But in all the innovation and creativity there’s been one symbol that keeps quietly making itself known: the red disc.
Since it was first hand-painted in the 1930s, the red disc or “button” sign has been used to advertise Coca-Cola.
The image fast became a cornerstone outside corner stores and milk bars and it became an emblem of integrity. Used to single out where real Coca-Cola could be purchased, the red disc was purified and systemised by D’Arcy Advertising creative director Archie Lee in 1947.
In February 2017 Coca-Cola unveiled new packaging in Australia that unites all the Coke varieties including Coca-Cola, Diet Coke and Coca-Cola No Sugar under a single visual identity anchored by the iconic Coca-Cola red disc.
“By applying the disc across the Coca-Cola trademark we’re using a signature asset in a contemporary and surprising way to share the equity of Coca-Cola across all products,” said James Sommerville, global vice president of design at Coca-Cola.
“Although the red disc is not always presented in the same way whether it’s on the bottle or in a TV ad, the result is a consistent brand signature that refreshes our familiar red disc icon yet applies it in a systematic and modern way,” he said.
For James, the disc is all about capturing the love our customers have for the original Coca-Cola red. “We’re using the red disc as a graphic device to really represent all Coca-Colas,” he said.
“The red disc was on stores, on the boardwalk … it was a beacon, a trust mark that said to the passerby, ‘you will get a real Coca-Cola here in this store’, and that was in the 1940s and 50s. We’re using it today in exactly the same way.
“When you see that disc on a can you know you’re buying a real Coca-Cola. We’re taking a page out of the playbook of the 1940s but using it in a more contemporary way around packaging, not just physical signage,” he said.