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The Business Beginnings of Toyota Motor Corporation (ADR) (TM), United Parcel Service, Inc. (UPS), and PepsiCo, Inc. (PEP)

By this point, total annual radio advertising expenditures had grown to $456 million in the U.S., but another, more engaging medium was already pushing past it: Television advertising, which had only begun in 1941, was already driving $681 million in annual expenditures by 1955.

In 2012, 90 years after that first long, long ad, total radio ad spending had risen to $14.3 billion. That trails far behind television ad spending, which generated an estimated $350 billion in revenue over the same time frame.

A cola by any other name would taste as sweet (but sell much worse)
The drink (and company) you know as PepsiCo, Inc. (NYSE:PEP) almost never made it. Part of the reason is that its original name was simply awful: Inventor Caleb Bradham, since developing the soft drink’s formulation in 1893, had taken to calling his concoction “Brad’s Drink.” Finally, on Aug. 28, 1898, Bradham realized that this name might not be the promotional dynamite he was looking for, and the drink — consisting of carbonated water, sugar, vanilla, kola nuts, and pepsin — was renamed “Pepsi-Cola.” The new name and logo convinced local consumers near Bradham’s North Carolina pharmacy to give it a try, and once they tried it, they found they liked it. PepsiCo, Inc. (NYSE:PEP)-Cola was on its way to consumer greatness.

Bradham incorporated the first PepsiCo, Inc. (NYSE:PEP)-Cola in 1902 and applied for a trademark the same year. It was granted a year later, and by this point Pepsi-Cola was much bigger than Bradham’s pharmacy — the company sold nearly 8,000 gallons of syrup that year. In 1904, sales more than doubled to nearly 20,000 gallons. Bradham’s marketing savvy wasn’t enough to stave off bankruptcy, but despite a 1923 failure resulting from bad bets on the price of sugar, the company was acquired from its founder, and it continued to grow until 1931. That year, it fell into bankruptcy again but was saved from the dustbin of business history by Charles Guth, who helped create the PepsiCo, Inc. (NYSE:PEP) you know — and might be invested in today. Click here to read more about the origins of the present-day PepsiCo.

The article The Business Beginnings of Toyota, UPS, and Pepsi originally appeared on and is written by Alex Planes.

Fool contributor Alex Planes holds no financial position in any company mentioned here. Add him on Google+ or follow him on Twitter @TMFBiggles for more insight into markets, history, and technology.The Motley Fool recommends Ford, PepsiCo, and United Parcel Service. The Motley Fool owns shares of Ford and PepsiCo.

Copyright © 1995 – 2013 The Motley Fool, LLC. All rights reserved. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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