Brilliant Signs Dot Skylines of the World

They're called "spectaculars" — big, bold Coca-Cola® signs that proclaim refreshment to millions of passing consumers.

From New York to Tokyo, the spectaculars reflect the century-old Coca-Cola tradition of signature outdoor signage.

Painted Wall plaque on Young Brothers Pharmacy

The plaque on the wall of Young Brothers Pharmacy.

Photo by Jan Schneider.

The first big Coke sign appeared on the side of a building in Cartersville, Georgia in 1894. (It's still there today.) Soon after, similar wall paintings began to appear in other locales. Then, with the invention of neon lighting in 1923, outdoor advertising for Coca-Cola was transformed into something truly, well, spectacular.

Today's dramatic lighted signs may blink, revolve or swirl. Some pour a luminous ribbon of Coca-Cola from a giant bottle into a colossal fountain glass. All spectaculars use trademark emblems of Coke, typically accompanied by a refreshment message in the local language. Varied in design, size and shape, each spectacular is a well-known landmark in its own locale.

Neon Extravaganzas

When Frank Robinson, the Company's first bookkeeper, crafted the Spencerian script logo of Coca-Cola over a century ago, he could hardly have imagined that one day his penmanship would grace some of the world's most heavily traveled crossroads.

Coke Lore: Landmark Signs

  • On July 1, 2004, the Company introduced a new sign in New York's Times Square. The six-story digital display features 32 high-definition video screens, and is the first-of-its-kind ad sculpture. The sign will feature digital imagery promoting the Company's brands, as well as broadcasts of live events. The last Times Square sign, a dazzling, $3 million display featuring the world's largest Coca-Cola bottle, was on display for 13 years.
  • In September 2003, Coca-Cola Great Britain unveiled a 105-foot-wide sign in London's Piccadilly Circus. The three-ton display is Britain's largest permanent LED sign, with 774,144 pixels and 2.3 million elements. Special sensors allow it to adjust to the weather conditions, giving it a rippling effect on windy days and showing big rain drops on rainy days. It can also interact with people on the ground by recognizing color and movement in the crowd.
  •  In May 2003, a Coca-Cola neon spectacular was added to the skyline of downtown Atlanta, GA. The retro sign replaced a series of Coke signs in Atlanta for nearly 50 years. The Atlanta sign features the Coca-Cola script, the time and temperature, and more than a mile of red neon. More than 25,000 feet of wiring keep the sign running -- that's longer than 80 football fields.
  • 350,000 people a day view the Coke spectacular in Tokyo's Ginza shopping district. Measuring 28.3 by 15 meters, it has more light sources per square foot than any other Coca-Cola sign.
  • Hundreds of thousands of Belgian pedestrians and motorists see our spectacular each day at Place de Brockhere in Brussels.
  • In the much traveled Clifton area of Karachi, Pakistan, a mega-flex spectacular measuring 18 by 6 meters is seen by huge crowds every day.
  • In Vietnam, between Tan Son Nhat International Airport and the heart of Ho Chi Minh City, the Coca-Cola spectacular lights up every 15 seconds. It's one of the country's biggest advertisements.
  • The revolving Coca-Cola sphere near JR Nagoya railway station in Nagoya, Japan, contains 46 tons of steel and towers 57 meters above the street.
  • Railroad commuters in Kowloon, China, are well acquainted with the giant "Coca-Cola Light Box" near Mong Kok Station. Its surface area is 437 square feet.
  • The massive spectacular on central Taiwan's main highway is visible from two kilometers away. A recent graphics change took eight workers a full week to complete.

Paintings and Sculptures, Too

Not all big Coca-Cola signs feature neon lighting. Some of the most interesting signs use other media.

Adorning the world's tallest bottling plant in Shatin, China, is a painted sign covering nearly 3,300 square meters. It's one of the most recognized sights in the area.

In Kota Kinabula, Malaysia, hand-drawn Coca-Cola billboards by a master Malaysian artist are artistic attractions as well as landmarks.

In Macau and Zhuhai, China, the best-known Coca-Cola signs are freestanding concrete sculptures of the contour bottle. Weighing 500 pounds, they stand 1.8 meters high. The sculptures continue a tradition started more than 50 years ago by the local bottler who tired of repairing regular signs after typhoon damage.

From huge illuminated spectaculars to small storefront placards, Coca-Cola signslike Coca-Cola itself-can make any place in the world feel like home.