October 24, 2013

World Polio Awareness Day - A Personal Story

Polio Vaccine Distribution

Delivering Polio Vaccine in Argentina, 1964

October 24th is World Polio Awareness day.  Last year, I wrote a blog post for The Company's official blog, Unbottled, highlighting how polio had impacted my family and giving details on the efforts of The Coca-Cola Company to distribute the polio vaccine in Latin America.  On Polio Awareness Day, I wanted to re-share that blog. ^TR

September 24, 2013

Christmas Came Early!


Panorama of Oglethorpe University Museum of Art

Each year we work with partners to showcase our original Coca-Cola Santa paintings by Haddon Sundblom.  The paintings have been displayed at locations as diverse as museums like the Louvre in Paris and the Royal Ontario in Canada to malls in Japan and China and even the home Cracker Barrel in Tennessee!  This year, the Santa's will be on display at Oglethorpe University Museum of Art in Atlanta Georgia and the Louisville Slugger Museum in Louisville, Kentucky.  While the Louisville exhibit will not open until closer to Christmas, the Oglethorpe show opened a few weeks ago and will be up through December 8th.  We visited last week and I tried to capture the gallery in a panorama, I can assure you the show looks much better in person.  If you are visiting Atlanta and want to support a great local museum, make plans to visit Oglethorpe before it closes.  ^TR

July 16, 2013

Active Healthy Living Through the Years

Coca-Cola Active Healthy Living Exhibit 1

“Active, Healthy Living" has always been supported by The Coca-Cola Company. To showcase this fact, we just opened a temporary exhibit at The World of Coca-Cola entitled, "Active Healthy Living Through the Years". The case highlights a lot of fun artifacts that display some of the Company’s sponsorships of physical fitness programs through the years and its commitment to offering an array of packaging sizes over time, like the first Coca-Cola mini-cans from the 1970s all the way up to today. The earliest item on display is 1938’s “Steps to Health” board game from Canada, which you can see pictured here. Do any of you collectors out there have this game in their collection? We actually have two different versions of the game in our Archives. The exhibit will be up until mid-November.

June 12, 2013

The Pause that Refreshes Amid the Debris

1936 Relief Workers served on makeshift counter tops made of metal Coca-Cola signs in the aftermath of the tornado

Tornado relief workers served meals on counter tops made of metal Coca-Cola signs

One of the worst tornadoes in US history ripped through the city of Gainesville, Georgia some 77 years ago and I recently found in the Archives a photo album that documented the situation. The Red Cross  and The Salvation Army both used the Gainesville Coca-Cola bottling plant as headquarters for relief efforts in the storm’s aftermath. I reached out to Michael Nagy, Director and Archivist at The Salvation Army Southern Historical Center, who shared some great detailed images and stories from inside the plant that I had never seen nor heard. My favorite picture is the one which shows relief workers being served refreshments on makeshift serving counters comprised of Coca-Cola cooler crates on the bottom and metal Coca-Cola signs as the counter tops! Many Salvation Army volunteers are seen inside the Coke plant in the photos, and Michael shared some information with me from the 1936 issue of the War Cry, a magazine issued by the Salvation Army in Atlanta. 

1936 Salvation Army Relief Workers at Gainesville, GA Coca-Cola plant after tornado

The Salvation Army relief workers at the Gainesville Coca-Cola plant after tornado

Mr. H. Earl Terrell, the manager of the Gainesville Coca-Cola Bottling Company, turned over his building to be used for the relief effort in any way fit. Food was sorted and a makeshift kitchen was set up to feed hundreds of storm sufferers and workers. The kitchen, which was operated by The Salvation Army workers just hours after the storm and all through the initial nights, was one of the most popular places in town. According to the War Cry, as soon as they were relieved, National Guardsmen, firemen, W.P.A. employees, and all other workers made their way to the kitchen in the Coca-Cola plant. The Salvation Army workers also carried refreshments to those working outside among the ruins of buildings, and “anyone and everyone was fed for the first day and night”. A caption on one of the photos in the magazine put it best: “The pause that refreshes amid the debris”.

1936 Feeding Relief Workers and National Guardsmen at Gainesville, GA Coca-Cola plant after tornado
All images courtesy of The Salvation Army Southern Historical Center

Relief workers and National Guardsmen gather at the Gainesville Coca-Cola plant

May 09, 2012

My First Coca-Cola Bottling Plant Tour!

Coca-Cola and a Hair NetI was thrilled yesterday to visit a Coca-Cola bottling plant for the first time in my 6 1/2 years with the Company, and go on a "market visit" as well. What a treat it was to see the process from the onset of the pre-form bottles (in some cases) traveling down the filling line until the moment the final product is sealed for delivery, and ultimately returned, recycled and repeated (in other cases). My gracious host for the day was Coca-Cola Shanduka Beverages in Nigel, Gauteng, South Africa.

Vukuzenzele Fish and ChipsOnce we left the plant, our Coca-Cola market representatives took us to a "Strategic Distribution Center", a mini-warehouse which was run by two women, where local shop owners were stopping by to pick up orders of Coca-Cola to take to their local "tuck" shops to sell to consumers. Most of the product they picked up was in red crates like the ones I am surrounded by in the picture at the top (Yes, I agree that the hairnet is a good look). Two local shop owners drove off in a car with a man sitting in the trunk riding along because of all of the Coca-Cola in the small car. He was also holding on to a crate - I should have had my camera ready to capture that moment!

1952 Print Ad - New Johannesburg PlantThen, we went to several typical "tuck" shops probably not unlike one that those very shop owners might have been heading to. (By the way, maybe someone from South Africa can drop me a line in comments to let me know why they are called "tuck" shops??) There we met local families, individuals, neighbors, enterprising businessmen and women alike who warmly welcomed us in to see how their business is run, and what makes Coca-Cola an essential part of it. Just as this ad from Johannesburg in 1952, which states that the local Coca-Cola bottling plants are "truly local enterprises forming an integral part of the community in which they are situated. Local capital-local labour and localy produced good are fully utilised to the benefit of the community", I can truly say I witnessed this in action yesterday around Nigel, Gauteng, South Africa, even 60 years later.

December 05, 2011

Philippines - Where Will Happiness Strike Next?

I was fortunate to travel to the Philippines for work just over a year ago.  I blogged about my visit as I gave both media and employee presentations on our rich history in that country.  During my stay there, I learned that the Philippine people love the Christmas season and begin decorating months ahead of the actual holiday.  I was there in early November and Manila was already decked out with lights and Christmas carols.

I was reminded of my trip when one of my colleages from the Philippines sent me this inspirational video. This Christmas version of "Where will happiness strike next" captures the holiday spirit.


February 21, 2011

Natasha Bedingfield In The Diet Coke Red Dress

NatashaBedingfield_EndofShow_RDC2011 I blogged last week about the Heidi Klum Dress we have in the Archives.  The photograph to the left is Photo courtesy of The Heart Truth's Red Dress Collection 2011, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute and features Natasha Bedingfield wearing the Diet Coke Red Dress from the kickoff event at the New York Fashion Week a few weeks ago.

For the fourth consecutive year, Diet Coke is partnering with the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute to support The Heart Truth campaign. This year, Diet Coke has created a national game of “Capture the Flag,” inviting people to visit where they can capture flags with a click of the mouse to trigger a donation from Diet Coke to heart health programs.

The Heidi dress is always one of the hits when we give Archive tours to our marketing colleagues.

October 01, 2010

Greetings (Almost) From Shanghai

Queue Wide Shot 2 I am excited to write that I am about to travel to Shanghai China for the month of October to work at the Shanghai EXPO and then on for a week to work with our colleagues in Manilla Philippines.  The Coca-Cola Company has a long history of sponsoring and activating World's Fairs and Expos.  In fact I have blogged about our introduction of the first automatic fountain dispenser at the Chicago Exposition in 1933.  As I see items related to the Archives or heritage of Coca-Cola, I will continue to put up photos and blog about them.  If you happen to be in Shanghai, make sure to stop by the Coke Pavaillion at the EXPO to say 'Hi."

September 20, 2010

International Coastal Cleanup

Bend a little We have blogged before about our long heritage and some of the efforts of The Coca-Cola Company to partner with organizations to help the environment.  In this post from last year, we highlighted our 40th anniversary of the Keep America Beautiful and Bend A Little campaigns. 

More recently, The Coca-Cola Company celebrated our 15th anniversary partnering with Ocean Conservancy on the International Coastal Cleanup.  Please take a minute to watch the video below to find out what you can do in your local area.




August 05, 2010

Coca-Cola Brisket At The 5 Spot In Seattle

Brisket While my wife and kids were on vacation in Seattle last week I received a text from them with a photograph of the menu from the 5 Spot restaurant.  The portion of the menu she sent me offered Coca-Cola Brisket and they wanted to let me know because they knew how much I loved to find places that serve Coke as an ingredient.  

The 5 Spot is interesting in that the menu and the interior decor have changed over time as they have completed a regional food festival altering the menu every few months to focus on a different region of the US.  While my family was there, Seattle was the theme and the place was decorated with computer paraphernalia and grunge band flannel shirts.

I e-mailed Jessica Skye Bolt who is the General Manager of the 5 Spot and she said that the Coca-Cola Brisket was added to the menu more that 10 years ago when they were focusing on the food of Brooklyn and wanted a good brisket recipe.  It has been a top seller ever since.  In fact, they sell out of it every night, so if you are in the Seattle area looking for a good meal, make sure to get there early.  I know my family loved it!

5 spot Story Base PM Seattle Cropped 7.27.2010