Rock and Roller Cola Wars

courtesy of
courtesy of

For over a century, the rivalry between Pepsi and Coca-Cola has become known as The Cola Wars. In 1886, Atlanta pharmacist Dr. John S. Pemberton took his formulated flavored syrup to a neighborhood pharmacy and mixed it with carbonated water. This event led to the birth of "Coca-Cola" as named by Frank M. Robinson, Pemberton's partner. The cola sold for five cents a cup. By 1888, Coca-Cola became known as the best-selling sparkling beverage in the world. Asa G. Candler, who bought most of the shares Pemberton sold, distributed Coca-Cola beyond Atlanta. Joseph Biedenham made Coca-Cola portable by installing a bottling machine behind his soda fountain in Mississippi in 1894. In 1899, three businessmen: Benjamin Thomas, John Lupton, and Joseph Whitehead, purchased bottling and selling rights from Asa Candler for a dollar and developed today's large scale bottling system.

In 1898, Caleb Bradham, a pharmacist from New Bern, North Carolina, developed Pepsi Cola. The name "Pepsi Cola" is derived from the cola nuts and the pepsin used to make the beverage. The Pepsi Cola Company was created in 1902, and after getting a patent in 1903, Bradham sold Pepsi syrup with a tagline that said “Exhilarating, Invigorating, Aids Digestion." Bradham started to bottle his popular drinks in a New Bern warehouse. Pepsi-Cola experienced it's first bankruptcy in 1923, when sugar prices rose because of World War I. Charles Guth, President of the Loft Candy Company, eventually gained ownership of Pepsi and offered to sell the formula to Coca Cola. The latter refused. Pepsi reformulated and sales improved. A twelve ounce Pepsi was sold for five cents in 1934. In 1940, Pepsi released the first nationwide jingle advertisement called "Nickel Nickel," which was later translated into fifty-five languages. Pepsi sold the world's first diet soda in 1964.

Pepsi sales have always come in second place against Coca-Cola. However, Pepsi's growing popularity threatened Coca-Cola. Blind taste tests also revealed that more people preferred the sweeter taste of Pepsi. Coca-Cola tried to reformulate its drinks in the 1985, but due to protesting customers Coke Classic was brought back into the market. Coke and Pepsi continued to battle not only in sales but in also in television, radio, and newspaper advertisements. Pepsi, for example, has Bern advertised by famous celebrities like Michael Jackson, the Spice Girls, and Britney Spears. Coca-Cola also use slogans like "Coke is It!", "Catch the Wave" and "Can't Beat the Feeling".

Coke vs Pepsi commercial featuring Jackie Chan; courtesy of www.

Coke commercial featuring The Simpsons; from

1) Butler, Allen. "The History of Pepsi-Cola." Associated Content from Yahoo! - Web. 03 June 2011. <>.
The website contains specific information of how Pepsi-Cola began. It showed the events, both fortunate and tragic, leading to the successful Pepsi company of today
2)"BBC - H2g2 - The Years of Billy Joel's 'We Didn't Start The Fire' - 1964-1989 (Part 3)." BBC - Homepage. Web. 26 May 2011. <>.
The site contains a summary of what the Cola Wars is about. The page I looked at also featured other events in Billy Joel's song "We Didn't Start the Fire.'

3)"Coca-Cola History | World of Coca-Cola." Welcome to the World of Coca-Cola. Web. 03 June 2011. <>.
Similar to the first site I mentioned, had the historical background of the Coca-Cola that many still love. Who would have believed that the sodas were formulated by pharmacists?

4) "The Cola Wars." HubPages. N.p., n.d. Web. 1 June 2011. <>.
I used this website for the funny picture seen on this page. It did talk about the Cola Wars but the site did not seem too reliable.

5) "YouTube - Very Funny, Pepsi vs Coke Commercial ‏." YouTube - Broadcast Yourself. Web. 02 June 2011. <>.
This clip is a commercial, most likely released by Pepsi. It features Jackie Chan using Coke as a stunt double for Pepsi. The Coke can was repeatedly crushed.

This Coke commercial is also found in Youtube. The commercial titled "Hard "Times is an example of the wholesome image Coke always tries to promote. In the clip, Homer Simpson's boss went into bankruptcy, but receiving a coke brightened his whole day.