This week’s Flashback Friday features Pepsi-Cola’s first great advertisement. Pepsi-Cola commercials are hard to miss. Many of us remember the commercials with the “Pepsi Girl” talking in a Godfather voice, Michael Jackson’s Pepsi commercial and of course Britney Spears’ flashback commercial. Pepsi-Cola’s first major advertisement was back in the 1930’s.
Walter S. Mack, President of Pepsi-Cola, believed that advertising could help the soft drink company during the hard times of the Depression. With the help of the advertising company Newell, Emmett & Company, the characters “Pepsi and Pete” were created to promote the pricing advantages of Pepsi-Cola. The two cop characters were advertised everywhere and the public began to immediately associate them with Pepsi-Cola.
Around the same time, Pepsi –Cola released what would become one of the most famous jingles ever written. “Nickel, Nickel” was written by Alan Bradley Kent and Austen Herbert Croom-Johnson. It was the first to be played and heard coast to coast on network radio. The jingle was recorded in 55 different languages, and more than 1 million copies of the jingle were created for jukeboxes. The tune was then renamed “Pepsi Cola Hits the Spot,” and was played in Carnegie Hall. In 1940, Life magazine declared the jingle “immortal.”
In 1949, the tune played 296,426 times on 469 radio stations. Pepsi-Cola has created great advertisements since then, and we always look forward to what they come up with every year for the Super Bowl. However, no one will ever forget their first great campaign and tune. “Pepsi-Cola hits the spot. Twelve full ounces, that’s a lot. Twice as much for a nickel too, Pepsi-Cola is the drink for you.”
Video of “Pepsi and Pete”
Company Name: Pepsi
Ad Campaign Name: Pepsi-Cola hits the spot
Year Created: 1940s
Ad Agency: Newell-Emmett