I.C.E., Innovation, Collaboration/Connection and Evolving
A funny thing happened in Jerusalem, the Holy land of old. At least I found it most amusing. As I sat in the Knesset, Jerusalem, Israel awaiting the arrival of Knesset members/guest speakers Merav Ben Ari, Aliza Lavie, Revital Swid and special guest Dr. Qanta Ahmed MD to discuss their role in society and their contributions as women of the Israeli Parliament. We (the American delegation of Journalist and bloggers) were settling in, getting our coffee, tea, Coca Cola and other refreshments. I sought out H2O and was pleasantly surprised to have my thirst quenched with a bottle of water. The bottle was classic and the water was refreshing. The brand name was ‘Kinley’–the font printed in white in English and sky blue in Hebrew on a navy blue background. Beneath the logo were the words The Coca Cola Company.
Recognizing the familiar iconic brand name I could only smile with a sense of guilty pleasure that one feels when they know a secret that only they know but a secret that is known by it’s magic. There I sat as part of a delegation of journalists same as I had only months ago sat in Atlanta with journalists from around the world who had been invited by Coca Cola who introduced its celebration of 100 years of its unique bottle design. And so they did.
The Coca Cola bottle is perhaps the most unique design in the 21st century of a commercial product. For this it is notably identifiable. The 100 year old bottle was actually designed 27 years after the 127-year old company was established when the drink itself was being imitated. For this reason the design of the bottle became an important necessity to separate it from its competitors. So in 1915 the Coca Cola Bottling Company challenged US glass companies to develop a “bottle so distinct that you would recognize it by feeling in the dark or lying broken on the ground.” The company achieved it goal. There is no other bottle quite like it that can say it is so recognizable. In fact, other manufactures of recreational drinks have imitated and continue to be like “Coke.” None have quite conquered the world like as Coke Cola has.
I’ve written before how progressive the Coke Cola Company is and how impressed I was of its ability to remain relevant, current and fresh yet remain constant in its quality and distinct taste. I was amazed then because I had experienced first hand this magical drink’s mystical seduction years ago as a exchange student at Forah Bay University in Sierra Leone, Land of the Lions where bottles of Coca Cola and Fanta were served with great pride to guests especially those from the land of its origin. My diet does not permit so I always drink water instead.
Coke Cola boasts proudly that since its birth at a soda fountain in downtown Atlanta, Georgia, in 1886, Coca‑Cola has been a catalyst for social interaction and inspired innovation. Its creative spirit is always on the cutting edge shearing its way through time.
I was and am still fascinated by its story as I’ve confessed in previous writings. Coke Cola is so finely woven into the psyche of the contemporary world as the ring of the taglines, “It’s the real thing,” “Things go better with Coke,” and “Open Happiness,” resonate through the memory impressed upon our minds etched forever and we embrace it. The evidence is everywhere.
So I smiled yes because in the midst of a time when racism prevails and impacts the world in ways that its perpetrators have no idea. When we do harm to one another or any creation on the planet the world suffers. Lord knows Blacks have endured their share. So yes , I feel a sense of equality seen through the eyes of Coke Cola as a consumer. They at least considered our market important enough to lead the way in advertising by including Black images of families and individuals partaking in the Coke Cola lifestyle presenting to the public Blacks as normal human beings connecting, collaborating and evolving depicted in its print and television ads as early as 1950’s. Such ads were published and could be seen in Ebony Magazine.
Now fast forward back to my recent experience as I sat in Jerusalem at the Knesset, there we were an assembly of people gathering to share in happiness, just as Coke Cola promised. We shared and exchanged ‘innovative thinking, we connected and spoke of future collaborations, in hope of evolving.’