New Zealand Marketing - - Front Page -

If you were to drive your car across New Zealand, along the way spo­rad­i­cally vis­it­ing small towns with pop­u­la­tions rarely ex­ceed­ing 87 peo­ple, you’d en­counter an as­sort­ment of ex­pe­ri­ences that vary as much as the topo­graph­i­cal makeup of our two is­lands. But no mat­ter how dif­fer­ent each of these pit­stops might be, one thing that you will al­most in­vari­ably see wher­ever you go is the Coca-Cola bot­tle.

From fridges of na­tional su­per­mar­kets to those in tiny vil­lage dairies, the easily recog­nis­able Coke bot­tle has be­come a ver­i­ta­ble part of the Kiwi land­scape (un­for­tu­nately, some­times lit­er­ally in the form of lit­ter).

Look­ing at the ubiq­uity of the brand to­day, it seems the early copy­writ­ers who in 1927 chose the slo­gan ‘Around the cor­ner from ev­ery­where’ were per­haps gifted with clair­voy­ance, be­cause this state­ment would over the decades stretch and be­come rel­e­vant well be­yond the US mar­ket in which they were writ­ing.

Although the Coca-Cola brand was first founded in 1886, the iconic con­tour bot­tle that now typ­i­fies the brand was patented and in­tro­duced to the mar­ket 100 years ago in 1915.

Upon de­cid­ing to re­design its ear­lier, plainer bot­tles, the Trustees of the Coca-Cola Bot­tling As­so­ci­a­tion of­fered the then­sub­stan­tial sum of $500 to an agency that could de­sign a “bot­tle so dis­tinct that you would recog­nise if by feel in the dark or ly­ing bro­ken on the ground”.

The Root Glass Com­pany even­tu­ally de­vel­oped the win­ning de­sign by em­u­lat­ing the elon­gated shape and dis­tinct ribs of the co­coa bean.

How­ever, it wasn’t un­til 1939 when Coca-Cola opened its first bot­tling op­er­a­tion in New Zealand that Ki­wis were able to get their hands on the bot­tle on a reg­u­lar ba­sis.

The ar­rival of the brand in Aotearoa co­in­cided with World War II, and in its early days the com­pany pro­duced Coke for US troops on leave while fight­ing in the Pa­cific—and an early ad ti­tled ‘Have a Coke = Kia Ora’ gives a nod to these early re­la­tions be­tween the Pa­cific peo­ple and the sol­diers.

Later, the lo­cal advertising moved away from war and took on a more sunny dis­po­si­tion. The tra­di­tion of the good-look­ing smil­ing peo­ple that are still seen in Coke ads to­day started in print, with ads show­ing ev­ery­one from ten­nis play­ers to of­fice work­ers be­ing ex­ces­sively happy while glug­ging away on a bot­tle.

‘Stop for a lift’, ‘When you pause … Coca-Cola re­ally re­freshes’ and ‘Let Coca-Cola put you at your sparkling best’ are just some of the older brand­ing phrases that pre­ceded the more re­cent ex­am­ples like ‘En­joy Coca-Cola’ and ‘Share a Coke’.

And given that Coca-Cola still oc­cu­pies large sec­tions of shelf space at stores across the coun­try, we’re likely to see a few more slo­gans added to this grow­ing canon in years to come.

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