The Coca-Cola bottle, with its distinctive contoured glass, was created a century ago as a way for the soft drink company to give its product a competitive edge. As the company website explains, “In 1915, Coca-Cola attempted to fend off a host of copycat brands by strengthening its trademark. The company and its bottling partners issued a creative challenge to a handful of U.S. glass companies: To develop a “bottle so distinct that you would recognize if by feel in the dark or lying broken on the ground.”
The winning design, created by the Root Glass Company of Terre Haute, Ind., worked — so well, in fact, that a century later the company is still using that basic concept to market its signature brand. Coca-Cola this year is celebrating the 100th anniversary of the bottle — and its influence in pop art and other realms — through a global advertising campaign, art exhibitions and a photo book, among other avenues.
Now the bottle and its history will also be the subject of a new “authorized” documentary, according to The Hollywood Reporter. (Coke will help pay for the movie’s marketing.)
“When I can hold up a Coca-Cola bottle and ask, ‘is this art or is this commerce?’ and most commonly hear ‘it’s both,’ that sets the stage for an intriguing narrative,” the movie’s producer and co-director, Matthew Miele, told THR.
That narrative could include how the Coke bottle became the first commercial product to make it to the cover of Time magazine in 1950, or how it provided fodder for artists like Andy Warhol — and, especially if the film touches on today’s backlash against soda, it might even mention that the 10- and 12-ounce bottles that made their debut in 1955 were called “King Size” and a 26-ounce bottle was marketed as “Family Size.”
Miele and his team reportedly hope their documentary will premiere in November to coincide with the Nov. 16, 1915 date that the bottle design first won a patent.
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The White House on Friday unveiled plans for a new effort to ramp up testing for Covid-19, which experts say is an essential part of limiting the spread of the virus. This chart from Vox gives a sense of just how far the U.S. has to go to catch up to other countries that are dealing with the pandemic, including South Korea, the leading virus screener with 3,692 tests per million people. The U.S., by comparison, has done about 23 tests per million people as of March 12.
The Air Force has scrapped a planned upgrade of its B-2 stealth bomber fleet — even after spending $2 billion on the effort — because defense contractor Northrup Grumman didn’t have the necessary software expertise to complete the project on time and on budget, Bloomberg’s Anthony Capaccio reports, citing the Pentagon’s chief weapons buyer.
Ellen Lord, the undersecretary of defense for acquisition and sustainment, told reporters that the nearly $2 billion that had already been spent on the program wasn’t wasted because “we are still going to get upgraded electronic displays.”
Bernie Sanders wants to eliminate $1.6 trillion in student debt, to be paid for by a tax on financial transactions, but doing so won’t be easy, says Josh Mitchell of The Wall Street Journal.
The main problem for Sanders is that most Americans don’t support the plan, with 57% of respondents in a poll last fall saying they oppose the idea of canceling all student debt. And the politics are particularly thorny for Sanders as he prepares for a likely general election run, Mitchell says: “Among the strongest opponents are groups Democrats hope to peel away from President Trump: Rust Belt voters, independents, whites, men and voters in rural areas.”
That’s how much Michael Bloomberg is spending per day in his pursuit of the Democratic presidential nomination, according to new monthly filings with the Federal Election Commission. “In January alone, Bloomberg dropped more than $220 million on his free-spending presidential campaign,” The Hill says. “That breaks down to about $7.1 million a day, $300,000 an hour or $5,000 per minute.”