Do you know what the second most popular word spoken all over the world is? Coke! (The first one is Okay.). That’s right! I learned that at the World of Coca-Cola in Atlanta, and in this blog post I’m going to let you know everything I saw, did, and learn during my visit.
Now, that tells you that Coca-Cola is doing something right. And, even though I’m not a big lover of sodas (my husband is a die-hard fan – of Coke in particular), I love to learn about companies, who founded them and how they reached their stratospheric success. And what better place, in the world, to do this than Coca Cola World in Atlanta, Georgia?
Historic and Modern Tour of Coke at Coca-Cola World
The tour starts with a group of us directed into a room full of Coke’s advertising since the turn of the 20th Century from all over the world.
Here we get a bit of an introduction to the World of Coke, and then after we are led into an auditorium where we get to see – the unseen and not-yet-released new commercial for Coke.
I have no idea what these advertisement geniuses do, but I have never seen anything as touching, heartwarming, and something that made me cry from the second I sat down until it was over, which was over six minutes long. This alone has made my day and given me that much more respect for Coke.
Quick Note: since arriving in Atlanta you can easily tell that Coke is not just a corporation but the heart and soul of this city. And I mean this in a good way. They donate more money than any other Corporation does to any other city in the world. Thanks to Coke the Olympics were able to be held in Atlanta. And the late CEO was practically like Santa Claus here.
This is how we started the tour. If I wasn’t a fan before, I am now quickly converted.
From here, the tour is self-guided via different exhibition halls.
You can learn all about history and how it was created – almost – you can’t have the secret recipe.
Which is told to be held here at the Secret Vault Room – but I truly highly doubt it. But the vault is quite impressive, and if it is inside, no one can break through that for sure.
We got to visit the Olympics room and hold one of the torches held by the last athletes who light the eternal flame.
And also got to see how the cokes are bottled and made in the Bottle Works Room. – DID YOU KNOW – that Coke was the one that invented the six-pack? This was the average-sized family back in the day, and that’s how the six-pack came about.
But my husband’s favorite place was Taste It! Room. With over 100 different drinks that Coke manufactures from all over the world, you can really see the different flavors different cultures and people prefer. Some of them really blew our minds. And, of course, there was the original Coke area, which turned out to be our favorite at the end. After learning so much about this drink, I have to say I was truly enjoying it – especially being where it all began.
History of Coca-Cola – My Favorite Part
I love to learn about the history of the place and this museum is definitely a good starting point. Since we were without our boys, it was easy for us to read – a lot – about the history of Coca-Cola and go through all the exhibits without being rushed.
- Coca-Cola history began in 1886.
- Atlanta pharmacist, Dr. John S. Pemberton, created a distinctive tasting soft drink that could be sold at soda fountains.
- He created a flavored syrup, and took it to his neighborhood pharmacy, where it was mixed with carbonated water and deemed “excellent” by those who sampled it.
- In 1888, just two years after creating Coca Cola Dr. Pemberton sold the majority of the interest sold to Atlanta businessman, Asa G. Candler, for a mere $2300.
- The only reason Candler even cared about this drink was that he was prone to migraines, and back then very little helped. Yet this soft drink helped him immensely.
- Under Mr. Candler’s leadership, the distribution of Coca‑Cola expanded to soda fountains beyond Atlanta.
- In 1894, Joseph Biedenharn installed bottling machinery in the rear of his Mississippi soda fountain, becoming the first to put Coca‑Cola in bottles.
- Large-scale bottling was made possible in 1899 when three enterprising businessmen in Chattanooga, Tennessee secured exclusive rights to bottle and sell Coca‑Cola.
- The three entrepreneurs purchased the bottling rights from Asa Candler for just $1.
- Benjamin Thomas, Joseph Whitehead, and John Lupton developed what became the Coca‑Cola worldwide bottling system.
- In 1916, the bottlers approved the unique contour bottle to avoid imitations.
- The contoured Coca‑Cola bottle was trademarked in 1977.
- The first marketing efforts in Coca-Cola’s history were through coupons promoting free samples of the beverage.
- In 1887, couponing was followed by newspaper advertising and the distribution of promotional items bearing the Coca‑Cola script to participating pharmacies.
- In 1971 Hilltop Singers performed “I’d Like to Buy the World a Coke”.
- In1979 “Have a Coke and a Smile” commercial was created featuring a young fan giving Pittsburgh Steeler, “Mean Joe Greene”, a refreshing bottle of Coca‑Cola.
- The 1980s was when memorable slogans as “Coke is It!”, “Catch the Wave” and “Can’t Beat the Feeling” were created.
- In 1993, Coca‑Cola experimented with computer animation, and the popular “Always Coca‑Cola” campaign was launched in a series of ads featuring their iconic animated polar bears.
- In 2009, the “Open Happiness” campaign was unveiled globally.
- The first servings of Coca‑Cola were sold for 5 cents per glass.
- During the first year, sales averaged a modest nine servings per day in Atlanta.
- Today, daily servings of Coca‑Cola beverages are estimated at 1.9 billion globally.
World of Coca-Cola Facts
- The World of Coca‑Cola at Pemberton Place® opened on May 24, 2007.
- It’s the only place where you can explore the story of Coca‑Cola®.
- The original World of Coca‑Cola was established at Underground Atlanta in 1990.
- By 2000, The Coca‑Cola Company already had around 20 acres of land in downtown Atlanta near Centennial Olympic Park.
- 2002: The Coca‑Cola Company announced plans for the development of the land to help spur the ongoing revitalization of downtown Atlanta.
- The Coca‑Cola Company donated nine acres of this land to the Georgia Aquarium in 2002.
- The construction of the Georgia Aquarium started in 2003.
- The new World of Coca‑Cola construction began in 2005.
- In March 2007, the original World of Coca‑Cola at Underground Atlanta closes its doors.
- The World of Coca‑Cola welcomed its Three Millionth Guest in 2010.
- The Vault of the Secret Formula experience opened in 2011.
Information for Visiting Coca-Cola World, Atlanta, Georgia
Address: 121 Baker St. NW Atlanta, GA 30313-1807
Phone: (404) 676-5151
Adult (ages 13 – 64) $16
Senior (ages 65+) $14
Youth (ages 3 12) $12
Toddler (ages 0 -2) FREE