1 05 2012


The icon I chose to discuss as iconography of the United States is none other than the Coca-Cola logo. The logo of the italicized words in red is highly recognizable as being an American favorite and popular soft drink. This soft drink, which began as a formula for medicine, was created in 1886 in Atlanta, Georgia, by Dr. John S. Pemberton (John Stith Pemberton: Who Invented Coca-Cola?. (n.d.)). Coca-Cola is critically acclaimed as being “refreshing and delicious”, according to the commercials and advertisements for the product.

When Dr. Pemberton passed away in 1888, he sold fully licensing of his product to Asa Candler, a businessman. Candler, along with his brother, made it a life mission to sell the fountain drink to all those around the country and then around the world. Since his full ownership over the product, it is said that he registered the Coca-Cola trademark and logo on January 31, 1893 (Coca-Cola – Heritage – The Chronicle of Coca-Cola – The Candler Era. (n.d.)).  “The business continued to grow, and in 1894, the first syrup manufacturing plant outside Atlanta was opened in Dallas, Texas. Others were opened in Chicago, Illinois, and Los Angeles, California, the following year. In 1895, three years after The Coca-Cola Company’s incorporation, Mr. Candler announced in his annual report to shareholders that ‘Coca-Cola is now drunk in every state and territory in the United States’ (Coca-Cola – Heritage – The Chronicle of Coca-Cola – The Candler Era. (n.d.)).

Currently, Coca-Cola is consumed around the world in almost every country. The only difference that other countries have experienced with the Coca-Cola logo is the writing is transcribed in the country’s writing. For example, the Coca-Cola product name in China would be written in Chinese. In other countries, the message of “Coke being deliciously refreshing” has stayed the same even if it spoken or written in another language. One cannot simply change the trademark of Coca-Cola without placing a new meaning for it. To date, there have been numerous kinds of Coca-Cola flavors only available in other countries and vice versa. Since Coca-Cola has expanded globally, it is safe to say that the cultural response has been quite positive.

The only negative response the United States has had with Coca-Cola are the negative implications the drink has in terms of its sugar content and placed in the hands of young children. Many advocates of water instead of Coca-Cola and similar products have displayed their dislike and resentment for the drink. On the other hand, Coca-Cola has been showcased in many commercials that display the soft drink as a means of bringing people together and having a great time. In essence, the positive displays of Coca-Cola have outweighed that of the negative displays since Coca-Cola is timeless and will continue to grow in numbers.

I personally don’t believe that another icon would have been better suited in place of the Coca-Cola logo for it describes a certain image that is in the minds of everyone. Many commercials now depict polar bears wearing a red scarf as another means of describing the drink; however, just the bears alone would not be sufficient enough to display the drink.


John Stith Pemberton: Who Invented Coca-Cola?. (n.d.). Coca-Cola: The Coca-Cola Company. Retrieved April 30, 2012, from          http://www.thecocacolacompany.com/heritage/chronicle_birth_refreshing_idea.html


Coca-Cola – Heritage – The Chronicle of Coca-Cola – The Candler Era. (n.d.). Coca-Cola: The Coca-Cola    Company. Retrieved April 30, 2012, from  http://www.thecoca-colacompany.com/heritage/chronicle_the_candler_era.html




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