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Coke Wants World To Sing Anew

"I'd like to teach the world to sing." Remember that jingle?

Well, as CBS News Correspondent Joie Chen reports, Coca-Cola is hoping that old classic will help jumpstart a new brand.

If you're old enough, odds are that's one Coke song you'll never get out of your head.

Thirty-four years ago, a 60-second spot shot on an Italian hillside, with a cast of embassy workers in costume, lip-synching to a British pop band, became an advertising legend. It was known as "Hilltop," because of its location.

The song shot up the charts. Fans wrote hundreds of thousands of letters.

Even its creators were taken by surprise.

"Every age liked it," recalls Harvey Gabor, art director for 1971 commercial. "Grandmas sang it. People were singing it in the office. And kids liked it."

Everybody knew the song, whose lyrics were, in part, "I'd like to teach the world to sing in perfect harmony. I'd like to buy the world a Coke and keep it company."

It wasn't just a catchy tune.

"For a kid who looked like me at that time," reflects Chen, who is Asian-American, "the spot was something of a breakthrough. Remember: It was 1971, and what you didn't see a whole lot of on TV were kids who looked like me."

Gabor insists they weren't trying to be politically correct: They were just trying to hit the right note for a worldwide product.

And it worked.

"It didn't start out as, 'This is it!' It was just another spot that hit a nerve, and if you could produce it, you'd bottle it," Gabor says.

Even today, Coke executives are in awe.