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September2007
Home There’s a Hole in the Mountain, Dear Liza, Dear Liza Surrealistically Speaking Simic How Can I Keep From Singing? Weekday Warriors, a.k.a. The Labor Movement In a Galaxy Far, Far Away A Personal Independence Day This Bear Wants to Sell You Something
This Bear Wants to Sell You Something

In 1993, the Coca-Cola Co. made a dramatic shift in its advertising by introducing the "Always Coca-Cola" campaign, by Creative Artists Agency and later Edge Creative. The campaign was a diverse one, with an initial run of 27 commercials designed to appeal to specific audiences. The ads ran around the world and included a variety of innovative technical approaches, such as computer animation. One such commercial, "Northern Lights," introduced what would become one of the most popular symbols of Coca-Cola advertising: the animated polar bear.

Ken Stewart/Creative Arts Agency, the first of the Polar Bear commercials, from 1993


Hilltop Outtake Tape Reel No. 2, 1971

This and many other famous Coke ads, such as "Hilltop," which introduced the No. 1 hit "I'd Like to Teach the World to Sing," are available in the American Memory collection "Fifty Years of Coca-Cola Television Advertisements." A "Special Presentation," Highlights in the History of Coca-Cola Television Advertising, traces the history of this soft drink's ads from 1950 to 2000.

Advertising is also the subject of another American Memory collection, "The Emergence of Advertising in America 1850-1920," which presents more than 9,000 images relating to the early history of advertising in the United States. The materials include cookbooks, photographs of billboards, print advertisements, trade cards, calendars, almanacs and leaflets for a multitude of products. Together, they illuminate the early evolution of this ubiquitous feature of modern American business and culture.

Still not satisfied? Then go to the Prints and Photographs Online Catalog and type in "advertising." Then click on the "preview images" button. You will discover a wealth of images, posters and other materials relating to advertising.


A. Ken Stewart/Creative Arts Agency, the first of the Polar Bear commercials, from 1993. This ad was launched with the beginning of the "Always" campaign, 1993. Motion Picture, Broadcasting and Recorded Sound Division. Reproduction information: See "Copyright and Other Restrictions" at http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/ccmphtml/colares.html

B. McCann-Erickson, Producer/Advertising Agency, Hilltop Outtake Tape Reel No. 2, 1971. Motion Picture, Broadcasting and Recorded Sound Division. Reproduction information: See "Copyright and Other Restrictions" at http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/ccmphtml/colares.html