Aveneu Park, Starling, Australia

“Coca-Cola of the United States. It launched just before

“Coca-Cola
was on the rise, for those who approved of the United States, that means
economic and political freedom of choice, consumerism and democracy, the
American dream; for those who disapprove, it stands for ruthless global
capitalism, the hegemony of global corporations and brands, and the dilution of
local cultures and values into homogenized and Americanized mediocrity.” Coca-Cola
was a national drink that represented American values. Coca-Cola was consumed
by many types of people and brought people together that weren’t necessarily
similar.

Coca-Cola represents many American
values. When I think of a Coca-Cola, Independence Day is the first thing to pop
into my head. On July Fourth, it’s pretty natural to go to a family cookout and
have a hot dog and a coke. Coke represents independence, freedom, glamour, and
escapism. Advertisemnets for Coca-Cola depicted an appealingly happy, carefree
world. Coke prospered during the great depression for this reason, it was
actually in increasing demand during the great depression. Coca-Cola brought
people together Standage gives an example of this in The History of the World in Six Glasses “…soda water produced on an
industrial scale and consumed by rich and poor alike, seemed to capture
something of the spirit of America itself.” Coke had a way of diminishing the
line between rich and poor. Standage also states that “The millionaire may
drink champagne while the poor man drinks beer, but they both drink soda
water.” Coca-Cola was considered the national drink of the United States. It
launched just before prohibition took place, which only made it take off even
more. It also took coffee’s place as a social drink. Coca-Cola expanded from
just soda fountains, it soon became a major product in grocery stores and even
sporting events. It was consumed at all times by all ages, making it the
perfect family beverage. Women especially loved seeing their husband with a
Coke versus an alcoholic beverage, since most women during this time supported
the temperance movement. Coke help up against alcoholic beverages, surprisingly
even in the winter. It was also affordable which made it better for anyone. “…people
are happiest when granted freedom of choice in the political, economic, and
personal spheres, in the form of democracy, consumerism, and the rejection of
many long-standing forms of decimation. The idea that a mere drink could come
to embody these values seems absurd.” America is a democracy and Coca-Cola
represents democracy. Coca-Cola also represents the war effort. During World
War II, men in uniform could get a coke anywhere for five cents no matter what
it would cost the company. It supported patriotism, Coca-Cola was even exempted
from sugar rationing during the war for being essential to the war effort. Charitable
work according to Woodruff “was just a small part of what

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made Coca-Cola good for the
world.”

Coca-Cola ad during WWII                                                                           

Coca-Cola represented
consumerism. Raw materials were abundant. Lots of new machines were being
invented, that didn’t require skilled workers. Coca-Cola was being mass
produced and sold everywhere. Coca-Cola was so popular among all types of
people that it didn’t have to be tailored to local tastes. With the invention
of the railway and the telegraph it became a single market. Coca-Cola became
the most valuable brand in the world in 2012, it was sold in over 200
countries. Coca-Cola sales one serving for every four people on earth each day.
It is the 22nd most profitable company in the United States.
Revenues top $48 billion and net income is over $9 billion, it is the greatest
profit generating business in world history. Coke became very appealing
economically because it seemed to ask for very little of the rewards it
generated.

Coca-Cola being mass produced

            “Coca-Cola came to stand for
everything that was deemed wrong with capitalism.” It was industrialized, it
helped industrialism flourish. Coke separated manufacturing from assembly. Specialized
machines became new to the manufacturing world, there was a machine for dispensing
the product, one for putting the cap on and other machines in the process of
making Coca-Cola as well. Mass production began to flourish with the use of specialized
machines. Pretty soon coke was mass marketed.

            “Cultural imperialism is when one
nation can dominate and control the cultural values of another, usually though
the desire of the dominant state to bend and attempt to shape neighboring
states.” Coca cola is the second most known word globally. Coca Cola changes
their image based on the culture they are being presented to. They use
advertising to appeal to all types of cultures. Imperialism and capitalism are
connected through coca cola. Coke used an outsourcing strategy. They used
networks they did not own or directly manage to channel natural resources they
needed for their product. A lot of companies valued Coca Cola for letting other
companies be a part of them in a way. They used outside resources keeping a lot
of companies in business, which is an example of capitalism. Coca-Cola committed
to making their drink an arm’s reach from desire.

            When Coca-Cola was first invented it
was patented as a medication. In Creation
Myth of Citizen Coke the author states “he advertised it as a ‘brain tonic’
that ‘cures morphine and opium habits and desire for intoxicants, drink this
and all your mental and physical anxieties will vanish.” There were also ad’s
saying Coca-Cola would cure headaches and exhaustion. This is one reason why
many began to choose to drink Coca-Cola. Our nation was on edge after the war
and through the depression coke offered liquid serenity. Coca-Cola eventually
moved away from being categorized as a medicinal beverage because there was a
change in tax laws, there was a limited market share as a medicine, and gloomy
marketing affected sales.

 Ad for coke as a medicinal beverage

Coca-Cola was a mass produced, mass
marketed product, consumed by rich and poor. It represents American values,
communism, and imperialism. Coca-Cola is connected through communism and
imperialism. Coca-Cola appeals to everyone around the world and brings people
together.

 

 

Coca-Cola’s
distinctive glass bottle

 

 

 

 

Works Cited

 “Coca Cola: The Ultimate Reflection of
Cultural Imperialism.” Theories of the
Media… Just more exciting, 3 Apr. 2011,
jrobe100.wordpress.com/2011/03/15/coca-cola-the-ultimate-reflection-of-cultural-imperialism/.

 

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