One of the first e-mails I received this morning included a link to an obituary for Bill Backer. As I read the story, I was sad for his passing. I felt that one of my last links to an era of Coca-Cola advertising was gone. But I was also very appreciative of all that Mr. Backer (I never could get myself to call him “Bill”) taught me over the years.
I first met Backer and Billy Davis (music director for McCann) as I was writing the history of Coke’s
In their first interview together since the classic Coca-Cola ad was filmed in Italy more than 40 years ago, Linda Neary and Marie-Louise Windeler recount their unique experience of acting for the first time and share some personal memories from the making of one of the world’s most recognized commercials during a recent visit to Coke's London offices.What were you doing in Italy, before you were scouted for the ‘Hilltop’ advert?LN: I was working
For more than four decades, the Coca-Cola commercial known
as “Hilltop” has been regarded as one of the most iconic pieces of advertising
of all time. Last night, the 1971 spot reentered the pop culture conversation
when it was featured during the final scene of the final episode of one of history's most celebrated TV shows.The AMC series ended
its seven-season run Sunday night with Don Draper meditating at a spiritual retreat on the California
Harvey Gabor, an advertising legend best known as the art director for Coca-Cola’s 1971 commercial, “Hilltop,” visited Coke’s global headquarters in November 2012 to discuss the making of the iconic spot – and how his wish to “buy the world a Coke” came true four decades later through an award-winning project with Google.
Gabor almost didn’t get the chance to work on “Hilltop.” One of the two previous Coke ads he developed, an unpopular spot titled
"I'd Like to Buy the World a Coke" had its origins on January 18, 1971, in a London fog.
Bill Backer, creative director on the Coca-Cola account for the McCann Erickson advertising agency, was flying to London to meet up with Billy Davis, the music director on the Coca-Cola account, to write radio commercials with two successful British songwriters, Roger Cook and Roger Greenaway, to be recorded by the New Seekers, a popular British singing