Peter Sealey funded a professorship in marketing

Giving back to the future of marketing

Peter Sealey’s successful marketing career was highlighted by managing the Coca-Cola marketing team that came up with the company’s iconic polar bears commercials. His education began with a bachelor’s degree from the University of Florida, a Master’s degree from Yale University and a PhD from the Peter Drucker Graduate Center at Claremont Graduate University.

But his marketing career really began with a jar of Jif peanut butter.

In 1963, Sealey spent his summer away from Yale as an intern in Procter & Gamble’s Cincinnati office. He worked on the Jif peanut butter account and was challenged to redesign the label with a look that appealed more to adults. After a summer with the company, Sealey finalized the label design and returned to Yale for classes in the fall.

Six months later, he walked through the peanut butter aisle of the grocery store in New Haven, Conn. and came face-to-face with his design.

“I was blown away,” Sealey said. “That was my introduction to marketing. To see my work on a shelf in the grocery store made a huge impact on my life.”

After graduating from Yale, Sealey returned to Procter & Gamble for a full-time position as an assistant brand manager on the Jif account. Later, he moved to The Coca-Cola Company and began his ascent through the company. Over his 26 years with Coca-Cola, Sealey held senior positions in many business sectors, including soft drinks, wine and movies. Coca-Cola also owned Columbia Pictures, allowing Sealey to earn senior positions in the marketing of filmed entertainment.

He was appointed the company’s first Global Marketing Director in 1990. There are many career highlights that stand out to him – introducing Diet Coke to over 50 countries, marketing and distributing films like Karate Kid, Ghostbusters, Stand by Me and La Bamba – but his favorite will always be the “Always Coca-Cola” ad campaign. Sealey’s team created the campaign, including the beloved polar bears that the company still uses today.

“People would call our offices and ask when that commercial would air again so they could see it,” Sealey said. “I’m proud of the impact of that campaign.”

Throughout his career, Sealey always had the desire to give back. He found a way to do that at the Warrington College of Business by establishing a professorship in the marketing department to ensure students continue to learn about the field he loves.

“I believe marketing is a critical element of society,” Sealey said. “It facilitates the economy and helps people learn about new products. I believe deeply in it, and this professorship is a way to demonstrate that. I’ve had a lifetime desire to leave an imprint in the marketing field.”

Today, Sealey is retired and owns Sealey Mission Vineyard in Sonoma, Calif. The vineyard has existed since 1825 when padres at local missions in town planted them.