The product that has given the world its best-known taste was born in Atlanta, Georgia, on May 8, 1886. Dr. John Stith Pemberton, a local pharmacist, produced the syrup for Coca-Cola®, and carried a jug of the new product down the street to Jacobs' Pharmacy, where it was sampled, pronounced "excellent" and placed on sale for five cents a glass as a soda fountain drink. Carbonated water was teamed with the new syrup to produce a drink that was at once "Delicious and Refreshing," a theme that continues to echo today wherever Coca-Cola is enjoyed. Thinking that "the two Cs would look well in advertising," Dr. Pemberton's partner and bookkeeper, Frank M. Robinson, suggested the name and penned the now famous trademark "Coca-Cola" in his unique script. The first newspaper ad for Coca-Cola soon appeared in The Atlanta Journal, inviting thirsty citizens to try "the new and popular soda fountain drink." Hand-painted oilcloth signs reading "Coca-Cola" appeared on store awnings, with the suggestion "Drink" added to inform passersby that the new beverage was for soda fountain refreshment. During the first year, sales averaged a modest nine drinks per day. Dr. Pemberton never realized the potential of the beverage he created. He gradually sold portions of his business to various partners and, just prior to his death in 1888, sold his remaining interest in Coca-Cola to Asa G. Candler. An Atlantan with great business acumen, Mr. Candler proceeded to buy additional rights and acquire complete control. Learn the rest of the history by selecting another chapter below:The Chronicle of Coca-ColaThe Candler EraA Man Named WoodruffA Symbol of FriendshipMoving with the TimesA Global BusinessMore Stories About the History of Coca-ColaA Look at the Cultural History of Coca-ColaAn Iconic Sign Returns to Downtown Atlanta5 Things You Never Knew About Santa Claus (and Coke)Famous Coca-Cola Advertising Slogans Over the YearsThe History of Spectacular Outdoor AdsThe Surprising History of the Sprite BoyFamous Artists Who Worked With Coca-ColaThe Making of 'I'd Like to Buy the World a Coke'The Evolution of the Coca-Cola Logo and TrademarkThe Long History of Polar Bears in Coca-Cola Advertising The Missing Normal Rockwell PaintingsCelebrating 100th Anniversary of Times Square With a SignGetting People to Try Coca-Cola in the 1980s
I wanted to share a video with you that provides a great overview of the history of The Coca-Cola Company. The video has an interesting history itself. It was originally produced in Russia as part of a 30 minute television special called In Search of the Secret Formula. That program was created to introduce Coca-Cola to the Russian market. We liked the video so much that I had it translated to English and used it as an introduction to the World of Coca-Cola in Atlanta. Even though it is more than 10 years old, the interesting animation style and enduring story are still interesting.
Coca-Cola collectors, bloggers and employees from Singapore and Malaysia recently were treated to an exclusive meet-and-greet session with Ted Ryan, Coke’s director of heritage communications. Ryan hosted a breakfast at the Shangri-La Hotel in Singapore to showcase several Coca-Cola collectibles, including a Coca-Cola yo-yo set from the 1980s and a replica of the first Coca-Cola six-pack carton from 1923, as well as ads in Singapore from the 1950s created in different languages to reach the country's diverse population. The April 13 session kicked off with an interactive quiz, which educated attendees about iconic milestones in the brand’s history, such as the years Coca-Cola launched into space and the Coca-Cola Polar Bear made its debut. Prizes ranged from Coca-Cola puzzle sets to vintage Coca-Cola straw holders, specially shipped from the Coca-Cola Store in Atlanta. Ryan also explored the company’s longstanding commitment to promoting active, healthy lifestyles, showing an old Coca-Cola ad featuring a cyclist, the brand’s first celebrity sportsperson. Ryan also walked the audience through product and package innovations through the years, noting how the company has expanded its portfolio from a single beverage in a single package, to more than 3,500 choices worldwide.The highlight of the session was a charity auction, where attendees bid on Coca-Cola collectibles such as vintage Coca-Cola thermostats, original Coca-Cola calendars from the 1970s and an unopened Coca-Cola centennial coffee-table book. An original piece of sheet music from the first Coca-Cola radio show in 1927 drew the highest bid. Proceeds from the auction went to the Singapore Red Cross (SRC), with Coca-Cola Singapore matching dollar for dollar for a total contribution of SGD1,300 ($1,050). The money will support the SRC’s Food Aid Program. Coca-Cola Singapore organizes gatherings with Coca-Cola collectors and bloggers at least once a year. “It was great that Coca-Cola Singapore was able to make this event possible,” said Kannie Yeo, president, Singapore Coca-Cola Collectors Club. “Having enthusiastic Singapore Coke Collectors meeting up with Ted was an unforgettable moment. We learned more about the history and heritage of Coca-Cola... there is always something new to learn.” Coca-Cola has had a long-term relationship with the SRC, founded in 1917. During World War I, Coca-Cola supported Red Cross fundraising campaigns. The company works with the Red Cross and Red Crescent in more than 50 countries globally. “The Red Cross has an enduring partnership with Coca-Cola, both globally and locally,” said Chris Tan, head of fundraising, SRC. “Personally, it was exciting to have had a glimpse of the company’s merchandize evolution over the years. The fundraising auction is a wonderful extension of our collaboration. We look forward to continuing our rapport with Coca-Cola, to bring greater service to vulnerable people.” In November 2011, Coca-Cola Singapore and the Singapore Red Cross Society announced a partnership to promote blood donation in Singapore. “Meeting these collectors and getting to experience their passion for everything Coca-Cola made for an inspiring morning,” said Ryan, who blogged about his trip on Coca-Cola Conversations. “It was a pleasure to contribute the items for the auction to raise money for the Red Cross, but the enthusiasm of the people was contagious and will be the memory I take away from my day in Singapore.” Watch TV coverage of the session here and here, and read a local blogger’s report here.More Stories for CollectorsBringing History to Life: The Art of ConservationArchivist Phil Mooney Reflects on 35 Years of Preserving Coke's History and Helping Shape it's FutureCoca-Cola Collectors ClubInformation for CollectorsA Collector's Perspective
On April 23, 1985 – 28 years ago today – Coca-Cola made the now-infamous decision to replace the secret formula of its flagship brand. The New Coke introduction, which critics called the business blunder of the century and cynics declared an unintended stroke of marketing genius, unleashed an avalanche of calls, letters, protests and bad press. Extensive research leading up to the launch showed that consumers preferred the taste of New Coke. But what the tests didn't reveal was the emotional bond consumers felt with their Coca-Cola. Loyalist clubs and protest groups formed almost overnight, and consumers from coast to coast hoarded and even scalped cases of “old” Coke. “The passion for original Coke was something that just flat caught us by surprise,” Don Keough, then president and chief operating officer of The Coca-Cola Company, humbly admitted during a press conference announcing the return of the “classic” formula just 79 days after New Coke’s debut. Sales of the original Coca-Cola surged in the months to follow, restoring the brand as the frontrunner in the ongoing cola wars and affirming a truth countless marketers continue to learn and relearn in the social media era – that consumers, not companies, own the world’s most cherished brands. In February, Maker’s Mark became the latest brand to reverse course following consumer backlash, backpedaling on a decision to reduce the alcohol content of its bourbon. The news got us thinking: What if New Coke had launched in 2013 instead of 1985? How would consumers’ reaction – and the company’s subsequent response – have manifested in the digital domain? We pitched these hypothetical questions and more to Michael Bassik, managing director of Burson-Marsteller’s U.S. digital PR and communications practice. Here’s what he had to say: The New Coke introduction and retraction remains a case study in brand loyalty. Has social media given consumers even more ownership of brands? The old adage, “the customer is always right,” still rings true. The ability for customers to influence corporate decision making has increased ten-fold over the past decade. Companies now are much more likely to listen and respond to consumer complaints, and consumers are significantly more likely to complain when they’re unhappy. Consumers are more empowered by technology and social media, but also by the companies who realize they are having conversations and expressing their support and discontent online. Social media communities represent the world’s most valuable focus groups. And for the first time in history, companies can engage directly with anyone, anytime and anywhere. We’ve gradually seen a departure from what we call “high-touch” protests: in-person demonstrations, letter-writing campaigns, phone calls and the like. In their place, we’re seeing an embrace of digital and social media to register support or discontent with a product or service. In the past, the barriers to protest were steep; you had to write, address, stamp and mail a letter, or pick up the phone and call someone. Today these barriers have nearly vanished. You can walk down the street and make a call from your cell phone, or sit at your desk and click the “like” button or send out a tweet. Many define this era of protest as “slactivism” because it requires a lot less effort. Coke’s response in ‘85 was decidedly old-school, yet effective, with top executives holding a high-profile press conference announcing the return of “classic” Coca-Cola. In your opinion, what would the company’s reaction look like today? We’re now in an era of “and” instead of “or.” Holding a traditional press conference is still an effective method to communicate to the media, but it’s likely that executives would bypass mainstream media initially and talk to consumers and employees directly through digital platforms. How long do you think it would take Coke to switch back to the classic formula today? I think it certainly would be faster. The immediacy of social media has cut the protest cycle in half. Companies are now monitoring sentiment online in real time. Just look at how quickly Coca-Cola changed its cans back to red from white (for the December 2011 Arctic Home promotion). Any fun hashtag predictions? I suspect the hashtags would predominantly focus on the campaign to bring back the original formula, just as the conversations did in 1985. My bet would be #savecoke. Could Coke potentially have used social media as a proactive communications tool to support the launch and make it a success?Social media is an incredibly effective way to launch a new product or service because you can communicate directly with your most ardent fans and engage influencers. But it cannot cover for dissatisfaction with the product. Ultimately, the product has to resonate and be well received, no matter what medium you use to communicate. Several brands recently have reversed decisions following consumer outcry. When companies or brands pivot or backpedal, what message does that send? The more brands listen, respond to and engage consumers – and the more they rely on social media to help them do so – the stronger their overall reputation will be. Support for Coca-Cola increased dramatically when the company brought back the original formulation. In essence, Coke said, “We heard you, we listened to you, and we want to thank you for your help. You’ve made us better.” That statement delivered a feeling of empowerment among core fans. Companies only stand to benefit by taking the consumer’s voice into account. Also, it’s important to note that most consumer reactions are born from frustration with their product or service changing. So even if the response comes off as negative, it’s coming from a place of wanting to protect and preserve the brand they know and love. What do you think these companies learned from New Coke? A few years ago, Netflix introduced a new pricing model to encourage online streaming. The change was so dramatic that it sparked a tremendous backlash, impacting not only the company’s subscriber revenue, but also its stock price. If Netflix had taken a page from the New Coke experience, it would have been incremental change and new product offerings instead of replacing existing product offerings that are beloved by consumers. They also could have considered turning to communities in social media ahead of time and asking them what they’d like to see. So while history continues to repeat itself with companies not heeding the lessons of New Coke, on the whole, we’re seeing companies rely on social media to gather consumer insights to monitor, question and engage. Can you cite a few brands whose response to consumer backlash over the last few years has been especially effective? We’ve seen seismic shifts in two industries notorious for customer service issues and complaints: airlines and cable TV providers. Before social media, complaining about a delayed flight or a problem with your cable service was a rite of passage. It was something everyone could relate to. When platforms like Twitter emerged, you had individuals on an airplane or sitting at home taking to social media to complain about their poor experiences in real time. For a long time, those complaints went unacknowledged and unanswered. Today one can argue that the most effective way to receive support for a problem in either of these industries is to take to social media. Companies like Delta Air Lines and Comcast, in particular, have demonstrated the positive effects of using social media to listen to consumers to solve problems and demonstrate their commitment to customer service. They’ve stepped up and are now leading the way. Does social media encourage or discourage brands from taking intelligent risks? Just because consumers are content with a product or service doesn’t mean companies should not continue to focus on R&D. Companies still feel the need to innovate and introduce new products and offerings. The lesson of New Coke is that improvements are best made incrementally. And improvements should not come at the expense of alienating your core fan base. We’re much less likely to see wholesale product shifts in the post-New Coke era, which remains one of the best and most often used case studies on crisis response and consumer engagement. Brands no longer have a choice on whether to engage in social media; consumers are talking about your brand whether you like it or not. If you were to encounter two people talking about your product or service on the street, you wouldn’t just walk away. You’d listen, engage and respond. Ignoring consumers is not an option. A lot clearly has changed over the last 28 years. What has remained the same? Whether writing a letter, staging a protest or tweeting, blogging, liking and commenting, people will always feel a strong desire to express themselves when companies they love make decisions they disagree with. What has changed is that it’s now easier for consumers to express their support. In the past, the best way to do so would have been to continue to patronize a business or buy a product or service. Today social media allows us to express our satisfaction and passion for brands in new, exciting ways. But in the end, human beings are still managing a company’s social profiles these platforms, and human beings are still responsible for dealing with crisis situations. And that, hopefully, will never change.More Stories About the History of Coca-ColaA Look at the Cultural History of Coca-ColaAn Iconic Sign Returns to Downtown Atlanta5 Things You Never Knew About Santa Claus (and Coke)Famous Coca-Cola Advertising Slogans Over the YearsThe History of Spectacular Outdoor AdsThe Surprising History of the Sprite BoyFamous Artists Who Worked With Coca-ColaThe Making of 'I'd Like to Buy the World a Coke'The Evolution of the Coca-Cola Logo and TrademarkThe Long History of Polar Bears in Coca-Cola Advertising The Missing Normal Rockwell PaintingsCelebrating 100th Anniversary of Times Square With a SignGetting People to Try Coca-Cola in the 1980s
Coca-Cola and baseball have had a relationship since the early 1900s, and the teaming of two great national pastimes is still going strong. A wide range of Coca-Cola baseball collectibles is available today, although collectors find stiff competition not only from fellow Coca-Cola connoisseurs but also from ardent baseball collectors. The link between Coca-Cola and baseball is so strong that Coke may owe its status as the world's favorite soft drink to a couple of frustrated baseball fans in Chattanooga, Tenn., in the 1890s. Legend has it that Benjamin Thomas and Joseph Whitehead wanted to drink Coca-Cola at local baseball games at a time when the product was available only as a soda fountain drink. At first, they put Coca-Cola in corked bottles to take to the games for themselves. Then it dawned on them to ask for the rights to bottle and sell Coca-Cola nationally. The rest is history. Today, Coca-Cola is sold in more than 200 countries around the world through the efforts of local bottlers. The First Ads The relationship grew stronger in 1905 when The Coca-Cola Company introduced advertisements featuring famous major league players drinking Coca-Cola. Although it was one of the earliest uses of celebrity endorsements in American advertising history, it was not the first foray into sports for Coca-Cola. Coke ran some turn-of-the-century newspaper ads that featured marathon bicycle racers, or "wheelmen," in an era when cross-country bicycle races were popular. But baseball was the drink's first connection to a major sport. Coca-Cola collectors with an interest in baseball will look for newspaper ads, scorecards, programs, baseball cards, umpire ball-and-strike counters, special promotions and even bats and gloves that were produced by local bottlers. Petretti's Coca-Cola Collectibles Price Guide (12th Edition) displays a rare child's horsehide baseball glove from the 1930s that says "Drink Coca-Cola in Bottles" on the wrist strap. The glove, which appears to have been well used, is priced at $700 in the book. One of the most sought-after items is a complete 1952 set of 10 carton inserts, a device used to attract attention to a six-pack sale. The inserts feature baseball greats from the Brooklyn Dodgers, New York Yankees and New York Giants. Produced in the heyday of the three great New York teams, a set of the carton inserts on the auction block today is likely to bring bidding from New York baseball collectors as well as Coca-Cola enthusiasts. Although Petretti prices a full set at $1,500, a telephone auction a few years ago produced a winning bid roughly three times that amount. Coca-Cola ran national newspaper ad campaigns featuring baseball celebrities in two waves, 1905-1908 and 1910-16. Because they were newspaper ads, they are fragile compared with the sturdier paper stock of magazine ads. They are usually priced in the neighborhood of $20 to $30, depending on quality.Baseball Greats Some of the great names in early baseball appeared in Coca-Cola ads. The ad copy from the early celebrity endorsements can be quite entertaining. A four-time batting champion with Philadelphia and Cleveland declared in a 1905 ad in a Philadelphia newspaper that, "I drink Coca-Cola regularly and have been doing so for several years. It is the most refreshing beverage an athlete can drink, and after a hard game I make my way to a soft drink emporium and get a glass." A 1910 ad asked readers to send a two-cent stamp to The Coca-Cola Company to receive the Coca-Cola Baseball Record Book of 1910, containing the classic baseball poem, "Casey at the Bat." Some of these newspaper ads picture straight-sided Coca-Cola bottles, so the collector may encounter competition not only from baseball fans but also from Coca-Cola bottle collectors. New Major Leaguers Coca-Cola featured several early African-American major leaguers in a series of cardboard signs in 1956 that are highly desirable to sports collectors. The signs, featuring well-known players from the Brooklyn Dodgers, Milwaukee Braves, New York Giants and Cleveland Indians, are priced in the $850-$1000 ballpark by Petretti. There are posters of ballplayers as well, but some are tough to find. Coke found a poster of a great Chicago Cubs shortstop from the 1960s and a poster of a 1930s Milwaukee minor league manager in a sports memorabilia catalogue and bought them for our archives. In a Coca-Cola collectibles auction, they would probably bring a higher price than in the sports collectible arena. In the 1960s, The Coca-Cola Company placed pictures of the great major leaguers under the liners of crowns on Coca-Cola bottles and promoted them as collectibles. Bottler Initiatives From time to time, local Coca-Cola bottlers issued a series of baseball cards for their local markets. For example, the Atlanta bottler put out sets of the Atlanta Braves in the 1970s. I've seen similar sets from San Diego and other cities. Petretti shows a set of 11 cards of the 1980 champion Philadelphia Phillies, with a Coca-Cola logo in the top right hand corner. The set is priced at $15. One of the largest categories in Coca-Cola baseball collecting is probably scorecards. Coca-Cola bottlers did an enormous amount of advertising in major league and minor league parks, so to get a full collection of this material would be daunting. But scorecard collecting is a relatively inexpensive hobby. Scorecards usually range from $25 to $35 in price. Another interesting baseball category consists of commemorative bottles and cans that have been produced to honor championship teams. Collecting commemorative items is an easy and inexpensive way for collectors to get started. One good bit of advice in Coca-Cola baseball collecting is to look at sports collectibles catalogues as well as going to Coca-Cola conventions. You might find yourself as one of the few Coca-Cola collectors thumbing through that particular catalogue. Eager to get started? Then the only thing left to say is "Batter up!"More Sports Stories:Whirled Peace: How One Sport is Bringing About Change On and Off the FieldThe Surf Town Where Women Rule: Women Surfers Bring the Heat to the Coldest Surf Scene in North AmericaNCAA Final Four Trophy Tour: Fan Pictures at World of Coca-Cola (Updated With Weekend Celebration)
5 Things You Never Knew About Santa Claus and Coca-Cola The Santa Claus we all know and love — that big, jolly man in the red suit with a white beard — didn’t always look that way. In fact, many people are surprised to learn that prior to 1931, Santa was depicted as everything from a tall gaunt man to a spooky-looking elf. He has donned a bishop's robe and a Norse huntsman's animal skin. In fact, when Civil War cartoonist Thomas Nast drew Santa Claus for Harper's Weekly in 1862, Santa was a small elflike figure who supported the Union. Nast continued to draw Santa for 30 years, changing the color of his coat from tan to the red he’s known for today. Here, a few other things you may not have realized about the cheerful guy in the red suit. 1. Santa Has Been Featured in Coke Ads Since the 1920s The Coca-Cola Company began its Christmas advertising in the 1920s with shopping-related ads in magazines like The Saturday Evening Post. The first Santa ads used a strict-looking Claus, in the vein of Thomas Nast. In 1930, artist Fred Mizen painted a department-store Santa in a crowd drinking a bottle of Coke. The ad featured the world's largest soda fountain, which was located in the department store Famous Barr Co. in St. Louis, Mo. Mizen's painting was used in print ads that Christmas season, appearing in The Saturday Evening Post in December 1930. 2. Coca-Cola Helped Shape the Image of Santa In 1931 the company began placing Coca-Cola ads in popular magazines. Archie Lee, the D'Arcy Advertising Agency executive working with The Coca-Cola Company, wanted the campaign to show a wholesome Santa who was both realistic and symbolic. So Coca-Cola commissioned Michigan-born illustrator Haddon Sundblom to develop advertising images using Santa Claus — showing Santa himself, not a man dressed as Santa. For inspiration, Sundblom turned to Clement Clark Moore's 1822 poem "A Visit From St. Nicholas" (commonly called "'Twas the Night Before Christmas"). Moore's description of St. Nick led to an image of a warm, friendly, pleasantly plump and human Santa. (And even though it's often said that Santa wears a red coat because red is the color of Coca-Cola, Santa appeared in a red coat before Sundblom painted him.) Sundblom’s Santa debuted in 1931 in Coke ads in The Saturday Evening Post and appeared regularly in that magazine, as well as in Ladies Home Journal, National Geographic, The New Yorker and others. From 1931 to 1964, Coca-Cola advertising showed Santa delivering toys (and playing with them!), pausing to read a letter and enjoy a Coke, visiting with the children who stayed up to greet him, and raiding the refrigerators at a number of homes. The original oil paintings Sundblom created were adapted for Coca-Cola advertising in magazines and on store displays, billboards, posters, calendars and plush dolls. Many of those items today are popular collectibles. Sundblom created his final version of Santa Claus in 1964, but for several decades to follow, Coca-Cola advertising featured images of Santa based on Sundblom’s original works. These paintings are some of the most prized pieces in the art collection in the company’s archives department and have been on exhibit around the world, in famous locales including the Louvre in Paris, the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto, the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago, the Isetan Department Store in Tokyo, and the NK Department Store in Stockholm. Many of the original paintings can be seen on display at World of Coca-Cola in Atlanta, Ga. 3. The "New Santa" Was Based on a Salesman In the beginning, Sundblom painted the image of Santa using a live model — his friend Lou Prentiss, a retired salesman. When Prentiss passed away, Sundblom used himself as a model, painting while looking into a mirror. Finally, he began relying on photographs to create the image of St. Nick. People loved the Coca-Cola Santa images and paid such close attention to them that when anything changed, they sent letters to The Coca-Cola Company. One year, Santa's large belt was backwards (perhaps because Sundblom was painting via a mirror). Another year, Santa Claus appeared without a wedding ring, causing fans to write asking what happened to Mrs. Claus. The children who appear with Santa in Sundblom’s paintings were based on Sundblom's neighbors — two little girls. So he changed one to a boy in his paintings. The dog in Sundblom’s 1964 Santa Claus painting was actually a gray poodle belonging to the neighborhood florist. But Sundblom wanted the dog to stand out in the holiday scene, so he painted the animal with black fur. 4. Santa Claus Got a New Friend in 1942 In 1942, Coca-Cola introduced "Sprite Boy," a character who appeared with Santa Claus in Coca-Cola advertising throughout the 1940s and 1950s. Sprite Boy, who was also created by Sundblom, got his name due to the fact that he was a sprite, or an elf. (It wasn’t until the 1960s that Coca-Cola introduced the popular beverage Sprite.) 5. Santa Became Animated in 2001 In 2001, the artwork from Sundblom's 1962 painting was the basis for an animated TV commercial starring the Coca-Cola Santa. The ad was created by Academy Award-winning animator Alexandre Petrov. Do you have a fond memory of the Coca-Cola Santa? Leave us a comment below!More Stories About the History of Coca-ColaA Look at the Cultural History of Coca-ColaAn Iconic Sign Returns to Downtown AtlantaFamous Coca-Cola Advertising Slogans Over the YearsThe History of Spectacular Outdoor AdsThe Surprising History of the Sprite BoyFamous Artists Who Worked With Coca-ColaThe Making of 'I'd Like to Buy the World a Coke'The Real Story Behind New CokeThe Evolution of the Coca-Cola Logo and TrademarkThe Long History of Polar Bears in Coca-Cola Advertising The Missing Normal Rockwell PaintingsCelebrating 100th Anniversary of Times Square With a SignGetting People to Try Coca-Cola in the 1980s
Sprite’s chances of getting pinched on St. Patrick’s Day are slim to none, considering the popular lemon-lime soft drink has been wearing green for more than 50 years. Similar to the connections Coca-Cola and Fanta have to red and orange, respectively, Sprite has “owned” green since its 1961 debut. Green has served as Sprite’s primary color in its advertising, packaging, merchandising and more. “Green is classic and modern, and naturally crisp and clean. It’s never aggressive or boring, and always cool and refreshing… just like Sprite,” explains Nicole Riekki, Sprite’s global design director. In fact, its status among the world’s most recognized brands can largely be attributed to its signature green bottle. The bottle’s defining shape and signature “dimples” make it one of the most unique and eye-catching packages in the market. By continuing to showcase green on everything from in-store merchandising, to vending machines, to packaging and advertising, Sprite continues to build what design gurus call brand equity and surprise and delight fans around the world.Color of the Year Green is also hot. The Pantone Color Institute selected green (Emerald 17-5641) as the color of the year for 2013. “The most abundant hue in nature, the human eye sees more green than any other color in the spectrum,” says Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute. Back in the ‘60s, designers and engineers at The Coca-Cola Company delved into volumes of research before landing on the design standards for Sprite. After taking into consideration Sprite’s package specs, brand image and target consumer, Coke’s art department created green-centric labels, carton designs and advertising for the brand. Dozens of designs were considered for the green Sprite bottle, which was carefully designed with the same quality specifications applied to the iconic Coca-Cola contour bottle. Jumping Off the Shelves In 1967, as Sprite continued to gain momentum in the market and was available to 85 percent of the U.S. population – as well as consumers in 38 other countries – the brand team hired a New York design firm to create new carton and label designs for a packaging re-launch. Their goal? To communicate the freshness of Sprite and help the brand stand out on the shelf with an attention-grabbing look. The new packaging hit the market the following year. The Coca-Cola Bottler magazine described it as “a study in contrasting shades of green,” and predicted the designs would “lift Sprite right out of the crowd like never before.”And that they did. Sprite is now our second-largest brand globally and is even the top sparkling beverage brand in China.More Stories About Sprite:Obey You: Sprite Encourages Teens to Follow Their InstinctsHoop Dreams: Sprite Spruces Up Local ParksThe Sprite Uncontainable Game: Meet the Players from Taiwan, China and the Philippines
To commemorate the 100th anniversary of Times Square and the Coca-Cola bottler in New York, in July 2004 The Coca-Cola Company introduced its latest spectacular in New York's famous crossroads. For more than 80 years, the Coca-Cola® sign in New York City's Times Square has been one of the longest-standing, continuous billboards in the world, and was among the first electric outdoor advertising signs in history. Coca-Cola signs have been landmarks in Times Square since 1920, and as early as 1923 Coca-Cola brought a new dimension to its billboard by adding neon lighting. The 1991 Times Square sign was on display for 13 years. It featured a $3 million display with the world's largest Coca-Cola bottle and was the only Times Square billboard with a daytime and evening performance, as 12,000 neon and incandescent lights powered up to add to the nighttime show. The new Times Square sign is one of the largest digital canvases in the world. The innovative advertising sculpture -- a three-dimensional, high tech display -- measures more than six-stories high and features custom-created, digital imagery for Coca-Cola classic®, Diet Coke® and Coca-Cola C2®. Special communications technology will allow the Company to constantly refresh the 3-D sign's content, keeping the messaging timely and relevant. Its 32 screens can display separate images or pieces of one giant image. Vintage ads, including a version of the famous "Hilltop" commercial re-mastered for high-definition viewing, will entertain thousands of pedestrians each day. When the new sign was inaugurated in 2004, the Company gave a special gift to New York called The Time Machine -- a three-minute audio and video tribute featuring the New York City landscape and Coca-Cola images over the past 80 years. The showing marked the first time the Times Square sign displayed content about New York. Developed by more than 40 engineers and designers, the sign features some of the most advanced screen and digital technologies available, including GPS (Global Positioning Systems) to remotely manage the controls and 57 bits of processing to power the speed for the animation. To produce vivid images in trillions of colors, the 30-ton display uses more than 2.6 million light-emitting diodes (LED), a state-of-the-art computer system and 196 power supplies. The design and shape of the 32 sculpted LED screens enable the sign to have a 60-degree vertical, and an even more unique 140-degree horizontal viewing angle. While the sign's nearly 900,000 pixels are much farther apart than those on a traditional TV screen, the images have the clarity of high-definition television when viewed from the street hundreds of feet away. For more than eight decades, Times Square has provided Coca-Cola with an ideal place to catch the public's eye. It is a place where people from all over the world naturally congregate, and a Coca-Cola sign is a natural fit. More Stories About the History of Coca-ColaA Look at the Cultural History of Coca-ColaAn Iconic Sign Returns to Downtown Atlanta5 Things You Never Knew About Santa Claus (and Coke)Famous Coca-Cola Advertising Slogans Over the YearsThe History of Spectacular Outdoor AdsThe Surprising History of the Sprite BoyFamous Artists Who Worked With Coca-ColaThe Making of 'I'd Like to Buy the World a Coke'The Real Story Behind New CokeThe Evolution of the Coca-Cola Logo and TrademarkThe Long History of Polar Bears in Coca-Cola Advertising The Missing Normal Rockwell PaintingsGetting People to Try Coca-Cola in the 1980s