RC Cola (or Royal Crown Cola) is a soft drink developed in 1905 by Claude A. Hatcher, a pharmacist in Columbus, Georgia.
The first product in the Royal Crown line was Chero-Cola in 1904, followed by Royal Crown Ginger Ale, Royal Crown Strawberry and Royal Crown Root Beer. The company was renamed Chero-Cola, and in 1925 called Nehi Corporation after its collared and flavoured drinks. In 1934, Chero-Cola was reformulated by Rufus Kamm, a chemist, and re-released as Royal Crown Cola.
In the 1950s, the combination of Royal Crown Cola and Moonpies became popular as the “working man’s lunch” in the American South. In 1954, Royal Crown was the first to sell a soft drink in an aluminum can.
In 1958, the company introduced the first diet cola, Diet Rite, and in 1980, a caffeine-free cola, RC 100. In the mid-1990s, RC released Royal Crown Draft Cola, billed as a “premium” cola and using pure cane sugar as a sweetener, rather than the high fructose corn syrup more commonly used in the United States. Offered only in 12-ounce bottles, the cola’s sales were disappointing due largely to the inability of the RC bottling network to get distribution for the product in single-drink channels and it was quickly discontinued with the exceptions of Australia, New Zealand and France. It is now only available in New Zealand. The company has also released Cherry RC — a cherry flavoured version of the RC soft drink — to compete with Coca-Cola Cherry and Pepsi Wild Cherry.
In October 2000, Royal Crown was acquired by Cadbury Schweppes plc through its acquisition of Snapple. Royal Crown operations were folded into Dr Pepper/Seven Up, Inc., a former subsidiary of Cadbury Schweppes. In 2001, all international RC-branded business were sold to Cott Beverages of Mississauga, Ontario, Canada, and is operated as Royal Crown Cola International which handles RC Cola products outside the United States. In the U.S., distribution is still handled by Dr Pepper Snapple Group.
The RC Cola brand has been marketed through many campaigns. In the 1930s, Alex Osborn, with BBDO, made them an ad campaign, in which was included the following slogan: “The season’s best.” The 1940s featured a magazine advertising campaign with actress Lizabeth Scott as the face, next to the slogan “RC tastes best, says Lizabeth Scott”. In the 1960s, Royal Crown Cola did an ad campaign featuring two birds, made by Jim Henson. Nancy Sinatra was featured in two Royal Crown Cola commercials in her one hour special called “Movin’ with Nancy” featuring various singers in November 1967. She sang, “It’s a mad, mad, mad Cola… RC the one with the mad, mad taste!…RC! ” The company was the official sponsor of New York Mets off and on at times during the 1960s, 70s and 80s. A television commercial in the New York area featured Tom Seaver, New York Mets pitcher, and his wife, Nancy, dancing on top of a dugout at Shea Stadium and singing the same tune from the Sinatra campaign. In the mid 1970s, Royal Crown ran the “Me & My RC” advertisements, the most famous commercial of which featured actress Sharon Stone delivering pizza on a skateboard. Others featured people in a variety of scenic outdoor locations. The jingle, sung by Louise Mandrell, which went, “Me and my RC / Me and my RC /’Cause what’s good enough / For other folks / Ain’t good enough for me.” RC was introduced to Israel in 1995 with the slogan “RC: Just like in America!”
Text from Wikipedia