Opinions on corporate and brand identity work.

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This is a very old entry — images are small, formatting is off.


The Real Thing. Really.

Reviewed Jun. 28, 2007 by Jonathan Selikoff

Industry / Food Tags /

Coca-Cola Can, Before and After

….bzzz….snap….crackle…awheeeeeeyoooooo…distortion….static…fade in…. Excuse me while I break into your regularly scheduled programming of corporate identity changes to focus on another aspect of Brand: packaging. I’ve worked in both the corporate identity and packaging fields for over 10 years now. If I could sum up my general feeling on mass-market packaging (in the United States), I’d say it sucks. At some point, there are only so many variations one can do on ribbons, splashes, swooshes, dimensional type and fake water droplets. When small percentage points of market share can mean hundreds of millions of dollars, you can kind of understand. Kind of. So it thrills me to no end when someone of stature refuses to do it anymore.

I present the New Old Coke.

Diet Coke and Coca-Cola Zero Cans

For years, since the early 90s really, the familiar red can of Coca-Cola has added more and more elements. From splashes and exploding bottles to buttons to polar bears to fizzies and water drops, the can has seen many permutations. To what end, though? Convincing people that this drink which they know so well is still the same drink? At the point which you have an iconic product that, as long as you don’t screw with the formula, everyone knows, how do you keep refreshing the brand? It’s a tough challenge, and Coke’s really pulled out a beauty here.

They’ve essentially done absolutely nothing. All the extra bits and doodads and extraneous graphics are gone. Classic coke imagery: the red, the ribbon, and the coke script. “Classic” is even in a simple lowercase sans serif. This is a confident design. Coca-cola is acknowledging that we all know the product, so just drink it. They’ve given similar treatment to the majority of the Coke line, including Diet and Zero. Simple, back to basics, pure equity. Compared with Pepsi’s blow-it-all-out how-many-designs-can-we-produce-in-a-summer strategy, this takes guts. You just don’t see that all too often from one of the largest brands in the world and I certainly appreciate it.

(If you want to see a large collection of cans, dating way back to the 50s, check this site out.)

I now return you to your regularly scheduled program, “That’s Not My Logo”. ….bzzz….snap….crackle…awheeeeeeyoooooo…distortion….static….fade out….



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