World’s best ads ever #73: Coca-Cola’s ‘Hilltop’ message spreads to all
We asked our readers to vote for their favorite commercials of all time. Top creatives from the World Creative Rankings and The Drum’s Judges’ Club then ranked the ads. Now, we bring you the definitive 100 best TV and video ads of all time.
Written on the back of a napkin in an airport, the words ‘I’d like to buy the world a Coke and keep it company’ would inevitably spawn one of the greatest commercials of all time, as well as a hit record.
Its peaceful message of inclusivity is as relevant today as it was in 1971 when filmed on a hillside in Rome. But as the story goes, it wasn’t even supposed to be shot in Italy with the now iconic cast. Weather ruined the chance to shoot the spot on the Cliffs of Dover. (Insert a joke about how bad British weather is here.) Filming was moved to Italy, and after a series of production delays it ended up costing a quarter of a million dollars to produce. Things were so dire, the lead singer filmed in the spot was literally plucked off the street.
No matter what the cost or challenges that were thrown up, it worked. The ad pulled McCann Erickson and famed director Harvey Gabor out of a mini-creative slump and even resulted in a hit single. The Hillside Singers re-recorded it as ‘I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing (In Perfect Harmony)’, which went to No. 13 on the Billboard charts. And most recently, the Drum named it the top US jingle of all time.