The featured campaign for today’s Flashback Friday post is Coca-Cola’s “I’d Like to Buy the World a Coke,” which was released in July of 1971.
To Bill Backer, creative director on the Coca-Cola account for the McCann-Erickson advertising agency, the basic idea of the campaign was this:
…to see Coke not as it was originally designed to be — a liquid refresher — but as a tiny bit of commonality between all peoples, a universally liked formula that would help to keep them company for a few minutes.
The United States had reached the height of the Cold War and had been involved in Vietnam for over fifteen years. Domestic and international conflicts had taken a toll on the American people. The Coke commercial used young people from all over the world to promote love, peace–and Coca-Cola. Understandably, the commercial struck a chord with Americans, who actually requested to hear the song on the radio. Within a few weeks, two separate groups had recorded and released “I’d Like to Buy the World a Coke” and had great success.
For your viewing pleasure, here’s the original television advertisement. You won’t be able to watch just once.