Last updated on March 12th, 2015 at 12:57 pm
A design so distinctive that it could be recognized by touch alone and so unique that it could be identified when shattered on the ground. This was the vision for the Coca-Cola bottle, which turns 100 this year.
To mark the milestone, The Coca-Cola Co. is celebrating with a yearlong campaign that includes new advertising, a musical anthem and a series of art exhibits featuring works from some of the world’s leading contemporary artists, including Andy Warhol, Norman Rockwell and Peter Blake.
Born on Nov. 16, 1915, the Coca-Cola bottle was the creation of the Root Glass Co. in Terre Haute, Indiana. With its unmistakable curves and a distinctive contour, the bottle has become a global icon, inspiring a century’s worth of signature moments in film, social history, design and the fine arts, according to Coca-Cola.
The contour Coca-Cola bottle was designed by Earl R. Dean.
“I (grew) up hearing my father telling me the story, which was told to him by his father, of the hours leading up to the first iconic bottle prototype,” Earl’s grandson, Jeff Dean, tells The Shelby Report.
Jeff, in fact, several years ago created a website honoring his grandfather and the contour bottle design.
“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 at The Coca-Cola Co. “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 Coke Bottle 100 campaign will come to life through a number of elements, including:
• The Coca-Cola Bottle: An American Icon at 100—Art exhibition at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, Georgia;
• The Coca-Cola Bottle: Inspiring Pop Culture for 100 Years—Traveling art tour;
• 14 new television and digital films;
• Kissed By—Out-of-home and print campaign featuring iconic celebrities;
• Nobody Like You—New music anthem from emerging artist Francesco Yates;
• Kiss The Past Hello—A book published by Assouline that features classic and contemporary images of the bottle; and
• Story of the Coca-Cola Bottle app—Interactive journey for consumers through the Coca-Cola archives in Atlanta.
The High Museum of Art, in collaboration with The Coca-Cola Co., will present “The Coca-Cola Bottle: An American Icon at 100,” a four-part exhibit that will salute 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 ever, two original Andy Warhol Coke bottle paintings will be displayed alongside more than 100 original bottle-inspired artworks and photographs. The exhibit also will include original bottle prototypes and sketches and is open to the public through Oct. 4.
A traveling art exhibition, “The Coca-Cola Bottle Art Tour: Inspiring Pop Culture for 100 Years,” will take consumers on a unique, multi-sensory journey featuring an array of Coca-Cola bottle-themed art, historical artifacts and interactive experiences that showcase the Coca-Cola bottle’s role in art and popular culture. The exhibition will visit more than 15 countries and travel 62,000 miles around the world in 2015.
The Coca-Cola bottle’s legacy will be explored through film in 14 unique television and digital films that will be aired globally in 2015. One spot from Ogilvy & Mather Paris tells the epic tale of the creation of the Coca-Cola bottle, as narrated by a big brother to his younger sibling. The bottle travels through distant lands and curious settings, captivating the boy’s imagination. It is through this journey that the bottle obtains its unique features—its iconic curves, its flutes and red ribbon—and gets filled with icy-cold Coca-Cola as it ends its ride back in the hands of the refreshed older brother. The additional spots were produced by Ogilvy & Mather Paris, Wieden + Kennedy Portland, Sid Lee Canada and McCann Madrid.
“Nobody Like You” is the new musical anthem for the Coca-Cola bottle campaign from 19-year-old Canadian singer/songwriter Francesco Yates. Originally discovered at age 16, Yates is now signed to Atlantic Records. The anthem’s lyrics tell both a traditional love story and serve as an ode to the contour shape of the Coca-Cola bottle and the specialness of shared moments. “Nobody Like You” is available via digital download. The song also will appear on radio and in Coca-Cola television commercials throughout 2015.
Iconic pop stars and notable Coca-Cola fans Marilyn Monroe, Elvis Presley and Ray Charles unite in the new “Kissed By” global out-of-home, digital and retail campaign. The images feature the stars being “kissed by” the Coca-Cola bottle, an experience shared across generations for the last 100 years. Between takes at RCA Victor’s Studio 1 on East 24th Street in New York City, American musician Elvis Presley laughs as he drinks a Coca-Cola on July 2, 1956. At the recording session, Presley and his band recorded both “Hound Dog” and “Don’t Be Cruel.” Throughout the year, local markets will further leverage “Kissed By” featuring modern-day celebrities and musical icons.
Coca-Cola, in partnership with French publishing house Assouline, will release a limited-edition book highlighting the rich history of the Coca-Cola bottle, titled “Kiss the Past Hello.” In addition to famous artwork featuring the Coca-Cola bottle, The Coca-Cola Co. invited contemporary artists and designers from around the world to reinterpret the bottle in their own signature aesthetic. The result, Coca-Cola says, is a stunning array of “mash-up” artwork, which will be showcased in the book when it is released this month.
To share its rich heritage with consumers in a contemporary way, Coca-Cola has created an interactive journey through the Story of the Coca-Cola Bottle app that takes guests through a behind-the-scenes look at the company’s archives featuring stories about both the brand and the bottle from inside Coca-Cola’s headquarters in Atlanta. The free app will be available in both Apple and Android formats.
Throughout the year, Coca-Cola Journey will act as a hub for all centennial celebration content, providing a single destination for consumers to experience the campaign.