Coke_cooler_at_the_ford_libraryWith the U.S. presidential election nearing, I’ve been thinking about Coke’s relationship with politics. I’ve mentioned some of the presidents who liked to drink Coke.

While we love that leaders drink Coke and our other products, we have other ties to politics. First, if you remember “new Coke,” when we introduced a new taste for Coca-Cola in 1985, you may also remember ads featuring a computer-generated character named Max Headroom.

In 1988, when Headroom helped us advertise Coca-Cola (what people called “new Coke”), he ran for president. Ads had the “candidate” saying, “This election is in the can.”

Coke_republican_convention_coolerAside from our ads, there also is a special area of Coca-Cola collecting related to political pieces. I know a lot of collectors who have a political-themed Coke set of stuffed animals (an elephant and a donkey) and many who have – or covet – commemorative bottles from the different political conventions or events.

There is a even a special Coca-Cola bottle honoring the May 11, 2002, grand opening of Plains (Georgia) Inn & Antiques, featuring former President Jimmy Carter’s photo.

I’ve just learned of a great collectible on display at the Gerald Ford Presidential Library. The intern who worked with us this summer, Angelique Richardson, toured the library and took these photos for me.

The Coke cooler from the 1952 Republican Convention, seen among the political hats and pins, is a really neat item and very rare. Though I doubt the Library plans to sell it, the cooler would probably bring at least $1,000 at auction.

Do you have a favorite Coke campaign piece?