If you’re old enough to remember our famous ‘Hilltop’ advert from 1971, then be prepared to learn some fascinating facts. If you’re a newcomer, give our catchy jingle a listen and discover how it spawned one of our most famous slogans.

  1. The idea came from Bill Backer, a creative director at McCann-Erickson advertising agency. He was inspired when he saw passengers in an airport cafe laughing together over bottles of Coca-Cola after their flights had been redirected to Shannon airport due to heavy fog in London.

  2. The song was written in less than 24 hours.

  3. The cast included actors from more than 20 countries.

  4. The lead singer, a British nanny working in Rome, was discovered while pushing a baby carriage, two days before the final shoot by producers. She declined the opportunity at first but was finally persuaded to take the role. The original lead singer eloped during production in Italy.

  5. The cast didn’t actually sing ‘I’d Like to Buy the World a Coke’, instead they lip-synced to a recording by Australian group The New Seekers.

  6. ITV ranked it as the greatest TV ad ever made.

  7. The lyrics were later adapted by removing the Coke reference, and the song was renamed ‘I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing’. Since 1971, the song has been recorded and released more than 75 times.

  8. Channel 4 ranked ‘I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing’ as the greatest song from a TV ad.

  9. Mancunian rock band Oasis used the song as inspiration for the track ‘Shakermaker’ on their 1994 album ‘Definitely Maybe’.

  10. We donated £50,000 (€66,000) from the sale of the song ‘I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing’ to UNICEF.


And the facts don’t stop there! Find out more about the history of our ad and get the lyrics to the song.