- Coca-Cola is sold in all but two countries in the world: Cuba and North Korea.
- In every country, Coca-Cola uses unique advertising to appeal to vastly different cultures, but every ad is still unmistakably for Coke.
- Despite Coca-Cola being seemingly everywhere, political circumstances — wars and dictatorships, mainly — have thwarted production in many countries over the years.
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Coca-Cola is sold everywhere. Well, almost.
Ever since it was first created by John S. Pemberton in 1886, Coke has been a favorite among Americans, and starting in the early 1900s, it slowly grew into a global phenomenon. Today, there are two places where you still can’t buy Coke: Cuba and North Korea. But that wasn’t always the case.
Coca-Cola opened one of its first bottling plants in Cuba in 1906, but pulled production in 1962 because of a trade embargo, not long after Fidel Castro took over the country.
Since 1950, North Koreans haven’t been able to buy Coke either, thanks to the Korean War breaking out that same year.
The only thing that has ever stopped Coca-Cola from being sold is politics getting in the way of business, with conflicts like World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War effectively ceasing production in some countries (trade embargoes haven’t helped).
Despite political circumstances, Coca-Cola has managed to sell its wares almost everywhere (the last addition was Myanmar, which began internal bottling of the product in 2013). The company’s advertising looks different in each of the over 200 nations where it operates — but the ads are still unmistakably for Coke.
Here’s what Coca-Cola ads look like in 16 different countries around the world.
This ad appeared in Beijing, China, in 2004.
When Coca-Cola first came to China in 1927, it was a big hit. But in 1949, when communist leader Mao Zedong took over, Coke, along with other imported goods from the West, was banned.
It didn’t return until 1979, and by then many Chinese people had never tried it. In time, the drink caught on, and today China is Coca-Cola’s third-largest market, after the US and Mexico.
This South Korean ad dates back to 1986.
Francois Lochon/Getty Images
Coca-Cola began selling in South Korea in 1970 under the Doosan Beverage company, part of the larger Doosan conglomerate.
This 1994 billboard in Vietnam reads, "It’s so nice to see you again."
Louis DeMatteis/Getty Images
Once a US trade embargo lifted in 1994, Vietnamese citizens saw the return of the soda brand within the year, around three decades after it had been pulled from the market due to the Vietnam War.
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