Ever wondered what year Coca-Cola first hit the shelves? Are you familiar with the taste difference between Diet Coke and Coke Zero? Can you name the Coke that made sales records after the packaging changed from white to black?

Here’s a quick guide on our family of four Cokes.

1. THE ORIGINAL COCA-COLA

Born: The first born was created more than 125 years ago, in 1886, by Atlanta pharmacist John Pemberton. First bottled in Australia in 1938.

Did you know ― Coca-Cola co-sponsored the first truly international broadcast – the landing on the moon?

When Neil Armstrong and Edwin Aldrin became the first two humans to walk on the moon in 1969, there was another first ― the Coca-Cola Export Corporation co-sponsored the broadcast of the Apollo XI Moon Shot, from take-off July 16 through moon landing July 20, to splash-down July 24. The meant that Coca-Cola was the first product of its kind ever advertised on international television.

Of course the other important “first” was for television, because people in major markets around the world got to see the whole thing live on TV, from the comfort of their living room.

And… did you know that the abbreviation “Coke” was used for the first time in magazine ads in 1941.

Over the years the abbreviation has appeared in a variety of slogans, like “Coke is it” and “Coke adds Life”, and in one of the most iconic commercials of all time, the 1971 “Hilltop” ad ― “I’d like to buy the world a Coke.”

Taste: Nothing beats the taste of Coca-Cola. Designed to go with everything, the taste of the original Coke has remained unchanged in over 129 years. 

Fan base: Coca-Cola is loved around the world by people of all ages.


The timeline
How well do you know your favourite Coke? Test your knowledge with our family of four.

2. THE 80s KID ― DIET COKE

Born: The launch of Diet Coke, the first extension of the Coca-Cola trademark, was a top secret affair, which coincided with the 100th Anniversary of Coca-Cola.

Diet Coke was officially introduced to the world at Radio City, NYC in 1982 with the Rockette dancers. It launched in Australia one year later. By the end of 1986 it became the world’s top low kilojoule drink.

Did you know ― Diet Coke made history as the first additional trademarked Coca-Cola, launched 100 years after the original.

With such a rich heritage, landmark birthdays are to be expected.

In 2013, Australia celebrated Diet Coke’s 30th with a remake the iconic 1990’s Diet Coke Hunk ad, this time featuring Aussie model and carpenter, Matt Wilson. The campaign proved a hit with Aussie fans, helping to launch Matt’s acting career on popular soap, Neighbours.

Famous fashion collaborations have also made this Coke a pop-culture icon. Diet Coke’s packaging has been outfitted in limited addition designs by Jean Paul Gaultier, Karl Lagerfeld, Matthew Williamson, Patricia Field, Marc Jacobs and most recently by London-based luxury designer Jonathan Anderson.

Taste: Distinct, unique and a lighter taste to Coca-Cola.

Fan base: Diet Coke is especially loved by women.



The Rockettes perform at Diet Coke's global premiere
The Rockettes perform at Diet Coke's global premiere in July 1982. The Rockettes are America's most iconic dance company, captivating audiences for decades with precision dance performances at Radio City Music Hall.



Leading British fashion designer J.W. Anderson
Diet Coke is again making a statement, this time with its latest fashion collaboration with leading British fashion designer J.W. Anderson.

3. AUSSIE HERO ― COKE ZERO

Born: First launched in North America in 2005, and a year later in Australia.

Did you know ― Coke Zero is Coca-Cola’s second most popular drink and Australia is credited with launching its success?

When Coke Zero launched in the United States, it debuted with white packaging. It was thought that white cans and bottles would help the brand stand out on supermarket shelves. But the new design did not ignite the market. So Coca-Cola Australia shook things up, launching their Coke Zero in the now familiar black bottle. The black packaging was an instant hit in Australia and New Zealand. Coke Zero – originally dubbed “Bloke Coke” due to its popularity with males – sold three times more than expected in its first year. Not surprisingly, the US followed suit, switching to black packaging globally.

Taste: Closer in taste to the original Coke but with zero sugar.

Fan base: Coke Zero is loved by both men and women.



Coke Zero needed a more masculine look and Australia answered the call with black packaging
When Coke Zero premiered in the U.S. in June 2005, it was not an overnight success. The all-white cans did not ignite the market. Coke Zero needed a more masculine look and Australia answered the call with black packaging.


4. THE NEW KID ― COKE LIFE 

Born: First launched in Argentina in 2013 and in Australia early 2015.

Did you know ― Stevia, which helps sweeten Coke Life, has been used for its natural sweetness for hundreds of years throughout parts of the Amazon?

A plant in the chrysanthemum family, the stevia leaf is a unique source of intense natural sweetness that grows in the Amazon Jungle on the border of Paraguay and Brazil in South America, as well as other parts of the world including Asia and Africa. With zero kilojoules and 200 times the sweetness of sugar, the locals eat it raw, include it in their tea and use it in their cooking.

Taste: Coke Life has the great taste you would expect from Coca-Cola but with 35% less sugar and kilojoules, compared to the original.

Fan base: People who want to save on kilojoules.



Great taste runs in the family
Great taste runs in the family. Add fresh ginger, lime to well-chilled Coca-Cola Life for a refreshing drink.