A pharmacist’s secret formula gave Coca-Cola the beverage its distinctively delicious taste. A few decades later, a glass company’s bottle design gave Coca-Cola the brand its signature curves.
In 1915, Coca-Cola attempted to fend off a host of copycat brands by strengthening its trademark. The company and its bottling partners issued a creative challenge to a handful of US glass companies: To develop a “bottle so distinct that you would recognise it by feel in the dark or lying broken on the ground.” The Root Glass Company of Terre Haute, Indiana USA, developed the winning design, mimicking the elongated contour shape and distinct ribs of a cocoa bean. The bottle was patented on Nov. 16, 1915 and has since inspired a century’s worth of signature moments in film, social history, design and fine arts.
Coca-Cola is celebrating the centennial of its proprietary package in 2015 with a year-long campaign that includes new advertising, a music anthem and a series of art exhibits featuring works from leading contemporary artists including Andy Warhol, Norman Rockwell and Peter Blake.
“Since its creation in 1915, the Coca-Cola bottle has achieved iconic status as a symbol of refreshment and uplift and it remains an important asset for our business today,” said Marcos de Quinto, Chief Marketing Officer, Coca-Cola. “The campaign, which will be executed in over 130 countries, is our invitation to consumers around the world to share in the specialness of an ice-cold Coca-Cola.”
The campaign kicked off in February with the opening of a new exhibit at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, Georgia, USA. The Coca-Cola Bottle: An American Icon at 100, which opened Feb. 28 and runs through Oct. 4, salutes the Coca-Cola bottle and its special place in the worlds of art, design and commerce over the past 100 years. For the first time, two original Andy Warhol Coke bottle paintings will be displayed alongside more than 100 original artworks and photographs featuring the bottle. The exhibit will also include original bottle prototypes and sketches.
Coca-Cola, in partnership with French publishing house Assouline, will release a limited-edition book highlighting the rich history of the Coca-Cola bottle, Kiss the Past Hello. In addition to famous artwork featuring the Coca-Cola bottle, the company invited contemporary artists and designers from around the world to reinterpret the bottle in their own signature aesthetic. The result is a stunning array of “mash-up” artwork, which will be showcased in the book when it is released in March 2015.