Coca-Cola, Originally Introduced as a Drug

Coca-Cola, Originally Introduced as a Drug
15 Jun 2015
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John_PembertonIn 1886, Coca-Cola was introduced in the market after that, the rest is history. John Pemberton, also known as Doc, is a pharmacist and a retired Lieutenant Colonel of the Confederate Army’s 12th Cavalry Regiment. He is known to be the inventor of Coca-Cola formula.

At first, Pemberton created his own version of Vin Mariani wine that contains kola nut and damiana, which he called “Pemberton’s French Wine Coca.”cocawine

In 1886, when Atlanta and Fulton County enacted temperance legislation, Pemberton found himself forced to produce a non-alcoholic alternative to his French Wine Coca. With the help of a friend, Pemberton began experimenting, when he accidentally mixed up the his formula with a carbonated water. Pemberton decided then to sell it as a fountain drink rather than a medicine.

That time, the soda fountain was rising in popularity as a social gathering spot. Temperance was keeping patrons out of bars, so making a soda-fountain drink just made sense.

And this was when Coca-Cola was born.

However, Pemberton had no idea how to advertise. This is where Frank Robinson came in. He registered Coca-Cola’s formula with the patent office, and he designed the logo. He also wrote the slogan, “The Pause That Refreshes.”

Soon after Coca-Cola hit the market, Pemberton fell ill and nearly bankrupt. Sick and desperate, he began selling the rights to his formula to his business partners in Atlanta. Pemberton had a hunch that his formula “someday will be a national drink,” so he attempted to retain a share of the ownership to leave to his son. But Pemberton’s son wanted the money. So in 1888 Pemberton and his son sold the remaining portion of the patent to Asa Candler.


Candler Marketing Tactics and the Coca-Cola Global Domination


Asa Griggs Candler bought the business in 1891, and he became the sole owner of Coca-Cola.

It was when Candler took over that one of the most innovative marketing techniques was invented. He hired traveling salesmen to pass out coupons for a free Coke. His goal was for people to try the drink, like it, and buy it later on,

coca-cola-couponIn addition to the coupons, Candler also decided to spread the word of Coca-Cola by plastering logos on calendars, posters, notebooks and bookmarks to reach customers on a large stage. It was one step in making Coca-Cola a national brand, rather than just a regional brand.


A controversial move on the part of Candler was to sell Coca-Cola syrup as a patent medicine, claiming it would get rid of fatigue and headaches.

In 1898, however, Congress passed a tax in the wake of the Spanish-American war. The tax was on all medicines, so Coca-Cola wanted to be sold only as a beverage. After a court battle, Coca-Cola was no longer sold as a drug.