The year was 1959 and according to Colin Nichol, Australia was still waiting for 1955. “Everything that happened in Australia happened a bit after everywhere else,” he explained.

Back then, what was happening was rock and roll. As a radio announcer in Perth, Colin was a real-deal superstar DJ. “When I started in radio, we were still playing 78’s, you know, the old bakelite records,” he said. “We were getting the message about rock and roll and the teen revolution. It started, of course, in 1955 with Elvis Presley and Bill Hayley, but I don’t think the implications of it really came through to us until just at the time I found myself in the middle of it.”

Coca-Cola has been made and shared in Australia for eight decades, with music playing a huge role in bringing people together. From folk to hip hop and definitely rock and roll, we take a look at how Australians have been celebrating life with a drink and a dance across the decades.
Rock and roll is here to stay: the 1950s

In the 1950s Coca-Cola set up a worldwide Hi-Fi Club. During its lifetime, the Hi-Fi Club saw millions of teenagers sign up to attend dances, watch bands and, well, hang out with one another.
During its lifetime, the Hi-Fi Club saw millions of teenagers sign up to attend dances, watch bands and, well, hang out with one another.

Coke provided DJs with rolls of fresh 45s, referred to as “donuts” in the trade as well as prizes and collectables and in 1959 asked Colin to host a local chapter.
Up to 1500 kids turned up for any given show. “The Hi-Fi Club became an entity in itself; it was huge,” Colin said. “Before the Hi-Fi Club there were dances, but not rock and roll dances, and not in the numbers that we’re discussing here now. This was the big thing.”
Country in the country: 1970s
Australia has a long history of country music stretching back to the 1930s. Australian country music developed its own style influenced by bush poets and folk ballads, with unique themes covering Aboriginality, distance, isolation and landscape.

The popularity of country music soared in Australia in the 1970s. Coca-Cola began supporting the Toyota Country Music Festival in the small country town of Tamworth, New South Wales, which has since grown to become one of the biggest music festivals in the world (and the largest in Australia).

The focus of Coca-Cola’s involvement from then to now has been giving opportunities to new Australian artists through walk ups, battles and talent shows.
(Digital) power to the people: 2010 and beyond
In 2012, Coca-Cola Australia decided to put a fresh spin on its groundbreaking ‘Share a Coke’ campaign by bringing some fan favourite songs back into the mix. Partnering with Universal Music, Coca-Cola launched it’s ‘Share a Coke and a Song’ campaign with cans and bottles labelled with specific dates from 1938 to 2012 and a unique code.
For a trip down memory lane, fans could visit a URL or scan the code and be provided with the top 50 most popular songs of that year from Universal Music’s catalogue available to stream.
That same year, Coca-Cola partnered with Spotify to allow consumers to share the songs that hold a special place in their hearts via Facebook, which were then put together on a Spotify playlist for all to enjoy.
Coca-Cola Australia is celebrating its 80th birthday this year with a look back at some of its most iconic moments. From new commercials to a new look on the Kings Cross Billboard, check out how we’re celebrating 80 years in Australia.