1978 Fresca

1978 UK & Ireland commercial for Fresca.

Fresca is a brand of citrus diet soft drink made by The Coca-Cola Company. First introduced in the United States in 1966, the drink is now sold throughout the world, although it is not widely available outside of North America. Unlike other Coke products, it does not have a Pepsi equivalent (although in many markets, Pepsico licenses, produces and distributes “Diet Squirt,” a very similar beverage owned by the Dr Pepper Snapple Group).

Fresca means “fresh” (feminine form) in Portuguese, Spanish and Italian.


Since its introduction in 1966, Fresca has been marketed in the United States as a calorie-free, grapefruit-flavored soft drink, ostensibly catering to discriminating adult tastes. In ads it was described as an “imitation, citrus-flavored, artificially sweetened dietary beverage”. Fresca underwent several major ingredient changes since its introduction. The drink was originally sweetened with cyclamates, which were banned by the FDA in 1969, and the banned ingredient was replaced with saccharin. However, in 1985, the saccharin was replaced by NutraSweet-brand aspartame. More recently, around the time of the 2005 redesign, acesulfame potassium was added as a secondary sweetener.


1978 Birds Dream Topping

1978 Birds Dream Topping advert from the UK

The ingredients for this “dessert topping mix with sweetener” from Kraft Foods read like a chemistry textbook, but Kraft craftily makes use of a somewhat ersatz formulation: “Contains a source of phenylalanine for vegetarians,” the label says. Look up phenylalanine – is it a warning or a recommendation? – and it turns out to be both. Phenylalanine is a constituent of the controversial artificial sweetener, aspartame. But it’s a good one; an essential amino acid that can’t be made by the body and needs to be supplied in the diet. So good old Dream Topping is good for you. Sort of.

1978 Polaroid 1000

1978 Polaroid 1000 commercial.

Alongside the ‘prosumer’ range of folding SLRs, Polaroid released a large number of plastic bodied, non-folding consumer cameras that used the SX-70 integral film. There were several lines that varied in the type and amount of features they offered, but fall into three distinct categories differentiated by the method of focusing:

  • Fixed focus – Generally known (in the US) as OneStep models
  • Zone-focused – Generally known (in the US) as Pronto! models; e.g. Pronto RF
  • Sonar Autofocus – Labelled as both Pronto! and OneStep models, but usually with an AF or Sonar moniker.