I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing (in Perfect Harmony)” is a popular song which originated as the jingle “Buy the World a Coke” in the groundbreaking 1971 “Hilltop” television commercial for Coca-Cola.
“Buy the World a Coke” was produced by Billy Davis and portrayed a positive message of hope and love sung by a multicultural collection of teenagers on the top of a hill. “Buy the World a Coke” repeated “It’s the real thing” as Coca-Cola’s marketing theme at the time.
The popularity of the jingle led to it being re-recorded by The New Seekers and by The Hillside Singers as a full-length song, dropping references to Coca-Cola. The song became a hit record in the US and the UK.
The idea originally came to an advertising executive named Bill Backer, who was working for McCann-Erickson — the agency responsible for Coca-Cola. Backer, Roger Cook and Billy Davis were delayed at Shannon Airport in Ireland. After a forced layover with many hot tempers, they noticed their fellow travellers the next morning were talking and joking while drinking Coca-Cola.
Backer wrote the line “I’d like to buy the world a Coke” on a napkin and shared it with British hit songwriters Cook and Roger Greenaway. The melody was derived from a jingle by Cook and Greenaway originally called “True Love and Apple Pie” written by Rose Malka Freidman.
A version of the song was rerecorded by Susan Shirley and released in 1971. Cook, Greenaway, Backer, and Billy Davis reworked the song and recorded it as a Coca-Cola radio commercial. (source Wikipedia)