Est: $50- $150
$73 Bids
M2 COCA COLA IN PACKAGE
May 29, 7:15 PM CDT
M2 COCA COLA IN PACKAGE
by Auctions By Moldenhauer
Est: $50- $150
$62 Bids
1930s Coca Cola Bottling Truck
Jun 10, 5:00 PM EDT
1930s Coca Cola Bottling Truck
by Atlee Raber Auctioneer
Est: $0- $0
$51 Bid
Dt Coke Self Framed SST Sign
Jun 10, 5:00 PM EDT
Dt Coke Self Framed SST Sign
by Atlee Raber Auctioneer
Est: $0- $0
$51 Bid
Coca-Cola Rugby Shirt and Printed Pants
May 22, 9:00 AM EDT
Coca-Cola Rugby Shirt and Printed Pants
by Apple Tree Auction Center
Est: $0- $0
$51 Bid
Lot of (4) 1989 Coca Cola Michael Jordan North Carolina Cards - Varying Conditions
May 22, 7:00 PM EDT
Lot of (4) 1989 Coca Cola Michael Jordan North Carolina Cards - Varying Conditions
by Richard L. Edwards Auctioneer
Est: $0- $0
$11 Bid
COCA COLA NEON SIGN
Jun 15, 10:00 AM EDT
COCA COLA NEON SIGN
by Milestone Auctions
Est: $200- $400
$1001 Bid
Coca Cola Bottle Carrier
Jun 03, 6:00 PM EDT
Coca Cola Bottle Carrier
by Atlee Raber Auctioneer
Est: $0- $0
$51 Bid
VENDO COCA COLA MACHINE COIN BOX
Jun 15, 10:00 AM EDT
VENDO COCA COLA MACHINE COIN BOX
by Milestone Auctions
Est: $100- $200
$501 Bid
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DECORATOR WALL MOUNTED CAST IRON COKE SIGN WITH BELL
May 23, 9:00 AM AEST
DECORATOR WALL MOUNTED CAST IRON COKE SIGN WITH BELL
by Albion Antique Auction Centre
Est: AUD10- AUD40
AUD101 Bid
VINTAGE DRINK COCA COLA CURB SERVICE ENAMELED SIGN
May 22, 9:00 AM EDT
VINTAGE DRINK COCA COLA CURB SERVICE ENAMELED SIGN
by Affiliated Auctions & Realty LLC
Est: $80- $150
$201 Bid
Primitive Square Nailed Dry Sink
May 20, 12:00 PM EDT
Primitive Square Nailed Dry Sink
by Atlee Raber Auctioneer
Est: $10- $1,000
$101 Bid
Mario Schifano “Coca Cola”
May 25, 4:00 PM CEST
Mario Schifano “Coca Cola”
by Felima Art Casa D'Aste
Est: €300- €500
€101 Bid
Glass Coca-Cola Bottles
May 20, 12:00 PM EDT
Glass Coca-Cola Bottles
by Atlee Raber Auctioneer
Est: $10- $1,000
$100 Bids
Coca Cola Metal Pub Bar Sign
May 25, 2:00 PM EDT
Coca Cola Metal Pub Bar Sign
by Connoisseur Online
Est: $30- $60
$250 Bids
Coca Cola Metal Sign
Jun 08, 2:00 PM EDT
Coca Cola Metal Sign
by Connoisseur Online
Est: $40- $80
$300 Bids
1930s Coca Cola Bottling Truck
Jun 10, 5:00 PM EDT
1930s Coca Cola Bottling Truck
by Atlee Raber Auctioneer
Est: $0- $0
$50 Bids
Coca Cola Metal Sign
Jun 08, 2:00 PM EDT
Coca Cola Metal Sign
by Connoisseur Online
Est: $40- $60
$300 Bids
1965 Coca-Cola Perforated Reg Fleming PSA 9 o/c
May 25, 9:00 AM CDT
1965 Coca-Cola Perforated Reg Fleming PSA 9 o/c
by Matthew Bullock Auctioneers
Est: $30- $40
$150 Bids

Sellers Who Sell Coca-Cola Advertising


Milestone Auctions

Milestone Auctions

Atlee Raber Auctioneer

Atlee Raber Auctioneer

Cedarburg Auction & Appraisals LLC

Cedarburg Auction & Appraisals LLC

Col. Christie Hatman, Auctioneer

Col. Christie Hatman, Auctioneer