The Royal Crown Company had marketing pros that understood the value of advertising and product promotion. With the help of their marketing agency, BBD&O, Royal Crown Cola experienced incredible growth through the 1940s.
Starting in 1939, RC Cola became the sponsor for the CBS radio program “Ripley’s Believe It Or Not” with Robert Ripley. The show was broadcast every Friday evening and both the program and the RC Cola commercials were heard from coast to coast.
Another major component of RC Cola advertising was their print advertising. Starting in 1940 they had color inserts placed into magazines such as “The Saturday Evening Post” and “Good Housekeeping”. They also had ads printed in nearly 600 daily newspapers across the U.S.
Beginning in 1946 they used celebrity likenesses as well as endorsements. The advertisements featured famous movie stars like Lucille Ball, Loretta Young and Joan Crawford. Other stars in their ads were Lauren Bacall, Gary Cooper, Shirley Temple, Bob Hope, Gene Tierney, Barbara Stanwyck, Bing Crosby and Jerry Lewis. 1947 RC Cola ads featured the glamorous Hollywood actress Hedy Lamarr. A nationwide campaign was begun to promote RC Cola as the best of all available colas, proven in independent taste tests. They started using the slogan, “Best By Taste Test” and the stars appeared in their ads declaring, “RC tastes best!” Unlike RC’s main soft drink competition, Coca-Cola and Pepsi, the people at Royal Crown liked the idea of linking their cola to movie stars.
Other forms of advertising were billboards, point-of-purchase displays, metal signs, no-drip paper bottle protectors and bottle openers. Nancy Sinatra did two RC Cola commercials during her one-hour television special, “Movin’ with Nancy”, in 1967. In the mid-1970s Kelly Moran, sister of Erin Moran, was in an RC Cola commercial riding a skateboard while delivering pizza. This was part of the RC Cola ad series titled “Me and My RC”.
The Royal Crown Cola Company commemorated its 100th Anniversary in 2005. They are now owned by Cadbury Schweppes and continue to be very successful all over the world.