“We wanted to celebrate our past, while simultaneously writing our future, through design,” explains James Sommerville, Coke’s vice president of global design. “The resulting posters are as unique and varied as their creators – each an expression of individuality linked together by the
Many of the #MashupCoke pieces will be featured in a global campaign commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Coke bottle. Select artwork will be included in The
We spoke to Sommerville last week to learn more about the project and its connection to the Coke Bottle 100 campaign.
How did you initially come up with the #MashupCoke idea?
It began as an internal, homegrown exercise. When I joined
When did you decide to expand the project beyond your team?
The response we saw from our team showed it was just the start of what could be a very exciting project. We quickly saw the potential to expand the invitation to our respective design networks. We invited over 100 artists representing a range of styles and approaches to collaborate with
What was your vision for the project?
Like the name “Kiss the Past Hello” suggests, we wanted to embrace our heritage in an artistic and emotional way. Not in a way that positioned the
What do you want consumers to take away from this collection?
We want to reinforce how current the
How did the artists you reached out to respond?
The design community embraced the challenge in a way we didn’t expect. At first we were a bit concerned because we were asking professionals to engage in a project that was not initially a commercial assignment. But we live in a world where collaboration is key. We approached individuals who could recognize the creative potential of the Coke bottle and be inspired to use it to create a unique piece of art. We invited designers for their love of design and their own personal connection to the brand. The artists we heard back from range in age from early-20s to late-70s who are separated by two generations yet share a passion for the Coke bottle. When the work started to come in and we were able to hang these pieces and see them side by side, the breadth and diversity literally blew us away.
Will the project extend beyond the Coke Bottle 100 campaign?
Absolutely. The limited-edition posters in the exhibition are not the end of the line. And the fact that there are a finite number of gallery spots and pages in the book doesn’t mean we’re finished. We see the potential for hundreds and hundreds of pieces, and this work will hopefully inspire future packaging, equipment, licensing opportunities and more. Like the Coke bottle itself, the creative idea can recycle itself again and again in new areas and with new designers with their individual styles. For example, the famous “Lady in Red” poster from the Coke Archives inspired an amazing reinterpretation from one of our designers. And that interpretation is now inspiring our industrial design and innovation teams we hope to be able to talk about soon. This project has neither a deadline nor a cap.
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