RC blog website Header 2560x1102

RC Cola's Beverage Marketing Through The Ages

4 2022

Founded in Columbus, Georgia more than 115 years ago, RC Cola has made a name for ourselves at home and abroad by staying true to our Southern roots and out of the box advertising campaigns.

 Differentiation has been the key to RC Cola’s success in this highly competitive global beverage industry. Our rich history and commitment to tradition have proved a key selling point, attracting both consumers and beverage manufacturers to partner  with us. 

So let’s take a trip down memory lane at RC Cola’s most memorable beverage marketing campaigns, and how we’ve evolved our soft drinks marketing strategy over time.

Tried and True Marketing Strategies

Classic Americana and Southern pride

Our first stop is taking a look at how our beverage marketing strategy has traditionally been very focused on our Southern roots. Throughout the years, our advertisements have consistently used the same classic red, white, and blue imagery that the viewer instantly associates with America, no matter the theme. 

Focusing our campaign images around settings like an old school American diner brings up memories about the good old days in the U.S. Jukeboxes, records, and waitresses in vintage uniforms evoke a sense of nostalgia that brings up positive memories and creates strong brand loyalty.

By using the colors of the U.S. flag and folks in cowboy hats, we clearly convey the message that RC Cola is a trusted American brand. This consistency has proven successful for us, particularly in the U.S. but also in international markets.

The ‘Best by Taste’ Test

Influencer marketing? We got there first! This publicity campaign ran during the 1940s featuring prominent Hollywood celebrities of the time  

beverage marketing with gene tierneybeverage marketing with rita hayworth

beverage marketing with john waynebeverage marketing with bing crosby

The imagery in the campaign was aspirational, focusing on attractive women and ‘manly’ men that embodied the feminine and masculine beauty ideals of the period. Legendary bombshell Rita Hayworth and classic ‘cowboy’ actor John Wayne were RC Cola spokespeople, and they remain household names to this day.

Originators of The ‘Blind Taste Test’

Blind taste tests? We were there first too! RC Cola was the first major cola brand to offer blind taste tests, in which consumers were invited to sample different cola products from varying manufacturers without knowing which company produced each soft drink.

Public taste tests, in which passersby were invited to participate, raised awareness and created organic excitement around the brand. The fact that RC Cola consistently came out as the winner led to the creation of the “Best by Taste’ slogan.


Download The Top Flavor Beverage Trends For 2022


Global beverage campaigns

The Philippines

Our partners’ approach in the global market can be very different and ‘outside the box’. Reeling from a new governmental sugar tax in the Philippines, which eroded away our pricing position, our partners needed a new direction.

RC Cola Philippines broke away from previous marketing in the region, which primarily relied on celebrity endorsements to promote the brand. Turning to a mix of comedy and shock value as a solution, they created a unique video campaign which was perfectly crafted to go viral. It exploded on social media, having a major impact on short term pop culture in the Philippines. Users embraced the ads’ quirkiness, creating custom Instagram filters and memes inspired by the campaign. It even ended up on the Ellen show!

rc cola phillipines ad

This dramatic shift from past marketing techniques led to a staggering 67 percent increase in sales, directly linked to the campaign. The advertising strongly resonated with an audience hungry for out-of-the-box content.


Aiming to garner brand recognition with a younger audience, our partners worked with one of the most well-known celebrity influencers in the Baltic state. Egidijus Dragunas, the charismatic frontman of wildly popular Lithuanian musical group Sel, was the perfect bridge to reach this market. 

rc cola lithuania

Embodying RC Cola’s key values, Dragunas’ independent attitude and authentic image aligned with both RC Cola’s American spirit and the preferences of the local Lithuanian market. A multipronged promotional campaign, which leveraged digital media, in-person events featuring Dragunas, branded freebies including sunglasses, and even race car sponsorships significantly boosted RC Cola’s sales and brand awareness. 

It’s clear that the major factor for success was the successful choice of influencer. 

Get in touch with the RC Cola Team for influencer marketing advice

Beverage marketing in 2022 and beyond

As social attitudes have shifted over the last few decades, so has our beverage marketing strategy. Our latest campaign, Why Not, brings RC Cola into the future. The quirky, ironic commercial also appeals to a more educated crowd, which  depicts the feeling of what drinking RC Cola gives you. It’s highly energetic and entices the watcher to try the drink and experience the feeling for themselves, after all “Why not?”.

new beverage marketing why not

The ‘groovy’ coloring and font choice throughout the campaign speaks to fun times that are to be had with an RC Cola in hand. This is a great way to target and market to the Millennial and Gen Z markets.

why not with rc cola can

Our brand’s marketing has, by and large, always relied on our American-focused tried-and-true techniques. In global markets, we have taken a slightly more Laissez-Faire attitude where we are happy to try things that are unexpected or out of the norm, and we’ve seen success with these innovative approaches. 

Our latest shift has come to position ourselves as a trusted resource, leveraging our hard-won experience to serve as an advisor for beverage manufacturers. We’re there to guide them from A to Z, at all major turning points for their beverage business.


Get in touch to  learn more about how RC Cola can help strengthen your brand.

Get in touch with the RC Cola Team!