During the winter season of 1995, one of the world’s most impressive advertising campaigns ever was launched. A fleet of Coca-Cola trucks bedecked with twinkling Christmas lights rolled across our television screens.
The trucks in the very first Coca-Cola Christmas Caravan weren’t even real–it was just three custom-made full-size movie props and some clever special effects. Even so, the image of an endless caravan of red trucks winding it’s way over snowy hillsides, through valleys and towns, became an instant Christmas season icon, forever embedded in our memory.
However, long before we all became accustomed to this beautiful Christmas scene, the Coca-Cola brand already had an entire fleet of branded delivery vehicles carrying their merchandise along the streets in different cities and countries of the world.
Coca-Cola’s delivery network was ahead of it’s time. From the U.S. to Argentina, Spain, Egypt, New Zealand and England, and as you can see in some of the photos here, the Coca-Cola trucks got everywhere.
From the one end of the world to the other, the Coca-Cola trucks were one of the company’s advertising strategies to spread awareness of the brand. Which is why the pervasive sugary soda was world-recognized by the end of the 1920s.
One of the oldest vehicle models was the Rapid Truck which was manufactured by the Rapid Motor Vehicle Company in Michigan, according to the Coca-Cola website. This model was operating in Tennessee as early as the first decade of the 1900s.
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By the middle of the century, the company began to standardize the look of its delivery trucks. For a while they were all yellow, though the color obviously changed over the years and differed from place to place.
Different car manufacturers also featured in Coca-Cola’s master marketing history. Notice the distinctive Chevrolet, Volkswagen, and Ford models that show up in the photo selection. The packaging of the soda changed as well, adjusting to the latest changes in fashion.
But the one thing that never ever changed was the logo, inscribed in the Spencerian script. The font choice was cemented nearly a century ago, in 1923. It was plastered all over the delivery trucks too. After a century of this practice, it’s no wonder all of us instantly recognize the brand logo.