First and foremost, we would like to take this opportunity to express our sincere gratitude to Coca-Cola Malaysia. Words simply cannot express how grateful we are to be bestowed with this exclusive experience of going to Atlanta, USA for the Event of Springtime Coca-Cola.
Passion of the USA Collector
The first and most astonishing impression that the Atlanta Collectors Meeting gave us was how amiable and courteous the people there are. The warm welcome that we received from the local collectors instantly made us feel that we were part of the family.
We met numerous pioneer collectors, who are the first generation of Coca-Cola Collectors in the world. Their unique collection varies from that of the other overseas collectors. Most of them started this unique hobby at a young age. They prefer to collect vintage Coca-Cola items like returned bottles, Coca-Cola stationary, calendars, signage and so on. On top of that, they have an enormous bottle collection, said to be a staggering few thousand units in their store. Added to this, we also noticed that “Tin” is not their favorite category.
In view of their extraordinary childhood memories, it is sensible to hypothesize that these rare gifts paved the way to who they are today – U.S. collectors.
Furthermore, some collectors even told us that they drink at least one can of Coca-Cola every day as this is part of their lifestyle. They connote the idea that “Coca-Cola” is more than an ordinary soda. The club members conducted some captivating programs such as a silent auction, night room hopping and a lot of lucky drawings during the event. All of these activities required cohesive teamwork. They exuded their team spirit and worked in close collaboration with the Coca-Cola committee members to ensure the smoothness and success of the event.
We loved to converse with them as they would generously share their "know-how" skill in this hobby such as ways to find their valued collection during the pre-internet era and tips to win items in silent auctions, etc.
In those days, they needed to seek for the “right person” when searching for Coca-Cola bottles/collectibles. Thus, collector meetings were vitally important to serve as a platform to build their network. At times, they might've needed to travel a few hundred miles in order to obtain what they desire. This molded them to become persevering collectors.
On the contrary, the approach is totally different with the contemporary collectors of this decade. Nowadays, people can easily obtain their collectibles at the right price from the internet.
We reveled in the Room Hopping activity tremendously. We visited the collectors’ room during free times as long as the door was opened. They welcomed everyone with open arms.
We had the opportunity to have a rare glimpse of the vintage collectibles as well as having a great time to chit chat with them. Besides, we also got to exchange ideas and share information about the attributes of collectors in Asia. We made a lot of new friends from USA, Spain, Japan, Belgium, France and we received some valuable gifts like books and bottles.
We were instilled with the knowledge of the origins of the Coca-Cola collectors in Atlanta, who are the first generation of collectors. Most of them are very earnest, heedful, friendly and helpful; we really had a wonderful moment with them. We noticed that most of the collectors are of the baby boomer generation and usually retired. They are very dedicated and selfless people who have much contributed to the event. Their lives as Coca-Cola collectors range from a startling 30 to 40 years.One thing we wanted to highlight was they are very close to each other; it is a great intangible asset - friendship. It is presumably one of the many reasons they are eager for this event.
Experience at Coca-Cola Headquarters
We were so compelled and honored to visit the Coca-Cola headquarters in Atlanta. We really thank Mr. Jamal & Mr. Robert for bringing us around and sharing stories of the Coca-Cola headquarters with us. Without them, we would not have gained the intriguing knowledge about the history of the Coca-Cola Company. During the HQ tour, we were told about the legacy of Mr. Robert Woodruff. He was a brilliant businessman who revolutionized the way the company operated. He was devoted to quality and strived to ensure that the drink was consistently prominent. He advocated keeping Coca-Cola within an “arms reach of desire.” To do so, Coca-Cola introduced a standard six-pack to make it easier to bring bottles home.
We were motivated by a short video about Mr. Robert Woodruff inside this Coca-Cola forefather’s office (picture at top of this post); it was like I had ridden on a time machine back to the beginning of the Coca-Cola Company. Mr. Woodruff's greatest contribution was his vision of Coca-Cola as a international product. Working with talented associates, he established the global momentum that eventually carried Coca-Cola to every corner of the world. His capabilities touched and inspired me.
Another astounding moment at
Coca-Cola HQ was the waving Malaysian flag in the hall of the headquarters, due to
the fact that we were the guests of the day. It made us feel so honored and
respected by the host. Nevertheless, we were humbled to take a photo with the distinguished
Coca-Cola Chairman Mr. Muhtar Kent before he gave his opening speech for
the FIFA World Cup Trophy Tour that made a stop at Coca-Cola.
Coca-Cola Archives - Headquarters Tour Part II
Coca-Cola touches the lives of millions of people each and every day. From special occasions to exceptional moments in everyday life, Coca-Cola is there. The brand has become a special part of people's lives.The majority of new Coca-Cola collectors that started this hobby might be attracted by the remarkable design & creative packaging of Coca-Cola items. Visual sensation is the key factor of the initiation of this Coca-Cola collecting hobby. We have an enthralling perception after this HQ tour; we are not only collecting beautiful bottles, but also treasure the value behind – 128-year-old stories.
A Stop at World of Coca-Cola
It was fun and gripping to visit the World of Coca-Cola. We took a lot of photos in the production room and also visited the imposing steel vault where Coca-Cola keeps the 128-year-old recipe that is bathed in red security lights. Several cameras monitor the area to make sure the fizzy formula stays a secret.
We managed to see some of the original classical artwork (Santa Claus) which the Coca-Cola Company used as a public figure in their calendar, packaging, posters, etc. We observed that each and every staff inside the World of Coca-Cola is very talented. They can sing and "act" in order to deliver happiness to every visitor. We could feel their happiness fluttering in the air.
At last, the tasting room at the end of the World of Coca-Cola tour has around 60 types of Coke flavors from around the world. I tasted 24 of them, skipping the ones that can often be found in Malaysia.
World of Coca-Cola is the biggest Coca-Cola collection in the world!This trip has been a riveting and indescribably memorable experience to us. Words simply cannot describe how electrifying and invaluable this tour has been. Last of all, we would like to, once again, express our deepest gratitude to Coca-Cola Malaysia for bestowing us with the exclusive opportunity that every Coke collector has always dreamed of. From probable to possible, this is really a dream come true to us.
More on Journey
- Innovation, Resilience Key to Coca-Cola Heritage in Japan
- Stepping Up to the Plate: When Coca-Cola Owned a Baseball Team… and Went to Bat for Atlanta’s First Integrated Sporting Event
- Coke Archivist Discovers Link with The Beatles
- Fighting for Civil Rights at the Soda Fountain
- A World of Stories: Behind the Scenes at the Coca-Cola Archives