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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Video: Collection at Pot Belly's to be auctionedSt. Augustine Record, April 19th
Coca-Cola memorabilia, metal lunch boxes, Star Wars collectibles, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles toys and Barbie Dolls in original boxes are just a few of the items that will be auctioned Saturday at Pot Belly's Cinema Plus. ... toy Hess and tanker...Read more
Best of Denton: ShoppingDenton Record Chronicle, April 18th
Be it a sparkly dress, some framed art or a piece of Coca-Cola memorabilia, you are sure to come across your very own hidden treasure and it's one of the reasons the malls have become a mainstay in the historic downtown Square for more than 30 years...Read more
More than a nicknameAdvance Titan, April 17th
Sitting at his kitchen table with breakfast nook, with a curio cabinet filled with dozens of items of Green Bay Packers memorabilia behind him, Green sighed. “The bottom line is they wanted me to maintain my person in a seat, and I ... The Gang Green...Read more
Sales Leads: SATA Airlines, Coca-Cola, Timberland, Smirnoff, Taco Bell…Portada-online.com, April 14th
In the commercial, a dorky guy whose house is filled with 1980s memorabilia sings about how he's been eating Egg McMuffins since 1984 to the tune of “Old MacDonald Had a Farm.” After trying a Taco Bell Waffle Taco, everything changes. This commercial ...Read more
Warner indoor flea market draws treasure-seekers from across the regionConcord Monitor, April 13th
Alan Grandy has had an interest in collectibles ever since he was a little boy, when every weekend he would travel with his dad to postcard fairs. His father was an avid collector and founder ... Yesterday, the dreary weather didn't dampen the spirits...Read more
Unintended Consequences: How Consumer Misuse Can Boost SalesEntrepreneur, April 8th
Company managers encouraged user-generated video uploads to YouTube, and along with Coca-Cola, they even signed popular video makers to help them create more. The bricolage concept can be seen across ... As an example, back in 1998 eBay was known for...Read more
Toys, Coca-Cola products among items at collectibles showMoose Jaw Times-Herald, March 30th
Grounds on March 29, 2014. Since 1984, Brian Lillie has come from Victoria, B.C. to Moose Jaw for the Antiques/Collectibles Show. ... Dan Kirschman from Moose Jaw was selling a bunch of Coca-Cola collectables. He's been collecting those products...Read more
Southwest Florida shops specialize in vintage, collectible and antique itemsThe News-Press, March 27th
Items for sale at the Swap Shop in south Fort Myers include collectibles including a Coca-Cola advertisement, buoys and a stuffed deer head. / photos by Andrew West/Coastal Life. Antique American pottery sold at the Swap Shop in south Fort Myers. Zoom ...Read more