Denim, Dungeons and Dragons, and dangerously big hair.
What comes to mind when you think of the eighties? A lot of great movies, best accompanied by popcorn and an ice-cold Coke.
Shows like Stranger Things have tapped into the nostalgia for arguably one of the most polarising decades of fashion history, and it’s going viral. The eighties were a great time for Coke in the movies and the decade saw the brand cemented as a modern icon.
It was a highlight in Cokes illustrious career on the silver screen, which included a venture into the actual production of motion pictures. Did you know that
Coca-Cola has always been an essential part of any movie experience both off and on the big screen. From the Times Square billboard featured in 1933’s King Kong to the Coke advertisement that triggers Eleven’s flashback in Netflix’s huge hit Stranger Things,
Pop some popcorn and relax while we take a look back through the fascinating history of
Beyond “Product Placement”
As Coke is such a symbol of Americana and a part of everyday life, it’s no wonder the brand naturally found its way into film scripts and onto sets. Coke has often been a subtle part of the narrative, integrated into the fabric of each scene.
“Sometimes it’s a
“This ubiquitous brand is ingrained in the cultural landscape and in the daily lives of the icons of music, movies and sports to the effect that it’s part of their natural surroundings,” said
In the 1960s the company set up an office in Los Angeles to ensure the authenticity of all
Cokes cinematic cameos date back to the early 1900s, continuing through Hollywood’s golden era and beyond.
The earliest film to include
“It’s a great example of why
“It’s part of our landscape.”
“From being on the billboard in Times Square in King Kong, to Warren Beatty enjoying the refreshing beverage in Bonnie and Clyde, the influence cannot be denied,” said director Ridley Scott in the forward to a book of photography chronicling Cokes indelible mark on the movie world.
The director famously featured a
Some of the brand’s movie roles have been particularly iconic including the Coke bottle that falls from the sky in The Gods Must Be Crazy (1980), E.T. (1982) opening can of Coke, Superman (1978) crashing through a billboard, and a vending machine’s appearance in Dr. Strangelove (1964).
Cokes filmography also includes more than a few foreign films, a testament to the beverage’s international appeal outside Hollywood.
“Our minds are triggered to expect
"In Jean-Luc Godard’s classic 1959 French film, Breathless, Jean Seberg is seen sitting at a Paris café. And what is she drinking? Not wine, but Coke in a contour bottle,” she said.
Coca-Cola acquired Columbia in June 1982 just a few weeks before making another groundbreaking move with the launch of Diet Coke. Newly elected Chairman and CEO Roberto Goizueta was eager to write a new chapter of growth by pursuing ventures outside the confines of carbonated soft drinks.
Movies and television were high on a shortlist of investment possibilities. The U.S. entertainment industry was poised for significant growth in the early ‘80s thanks largely to the emergence of cable television and home video, which created both unprecedented consumer demand for content and lucrative new revenue streams for key players. Columbia Pictures was seen as a rising star.
Soon after the deal went through, Columbia, CBS and Home Box Office (HBO) formed a new studio called TriStar Pictures, which boosted Columbia’s production capacity while offsetting much of the financial risk. The studio got off to a fast start releasing a string of hits including Tootsie, The Toy and The Big Chill. Gandhi won the 1982 Academy Award for best picture.
The company also delighted movie fans around the globe by bringing Ghostbusters, The Karate Kid, Stand by Me and other blockbuster films to screens big and small through its ownership of Columbia Pictures.
From the Hilltop to Madison Avenue
In recent years,
Mad Men ended its seven-season with Don Draper meditating at a spiritual retreat on the California coast when inspiration apparently strikes. A bell rings, his eyes open and he smiles, at peace. The screen then fades to the famed
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