From its invention by John S. Pemberton in 1886 to today, Coca-Cola has become a staple of American and worldwide culture. As the consumerism of the mid-20th century blossomed, Coke showed itself to be a master of mass advertising, and it was this skill which helped the company dominate the American market. Indeed, even in 1886, Pemberton spent more money on ads than he made in sales, producing dozens of signs and other promotional items.
Aside from techniques that today seem quite conventional—TV and magazine ads, for example—Coca-Cola pioneered the art of brand recognition with an almost endless variety of promotional materials, from clocks to coolers to calendars. All bore the immediately recognizable logo and, in some form or another, the classic red-and-white color scheme. Many also included a Coke slogan, like “Thirst knows no season,” “Delicious and Refreshing,” and “Things Go Better with Coke.”
Collectors today can find a flood of Coke memorabilia and collectibles—part of these items’ genius in the first place was their durability and usability. To pick one example among many, Coca-Cola thermometers served a practical purpose that helped ensure a long promotional life. This set them apart from the posters and other advertisements that most store owners would routinely discard. As the decades passed and popular styles changed, so did the design of these thermometers. Some in the 1940s, for example, featured an Art Deco-inspired design.
Coke bottles, too, evolved over the decades, from a non-standardized hodgepodge of improvised glassware in the early 20th century to the now-classic curved shape known as the “Mae West” or “hobbleskirt” bottle, which was patented in November 1915 after a two-year contest to find the perfect design. Then as now, consumers instantly associate the shape with the Coca-Cola brand.
When Christmas came around, it was a safe bet that Coke would market Santa figurines, ornaments, or snow globes, all bearing the Coke logo. If Dad needed a way to bring the family’s cool, refreshing bottles of Coke on a picnic, he could buy a Coca-Cola cooler, a portable version of the larger coolers which retailers relied on to store and display Coke in the early years.
Alongside all of these items, collectors also prize oilcloth, tin, and especially porcelain Coca-Cola signs, some of which helped popularize the famous “red button” bottle cap shape. Other collectibles include tin-plate serving trays and even the vending machines themselves.
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Profile: Mesilla Valley MazeLas Cruces Sun-News, October 4th
"You can walk around this entire place and you will not see a Coca Cola sign, a Sonic sign, you won't see advertising for Pic Quick, you won't see any videos, no electronics," she said. "We don't do that because this needs to be like an escape from all...Read more
While you were sleeping - catch up on the stories you missed overnightIrish Independent, October 4th
Yes, it's Apple which is now worth an estimated 170.276bn dollars. The brand's sales were pushed massively after the release of its smartwatch and the iPhone 6s. Google came in at number two, while Coca Cola is the third most valuable brand in the world...Read more
Auction Watch: Furniture, china sales show signs of life; law office's art ...Tribune-Review, October 4th
An array of old-time ephemera features calendars, Standard Oil stock certificates and a Coca-Cola newspaper advertising book. Both sales take place at the Westmoreland County Fairgrounds, 4H Building, 123 Blue Ribbon Lane, Greensburg. The Oct. 15 ...Read more
Fall Fest 2015 features student performances, sponsored activitiesLSU The Reveille, October 4th
Raising Cane's and Coca-Cola drew throngs of students to the stage for a chance to catch purple and gold Cane's t-shirts and Share a Coke With a Tiger merchandise. Students went long to catch Cane's t-shirts shot over 100 feet from the stage. The Fall...Read more
Rugby World Cup 2015: Who should you support now that England have been ...Telegraph.co.uk, October 3rd
The Red Rose have only played three games, the pop up merchandise shops haven't yet enjoyed a month's worth of business, and there hasn't even been enough time to give old Paloma Faith the heave ho off the ITV television coverage. ..... Coca-Cola boys...Read more
Fairfax Dorn and Marc Glimcher's New York City LoftWall Street Journal, October 2nd
When the artwork was unveiled so close to the place where Judd spent the last 21 years of his life, it was a little like opening a lemonade stand outside Coca-Cola headquarters. One of the primary instigators behind the gutsy move was Fairfax Dorn, a...Read more
Moleskine Celebrates Coca-Cola's Iconic Bottle with Limited Edition NotebooksPSFK (blog), September 9th
It has been a hundred years since Coca-Cola's contoured glass bottle was introduced to the world. It is indeed a momentous occasion for the soft drink giant. Moleskine, for their part, wants to celebrate this achievement through the release of a...Read more
Coke Brings Back Classic 'Mean Joe Greene' AdAdAge.com, September 6th
Coke is bringing back its classic "Mean Joe Greene" ad in its latest nostalgia play. The spot, which is technically ... As part of the throwback theme, race teams are painting cars with retro designs and concession items will include old classics such...Read more