In 1986, a Coca-Cola bottler in the desert of Chile turned 70,000 empty glass bottles into a Guinness World Record.
After much deliberation, Coca-Cola Embonor decided to celebrate Coca-Cola’s 100th anniversary by constructing the largest Coca-Cola billboard in the world near the city of Arica.
Standing at about 120 by 400 feet on one of the biggest hills in the region, the billboard stretches longer than a football field and is visible from space.
The construction of this impressive landmark presented many challenges. Every associate of the bottler was divided into teams corresponding to each letter of the Coca-Cola logo. The teams arranged each bottle carefully, sinking enough of the bottle into the ground to secure it while leaving enough above the surface to reflect light.
After many hours of strenuous work under the piercing sun, the monument was a single bottle from completion. Miguel Fuentes Zagal, a worker at the bottler, positioned the final bottle amid great fanfare, and the record-setting billboard was completed.
In 2011, 25 years later, a different Miguel placed the final bottle into this historic sign. Miguel Fuentes Martinez, the son of Zagal, carried on his father’s tradition during the remodeling of the logo. He was one of 100 employees who rejuvenated the sign, repairing and cleaning the bottles and changing the number to commemorate 125 years of Coca-Cola.
Out of these workers, 16 had contributed to the original project.
Igor Alcayaga Moran, general manager of the Embonor Arica plant, attributed the massive undertaking's success to the strength of his team.
"Teamwork is a fundamental corporate value of Coca-Cola,” he said. “We worked on this new logo with the same spirit.”