Man behind Coke jingle dies

The man who dreamed up that catchy Coke jingle in the ’70’s has passed away at the age of 89.

William Backer was a well-known figure in American advertising before he died, reportedly from complications from colon cancer surgery.

The commercial from 1971 featured the line “I’d Like to Buy the World a Coke”.


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For all his other successes, few commercials made for radio or television seemed to tug at the heartstrings more than the Coca-Cola advertisements.

In the ad the singers stand on a hilltop, dressed in their indigenous clothing styles and holding Coke bottles.

The commercial gained renewed attention last year when it was used in the finale of “Mad Men,” the acclaimed AMC cable series set in the 1960s advertising world. As the last episode closed, the Coke advertisement came as a brainstorm to the principal figure, Don Draper (Jon Hamm), as he sat meditating at a California spiritual retreat.

In a 2011 YouTube video, made on the 40th anniversary of the original TV spot, Mr. Backer acknowledged that he was not solely responsible for the Coke ad but indicated that he was willing to at least share in the accolades it won, noting that it was “very good.”

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