Brands & Branding in South Africa 2008
In 2006, Coca-Cola invited REX to participate in its 125th birthday celebrations, by joining a team of 125 artists from around the world taking 125 years of Coca-Cola marketing material and re-inventing it to create a series of fresh visuals inspired by the brand’s new global positioning statement – the Coke side of life.
Each ‘artist’ – which includes icons such as Sir Peter Blake, who designed the cover of the Beatles’ Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album – was given unlimited access to Coca-Cola’s archived marketing material, and invited to re-interpret these visuals in their unique style to bring the Coke mantra of “happiness in a bottle” to life.
The result is a gallery of images that pays homage to the brand’s heritage and the prominent role that it has played in popular global culture over the years, while simultaneously building its present branding platform. The work exists in a variety of media formats, both static and animated, and has been brought to life via traditional print and outdoor executions across the world, as well as a series of outdoor art galleries and via an online ‘vault’. It will also be displayed in the Coca-Cola Museum in Atlanta.
Rex’s Remix of the Coca-Cola brand, which the creators have dubbed ‘Coca-Cola Origami’, tells an african story using the universal language created by Coke over the years. Each piece of the design folds in on itself to reveal a new image, a bird that’s swallowed by a crocodile which transforms into a herd of migrating buffalo.
Rex was the only company from South Africa invited to participate in the project, placing the company’s work alongside artists stretching from the United States to Brazil, Indonesia to Japan, and Switzerland to Senegal. On a broader scale, it places REX alongside cultural art icons such as Sir Peter Blake, Keith Haring and Warhol.