Atlanta’s “World of Coca-Cola” Review – Monument to Marketing

 

In a whirlwind Disney-esque tour, “World of Coca-Cola” immerses you in the tale of their brand—or rather, the now 500+ brands—that the company sells across the globe. 

 

 

This is akin to a World’s Fair pavilion – except permanent.

 

 

The immersion – nearly literal—in all things Coke begins before you even enter the building, as the sound of effervescent bubbles makes you feel as though you are in a glass filling with soda. 

 

From there you enter another foyer where you see Coca-Cola advertisements from the decades—from the first sign to the multilingual ones and iconic Coca-Cola girl platters that you may otherwise have come across rustling in a flea market here or there.

 

 

A movie that conveys the current advertising theme of “moments of happiness” has a production value that should win it an Oscar, and for sure tells you that part of Coke’s story is that it is a brand for everyone.

 

 

With great shtick, the World of Coca-Cola then takes you into the secret vault where the formula for the drink is stored.  Advanced calculus-like equations are projected onto the floor creating a regal moment for the brand. 

 

You’ll learn of how it was an Atlanta druggist, Pemberton, on May 8 , 1886 who developed and served the first cola.

 

You’ll see a mini-bottling plant and also read and marvel at how the company built a worldwide distribution network. 

 

You’ll learn too how the distinctive coke bottle shape went a long way to helping the brand gain market hegemony.

 

 

Saving best for last, you go into a tasting room where you’ll find everything from sweet Japanese vegetable sodas to the Inka Gold you too may have thought was a Mexican brand to coconut flavored drinks from island countries and more. 

 

As you leave, or rather, as you enter into the gift shop to marvel yet again at the range of promotional items that Coca-Cola has created and you can buy—from coke hip huggers to Dr. Dentons to jewelry and hats and mugs, etc—you also get a sample bottle of coke.

 

A caution is to not let your mind wander into thoughts of how this nuclear-powered creativity that has made and sustained the Coca-Cola brand could have perhaps found another purpose solving problems of world hunger or putting end to wars. 

 

Perhaps one of the greatest testimonials to Coca-Cola’s contribution is found in another Atlanta site, The Center for Civil and Human Rights,  where you learn how Robert Woodruff, the company president for many decades and namesake of the city’s arts center, was instrumental in integrating not only Atlanta but the entire south.

 

As entertainment, “World of Coca-Cola” is probably best for families , except for the inevitable sugar high from the tasting room. 

 

 The World of Coca-Cola

121 Baker St. NW


Atlanta, GA 30313-1807

 

 

To learn more, find out current hours and get tickets visit the World of Coca-Cola website or call 1-800-676-COKE (2653)

 

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Photos:  Peter Kachergis

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