The First Coupon

First coupon

Interesting Facts in Easy English

Pre-Listening Vocabulary

  • coupon: a discount ticket for a product or service
  • exhilarate: to fill with excitement
  • invigorate: to fill with energy or life
  • fountain drink: a beverage served from a tap; usually made with syrup and water
  • market: to promote and sell a product or service
  • offset: to balance out a loss; to counteract
  • distribute: to give out to many people
  • scan: to transmit an image using a beam of light

The First Coupon

In 1887, an American pharmacist named John Pemberton began handing out for a free sample of his new secret invention, a medicinal drink called Coca-Cola. The first ad for Coca-Cola described the drink as Delicious! ! Exhilarating! and Invigorating! Without the coupon, a glass of Coca-Cola sold for five cents. A year later, Pemberton sold the recipe to a businessman named Asa Candler. Candler loved the marketing idea of the coupon, and began distributing thousands of tickets for a free fountain drink of Coca-Cola. Some coupons were placed in and others were sent to people’s homes or handed out on the street. Soda fountain sellers were given free syrup to offset the coupons. The coupon campaign was a as were many of Candler’s other marketing ideas. Soon after the Coco-Cola coupon campaign, C. W. Post began using 1 cent coupons to sell his cereals. Today, print and electronic coupons save people money on everything from toothpaste to computers. While some people still clip coupons from flyers and newspapers, others use smart phones to scan discount codes at the checkout.

Comprehension Questions

  1. Who was John Pemberton?
  2. What words were used to describe Pemberton’s new drink in 1887?
  3. Why did the new owner of Coca-Cola give soda drink sellers free syrup?

Discussion Question: Does coupon clipping save consumers money or make them buy things they don’t need?

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