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‘Pop’ Culture: Photography Books Celebrate Coke’s Rich History With Film, Music and Sports

By:  Jay Moye Dec 13, 2013
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Last-minute holiday shoppers, Coca-Cola fans and pop-culture junkies: this one’s for you.

A new set of photography books published by Assouline illustrates the indelible link Coca-Cola shares with the worlds of film, music and sports.

Coca-Cola: Film, Music and Sports captures the brand’s consistent presence over the years -- on the set, stage, screen and court -- through stunning, full-bleed photographs and forwards authored by famed director Ridley Scott, music mogul Quincy Jones and basketball great LeBron James.

“These books are possible because Coke and pop culture go together so beautifully,” said Ted Ryan, Coca-Cola’s head archivist. “This ubiquitous brand is ingrained in the cultural landscape and in the daily lives of the icons of music, movies and sports to the effect that it’s part of their natural surroundings. These photographs and essays celebrate that.”

Jones, pop star Joe Jonas and 80’s movie icon Molly Ringwald joined other celebrities and special guests last week in Los Angeles to celebrate the launch of the set, the latest in Assouline’s popular Memorie collection of coffee table-style books.

The three-volume set includes more than 130 images -- some posed or scripted, others more candid or editorial in nature -- from Marilyn Monroe sipping a Coke during a photo shoot for the 1953 film Gentleman Prefer Blondes, to Michael Jordan appearing in a 1991 Coca-Cola ad, to James Brown enjoying a Coke with fellow musicians. The photographs present a visual narrative of the brand’s rich history.

“We didn’t want to use clichéd images… we wanted to create a very well-curated look,” explains Esther Kremer, editorial director at Assouline. “Each photo is a work of art that reaches so many people on so many levels, and can be revisited time and time again. Few brands have the mutigenerational, multicultural appeal Coca-Cola has.”

Assouline -- which also produced a 2010 book of photos and ads commemorating the 125th anniversary of Coca-Cola -- spent about a year selecting and securing the images that eventually made it into Coca-Cola: Film, Music and Sports. Most photos were sourced from Coke’s extensive archives.

“We had so much content around these three areas that we couldn’t incorporate into the 125th anniversary book,” explains Kate Dwyer, Coke’s group director of worldwide licensing, “so we saw the opportunity to carry the theme forward in a second collection.”

Coca-Cola: Film, Music and Sports can be purchased online at Assouline.com and in select boutiques around the world. A limited edition set in a custom-molded, hand-polished slipcase resembling an ice cube is also available exclusively on Assouline.com.