"I'd Like to Buy the World a Coke"
In 1886, John Pemberton, an Atlanta
pharmacist, concocted a sweet, brown
syrup, suitable for mixing with
carbonated water and selling as a
refreshing beverage.  When he was
satisfied with the product, he
immediately carried a jug of it down the
street to Jacob's Pharmacy, where it was
tasted, declared excellent and placed on
the menu for five cents a glass.  The rest,
of course, is history.
1930 cafe menu:  chicken sandwich-20 cents;
sirloin steak-75 cents-apple pie-10 cents.
Coca-Cola slogans through the years:

1906...The Great National Temperance Beverage

1927...Around the Corner from Everywhere

1948...Where there's Coke there's Hospitality

1963...Things Go Better with Coke

1990...You Can't Beat the Real Thing
I'd like to build the world a home and furnish it with love,
Grow apple trees and honey bees and snow-white turtle doves.

I'd like to teach the world to sing in perfect harmony,
I'd like to hold it in my arms and keep it company.

I'd like to see the world, for once, all standing hand in hand,
And hear the echo through the hills of peace throughout the land.

I'd like to teach the world to sing in perfect harmony,
I'd like to buy the world a Coke and keep it company.
On a cold and foggy day in 1971, Bill Backer, the creative director of the Coca-Cola advertising account, was
traveling to London to join two songwriters, Billy Davis and Roger Cook, to write and arrange radio ads for
the Coca-Cola Company, to be recorded by the popular singing group, the New Seekers.  As the plane
approached, a heavy fog at Heathrow Airport forced it to land, instead, at Shannon Airport, Ireland.  The
irate passengers were obliged to share rooms or to sleep at the airport.  Tensions ran high.
The next morning, as the passengers gathered in the airport coffee shop, Backer noticed that several who
had been among the most irate were now laughing and sharing stories over bottles of Coke.  As Backer
recalled in his book, The Care and Feeding of Ideas:
"In that moment, I began to see a bottle of Coca-Cola as more than a drink...I began to see the familiar
words, 'Let's have a Coke,' as...a subtle way of saying, 'Let's keep each other company for a little while.'  And I
knew they were being said all over the world as I sat there in Ireland.  So that was the basic idea: to see
Coke...as a tiny bit of commonality between all peoples, a universally liked formula that would help to keep
them company for a few minutes."
When he finally arrived in London late that night, after still another delay, Backer met with Davis and Cook,
to prepare for a meeting with the New Seekers' musical arranger the next day.  He told them he thought the
three of them should work through the night on an idea he had.   "I could see and hear a song that treated
the whole world as if it were a person.  [I told them] I'm not sure how the lyric should start, but I know the
last line."  With that, he pulled out the paper napkin on which he had scribbled the line, "I'd like to buy the
world a Coke and keep it company."
Music:  I'd Like to Teach the World to Sing

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