The Coca-Cola bottle, with its distinctive contoured glass, was created a century ago as a way for the soft drink company to give its product a competitive edge. As the company website explains, “In 1915, Coca-Cola attempted to fend off a host of copycat brands by strengthening its trademark. The company and its bottling partners issued a creative challenge to a handful of U.S. glass companies: To develop a “bottle so distinct that you would recognize if by feel in the dark or lying broken on the ground.”
The winning design, created by the Root Glass Company of Terre Haute, Ind., worked — so well, in fact, that a century later the company is still using that basic concept to market its signature brand. Coca-Cola this year is celebrating the 100th anniversary of the bottle — and its influence in pop art and other realms — through a global advertising campaign, art exhibitions and a photo book, among other avenues.
Now the bottle and its history will also be the subject of a new “authorized” documentary, according to The Hollywood Reporter. (Coke will help pay for the movie’s marketing.)
“When I can hold up a Coca-Cola bottle and ask, ‘is this art or is this commerce?’ and most commonly hear ‘it’s both,’ that sets the stage for an intriguing narrative,” the movie’s producer and co-director, Matthew Miele, told THR.
That narrative could include how the Coke bottle became the first commercial product to make it to the cover of Time magazine in 1950, or how it provided fodder for artists like Andy Warhol — and, especially if the film touches on today’s backlash against soda, it might even mention that the 10- and 12-ounce bottles that made their debut in 1955 were called “King Size” and a 26-ounce bottle was marketed as “Family Size.”
Miele and his team reportedly hope their documentary will premiere in November to coincide with the Nov. 16, 1915 date that the bottle design first won a patent.
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