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Cashing in on Coca-Cola Memorabilia: New Ideas for Old Art
Coca-Cola collectors have been cashing in on the company’s advertising memorabilia for years. But finding rare items has always been a challenge. Now, collectors have access to over a century of Coca-Cola’s famous art work, slogans and logos. Thanks to an inexpensive line of Coca-Cola tins and signs, Coke connoisseurs now have an easy and affordable way to add collectible replicas and showpieces to their colorful and highly valued collections.
An original 1943 tin advertisement showing an overseas sailor savoring the tastes of home could cost thousands of dollars in mint condition. This is over budget for most collectors, so they opt for a 12” x 13” replica that costs less than twenty dollars online. One hope of course is that this commemorative piece will be just as valuable as the original someday.
The Amazing Value Behind Coke’s Original Art
They were there for the 1928 Olympic Games in Amsterdam. They were there during World War II when they promised “every man in uniform gets a bottle of Coca-Cola for five cents, wherever he is, and whatever it costs the company.” They were there as the first soft drink in space, 1985. And well into its second century with 400 brands reaching every corner of the globe, Coca-Cola has become an American icon.
But an aggressive marketing campaign isn’t the only reason for the advertising memorabilia’s success. Coke attracts the best and the brightest talent money can buy. Haddon Sundblom, inventor of the modern Santa Claus, Norman Rockwell, and America’s Golden Age illustrator, N.C. Wyeth, all illustrated genuine works of art for Coca-Cola advertisements.
Since the 1950s, the soft drink’s commercials have kept pace with changing television technology: From black and white to color imagery; from stop motion animation to the super-advanced polar bear animations of the 1990s.
In 1971 the commercial jingle “I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing (In Perfect Harmony)” topped billboard charts and became a hit song for The New Seekers, a popular British act at the time. Waylon Jennings, Jim Neighbors, and popular artists have covered the song since then. But it started as a song for Coke.
Coca-Cola artists of the future will likely come from all over the world and be faced with new mediums for expression. But there is little doubt that the soft drink will enlist the best of the best artists as they have always done.
New Ideas for Old Art work
The popular images of war, luxury, romance, and family found in Coca-Cola art has captivated consumers for decades. Those images of days gone-by are being re-issued on collectible Coca-Cola tins and signs, which for many means enjoying the old images in new ways.
Collectors and traders can add period pieces or unique items to their collections. Whether they are interested in the sights and sounds of the ‘50s, or prefer something never seen before, the new tins and signs provide many options.
Interior decorators use the colorful and historical appeal of Coke-art as accent pieces. It’s not uncommon to revive Coca-Cola history in a restaurant or commercial setting. But whether decorating at home, planning a special event, or at the office, the vibrant colors and warmth of the art work could provide a very American theme. Designers might find the practical uses for some of the new products to be the ideal balance between function and form.
The Most Sought-After Images
The Coke girls have always been favorites. They live the good life and drink Coke on the beach, at the soda fountain, or while playing tennis.
Wartime imagery of men and women dedicated to the war efforts and American values are very popular.
The modern Santa Claus continues to top the list.
Victorian Girl calendars are also among the most sought-after images.
The Future of Coke Memorabilia
Coca-Cola memorabilia is well on its way to a second century of success. Of course much of that success comes from the vision and imaginations of first-rate artists commissioned to capture the essence of American popular culture.
The art work is not only original, but it represents American ingenuity, American values, and it has stood the test of time. As the company prepares for future campaigns all over the world, a look back at the last century of remarkably successful advertising is sure to inspire more of the same.
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