Can Marketing & Advertising Campaigns Create Icons?

January is always the month when we are encouraged to take stock and look at what we are eating and drinking, maybe hold back, re-evaluate, or not! Or even the month for us to consider the values of being vegetarian. So many options and health aspects of one particular drink was something highlighted in photographer David Hicks collections and highlighted the power of marketing and advertising for our health and our general association of food and drink. These photographs have been taken from around the world over a period of a few years and show the real influence of America’s favourite drink.

With over 200 countries selling coke and 1.7 billion units a day being consumed, too many humans around the world think that’s it’s a symbol of good living, success and freedom. The health threats from all the sugar go unnoticed. The brand is now estimated to worth $243 billion ! They spend more on advertising than Microsoft and Apple combined.

A brand also so closely connected to Father Christmas, their advertising has been immense. In 1931 Coca Cola commissioned illustrator Haddon Sundblom to paint Santa for their Christmas adverts and indeed this is the character we now all connect with our vision of Father Christmas and his Coca Cola red coloured coat.

The power of branding is so effective and Coca-Cola truly elevated their brand by almost creating their own Santa and connecting themselves to an event that is world wide and will never fade. The logo and imagery has captured photographers, artists and celebrities across the world, even Warhol couldn’t resist! Although Warhol did not approve of consumerist idols he obviously still appreciated the aesthetics of the brand design and its popularity, although he did say, ‘A coke is a coke and no amount of money can get you a better coke than the one the bum on the corner is drinking.’

The emotional bonding they have developed is genius really, connecting to one of our most loved characters representing jolly good fun and kindness — I mean who wouldn’t want to get involved and drink coke. So not only do we connect those classic coke bottles with the cool summer holidays of relaxation and fun but also Santa — no wonder they are one of the most successful companies in the world who also own so many other classic sugar drink brands.

Definitely not a healthy drink, but one which will always resonate as a classic for not only its branding but also its emotional resonance. Images of a young healthy woman sipping from the coke bottle surrounded by branches of fresh blooming flowers, is something these days you would expect to be promoting natural organic elderflower juice, but no, this was another successful coca-cola ad from the 1940’s all securely stamped with the traditional red cola stamp established by the talented creative director Archie Lee in 1947.

So yes January is the month we are encouraged to think about new diets, new resolutions and new plans, but pretty sure they’ll still be lots of Coca-cola drinking going on as the success of their marketing and advertising invariably led to the enormous success of this iconic drink and world recognised symbol.

Quite Great PR

For many years, Quite Great has worked with many artists and charity organisations covering all types and styles of art as well as environmental and public issues. For more details, email us at




Quite Great is a pr company working with charities, artists, musicians and brands. An honorable trustworthy PR agency since 1996.

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Quite Great PR

Quite Great PR

Quite Great is a pr company working with charities, artists, musicians and brands. An honorable trustworthy PR agency since 1996.

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