History of Pepsi-Cola (1898)
Born in the Carolinas in 1898, Pepsi-Cola has a long and rich history. The drink is the invention of Caleb Bradham, a pharmacist and drugstore owner in New Bern, North Carolina.
The summer of 1898, as usual, was hot and humid in New Bern, North Carolina. So a young pharmacist named Caleb Bradham began experimenting with combinations of spices, juices, and syrups trying to create a refreshing new drink to serve his customers. He succeeded beyond all expectations because he invented the beverage known around the world as Pepsi-Cola.
Caleb Bradham knew that to keep people returning to his pharmacy, he would have to turn it into a gathering place. He did so by concocting his own special beverage, a soft drink. His creation, a unique mixture of kola nut extract, vanilla and rareoils, became so popular his customers named it "Brad's Drink." Caleb decided to rename it "Pepsi-Cola," and advertised his new soft drink. People responded, and sales of Pepsi-Cola started to grow, convincing him that he should form a company to market the new beverage.
In 1902, he launched the Pepsi-Cola Company in the back room of his pharmacy, and applied to the U.S. Patent Office for a trademark. At first, he mixed the syrup himself and sold it exclusively through soda fountains. But soon Caleb recognized that a greater opportunity existed to bottle Pepsi so that people could drink it anywhere.
The business began to grow, and on June 16, 1903, "Pepsi-Cola" was officially registered with the U.S. Patent Office. That year, Caleb sold 7,968 gallons of syrup, using the theme line "Exhilarating, Invigorating, Aids Digestion." He also began awarding franchises to bottle Pepsi to independent investors, whose number grew from just two in 1905, in the cities of Charlotte and Durham, North Carolina, to 15 the following year, and 40 by 1907. By the end of 1910, there were Pepsi-Cola franchises in 24 states.
Pepsi-Cola's first bottling line resulted from some less-than-sophisticated engineering in the back room of Caleb's pharmacy. Building a strong franchise system was one of Caleb's greatest achievements. Local Pepsi-Cola bottlers, entrepreneurial in spirit and dedicated to the product's success, provided a sturdy foundation. They were the cornerstone of the Pepsi-Cola enterprise. By 1907, the new company was selling more than 100,000 gallons of syrup per year.
Growth was phenomenal, and in 1909 Caleb erected a headquarters so spectacular that the town of New Bern pictured it on a postcard. Famous racing car driver Barney Oldfield endorsed Pepsi in newspaper ads as "A bully drink...refreshing, invigorating, a fine bracer before a race."
The previous year, Pepsi had been one of the first companies in the United States to switch from horse-drawn transport to motor vehicles, and Caleb's business expertise captured widespread attention. He was even mentioned as a possible candidate for Governor. A 1913 editorial in the Greensboro Patriot praised him for his "keen and energetic business sense."
Pepsi-Cola enjoyed 17 unbroken years of success. Caleb now promoted Pepsi sales with the slogan, "Drink Pepsi-Cola. It will satisfy you." Then cameWorld War I, and the cost of doing business increased drastically. Sugar prices see sawed between record highs and disastrous lows, and so did the price of producing Pepsi-Cola. Caleb was forced into a series of business gambles just to survive, until finally, after three exhausting years, his luck ran out and he was bankrupted. By 1921, only two plants remained open. It wasn't until a successful candy manufacturer, Charles G. Guth, appeared on the scene that the future of Pepsi-Cola was assured. Guth was president of Loft Incorporated, a large chain of candy stores and soda fountains along the eastern seaboard. He saw Pepsi-Cola as an opportunity to discontinue an unsatisfactory business relationship with the Coca-Cola Company, and at the same time to add an attractive drawing card to Loft's soda fountains. He was right. After five owners and 15 unprofitable years, Pepsi-Cola was once again a thriving national brand.
One oddity of the time, for a number of years, all of Pepsi-Cola's sales were actually administered from a Baltimore building apparently owned by Coca-Cola, and named for its president. Within two years, Pepsi would earn $1 million for its new owner. With the resurgence came new confidence, a rarity in those days because the nation was in the early stages of a severe economic decline that came to be known as the Great Depression.
1898 Caleb Bradham, a New Bern, North Carolina, pharmacist, renames "Brad's Drink," a carbonated soft drink he created to serve his drugstore's fountain customers. The new name, Pepsi-Cola, is derived from two of the principal ingredients, pepsin and kola nuts. It is first used on August 28.
1902 Bradham applies to the U.S. Patent Office for a trademark for the Pepsi-Cola name.
1903 In keeping with its origin as a pharmacist's concoction, Bradham's advertising praises his drink as "Exhilarating, invigorating, aids digestion."
1905 A new logo appears, the first change from the original created in 1898.
1906 The logo is redesigned and a new slogan added: "The original pure food drink." The trademark is registered in Canada.
1907 The Pepsi trademark is registered in Mexico.
1909 Automobile racing pioneer Barney Oldfield becomes Pepsi's first celebrity endorser when he appears in newspaper ads describing Pepsi-Cola as "A bully drink...refreshing, invigorating, a fine bracer before a race." The theme "Delicious and Healthful" appears, and will be used intermittently over the next two decades.
1920 Pepsi appeals to consumers with, "Drink Pepsi-Cola. It will satisfy you."
1932 The trademark is registered in Argentina.
1934 Pepsi begins selling a 12-ounce bottle for five cents, the same price charged by its competitors for six ounces.
1938 The trademark is registered in the Soviet Union.
1939 A newspaper cartoon strip, "Pepsi & Pete," introduces the theme "Twice as Much for a Nickel" to increase consumer awareness of Pepsi's value advantage.
1940 Pepsi makes advertising history with the first advertising jingle ever broadcast nationwide. "Nickel, Nickel" will eventually become a hit record and will be translated into 55 languages. A new, more modern logo is adopted.
1941 In support of America's war effort, Pepsi changes the color of its bottle crowns to red, white and blue. A Pepsi canteen in Times Square, New York, operates throughout the war, enabling more than a million families to record messages for armed services personnel overseas.
1943 The "Twice as Much" advertising strategy expands to include the theme, "Bigger Drink, Better Taste."
1949 "Why take less when Pepsi's best?" is added to "Twice as Much" advertising.
1950 "More Bounce to the Ounce" becomes Pepsi's new theme as changing soft drink economics force Pepsi to raise prices to competitive levels. The logo is again updated.
1953 Americans become more weight conscious, and a new strategy based on Pepsi's lower caloric content is implemented with "The Light Refreshment" campaign.
1954 "The Light Refreshment" evolves to incorporate "Refreshing Without Filling."
1958 Pepsi struggles to enhance its brand image. Sometimes referred to as "the kitchen cola," as a consequence of its long-time positioning as a bargain brand, Pepsi now identifies itself with young, fashionable consumers with the "Be Sociable, Have a Pepsi" theme. A distinctive "swirl" bottle replaces Pepsi's earlier straight-sided bottle.
1959 Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev and U.S. Vice-President Richard Nixon meet in the soon-to-be-famous "kitchen debate" at an international trade fair. The meeting, over Pepsi, is photo-captioned in the U.S. as "Khrushchev Gets Sociable."
1961 Pepsi further refines its target audience, recognizing the increasing importance of the younger, post-war generation. "Now it's Pepsi, for Those who think Young" defines youth as a state of mind as much as a chronological age, maintaining the brand's appeal to all market segments.
1963 In one of the most significant demographic events in commercial history, the post-war baby boom emerges as a social and marketplace phenomenon. Pepsi recognizes the change, and positions Pepsi as the brand belonging to the new generation-The Pepsi Generation. "Come alive! You're in the Pepsi Generation" makes advertising history. It is the first time a product is identified, not so much by its attributes, as by its consumers' lifestyles and attitudes.
1964 A new product, Diet Pepsi, is introduced into Pepsi-Cola advertising.
1966 Diet Pepsi's first independent campaign, "Girlwatchers," focuses on the cosmetic benefits of the low-calorie cola. The "Girlwatchers" musical theme becomes a Top 40 hit. Advertising for another new product, Mountain Dew, a regional brand acquired in 1964, airs for the first time, built around the instantly recognizable tag line, "Ya-Hoo, Mountain Dew!"
1967 When research indicates that consumers place a premium on Pepsi's superior taste when chilled, "Taste that beats the others cold. Pepsi pours it on" emphasizes Pepsi's product superiority. The campaign, while product-oriented, adheres closely to the energetic, youthful, lifestyle imagery established in the initial Pepsi Generation campaign.
1969 "You've got a lot to live. Pepsi's got a lot to give" marks a shift in Pepsi Generation advertising strategy. Youth and lifestyle are still the campaign's driving forces, but with "Live/Give," a new awareness and a reflection of contemporary events and mood become integral parts of the advertising's texture.
1973 Pepsi Generation advertising continues to evolve. "Join the Pepsi People, Feelin' Free" captures the mood of a nation involved in massive social and political change. It pictures us the way we are-one people, but many personalities.
1975 The Pepsi Challenge, a landmark marketing strategy, convinces millions of consumers that Pepsi's taste is superior.
1976 "Have a Pepsi Day" is the Pepsi Generation's upbeat reflection of an improving national mood. "Puppies," a 30-second snapshot of an encounter between a very small boy and some even smaller dogs, becomes an instant commercial classic.
1979 With the end of the '70s comes the end of a national malaise. Patriotism has been restored by an exuberant celebration of the U.S. bicentennial, and Americans are looking to the future with renewed optimism. "Catch that Pepsi Spirit!" catches the mood and the Pepsi Generation carries it forward into the '80s.
1982 With all the evidence showing that Pepsi's taste is superior, the only question remaining is how to add that message to Pepsi Generation advertising. The answer? "Pepsi's got your Taste for Life!," a triumphant celebration of great times and great taste.
1983 The soft drink market grows more competitive, but for Pepsi drinkers, the battle is won. The time is right and so is their soft drink. It's got to be "Pepsi Now!"
1984 A new generation has emerged-in the United States, around the world and in Pepsi advertising, too. "Pepsi. The Choice of a New Generation" announces the change, and the most popular entertainer of the time, Michael Jackson, stars in the first two commercials of the new campaign. The two spots quickly become "the most eagerly awaited advertising of all time."
1985 Lionel Richie leads a star-studded parade into "New Generation" advertising followed by pop music icons Tina Turner and Gloria Estefan. Sports heroes Joe Montana and Dan Marino are part of it, as are film and television stars Teri Garr and Billy Crystal. Geraldine Ferraro, the first woman nominated to be vice president of the U.S., stars in a Diet Pepsi spot. And the irrepressible Michael J. Fox brings a special talent, style and spirit to a series of Pepsi and Diet Pepsi commercials, including a classic, "Apartment 10G."
1987 After an absence of 27 years, Pepsi returns to Times Square, New York, with a spectacular 850-square foot electronic display billboard declaring Pepsi to be "America's Choice."
1988 Michael Jackson returns to "New Generation" advertising to star in a four-part "episodic" commercial named "Chase." "Chase" airs during the Grammy Awards program and is immediately hailed by the media as "the most-watched commercial in advertising history."
1989 "The Choice of a New Generation" theme expands to categorize Pepsi users as "A Generation Ahead!"
1990 Teen stars Fred Savage and Kirk Cameron join the "New Generation" campaign, and football legend Joe Montana returns in a spot challenging other celebrities to taste test their colas against Pepsi. Music legend Ray Charles stars in a new Diet Pepsi campaign, "You got the right one baby."
1991 "You got the Right one Baby" is modified to "You got the Right one Baby, Uh-Huh!" The "Uh-Huh Girls" join Ray Charles as back-up singers and a campaign soon to become the most popular advertising in America is on its way. Supermodel Cindy Crawford stars in an award-winning commercial made to introduce Pepsi's updated logo and package graphics.
1992 Celebrities join consumers, declaring that they "Gotta Have It." The interim campaign supplants "Choice of a New Generation" as work proceeds on new Pepsi advertising for the '90s. Mountain Dew growth continues, supported by the antics of an outrageous new Dew Crew whose claim to fame is that, except for the unique great taste of Dew, they've "Been there, Done that, Tried that."
1993 "Be Young, Have fun, Drink Pepsi" advertising starring basketball superstar Shaquille O'Neal is rated as best in U.S.
1994 New advertising introducing Diet Pepsi's freshness dating initiative features Pepsi CEO Craig Weatherup explaining the relationship between freshness and superior taste to consumers.
1995 In a new campaign, the company declares "Nothing else is a Pepsi" and takes top honors in the year's national advertising championship.
The information published here is provided by PepsiCo, Inc. and may be accessed at their site: www.pepsi.com
Available Pepsi-Cola ads by date and category
Pepsi-Cola 1954 Ad
1954 Pepsi Cola original vintage advertisement. Pepsi is the modern light refreshment, reduced in calories. Have a Pepsi.
Size - Full Page
10 inches x 13 inches
25 cm x 33 cm
Grading - Very Good
Availability - Sold
Price - $35.00
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Pepsi-Cola 1956 Ad
1956 Pepsi Cola original vintage advertisement. Fashioned so slenderly. Today's Pepsi is reduced in calories, never heavy, never too sweet - refreshes without filling.
Size - Full Page
10 inches x 13 inches
25 cm x 33 cm
Grading - Very Good
Availability - Sold
Price - $35.00
Shipping and handling - verify postal code