Monday, March 23, 2015

Famous Kissers....


Coca-Cola celebrates 100 years of the bottle design with a great international poster campaign featuring Elvis, Marilyn Monroe and Ray Charles. Three highly recognizable American icons who are photographed with a bottle of Coca-Cola. The line for each poster is: I kissed Elvis  or I kissed Marilyn or I kissed Ray. Aside from the simplicity of the message is the sheer sense of intimacy those words imply...the idea of being on a first name basis with a celebrity creates the idea of closeness both to these stars and with Coca-Cola. And somewhere in my imagination as I read this was the idea that perhaps one of the bottles I kissed was also kissed at some point by someone equally as famous as these bottles are recycled. So it played out the whole seven degrees of separation thing for me as well. Very smart. It's a wonderful twist on endorsement from the dead to keep the brand alive and real.

It's so nice to see a poster campaign again that's fresh, iconic and spans generations of usage.  Further celebrations include an exhibit at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta ( corporate HQ for Coca-Cola) featuring two Warhol bottle paintings. There's also a book coming out about the bottle design called: Kiss the Past Hello.

Few brands can celebrate their packaging the way Coca-Cola can. Nor can many brands elevate their packaging to the level of consumer Art as this has over the last 100 years. The bottle is a roughly the form of the female figure which was such a radical design idea 100 years ago. The bottle is known around the globe and has endured through a myriad of ad campaigns, slogans and positionings. It was the key prop to a charming movie: The Gods Must Be Crazy, a 1980 South African comedy.

Coupled with the equally famous Coca-Cola script logo they form the key anchors and symbols  for the brand.

This is a rare example of the packaging being as famous as the product it contains. And stands as
a testament to all of Coca-Cola's many marketers over the years who have inherently known when
not to touch something that really works.