Coca-Cola: The American Symbol
An Atlanta druggist, named Dr. John Stith Pemberton, invented a substance called "Coca-Cola" syrup on May 8, 1886. As the years progressed, this drink came to be known as Coke and its sales started booming. Slowly this drink, whose colors are red and white, eased its way into American society and culture, and it would become a symbol of America, here and abroad. Advertisements are the most straightforward insight into Coke's status as an American symbol, especially the ads during the 1930's and 1940's. They are extremely widespread and can be found almost everywhere. One can find Coke ads in magazines, on TV, on billboards, on signs, and in many other places. Analysis of several advertisements can easily establish Coke as a symbol of America.
In advertisement 1A, there is a group of young Americans drinking coke and standing by a record player. The title reads, "For young America at play...pure,
refreshing Coke." Basically, for younger Americans at leisure, Coke should be the first thing they reach for, according to this ad. It shows two pretty girls and a handsome boy just drinking Coke and listening to music. The caption "young America" targets entire generation often overlooked by advertisements. Most advertisements of this time focused on young adults or older adults; there are very few ads focusing on teens. This article is implying that America is made up of young, carefree people. They are standing around a record player listening to music, seeming carefree; the article did not picture working people. There are also two empty bottles of coke next to the record player. Not only does that mean that they people in the picture obviously like Coke enough to have already drank two bottles, but it also implies a level of financial security. "Pure...