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Chef 187, Slap Dee, Willz and Macky II join fans to celebrate 100 years of the Coke bottle

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Coke100 9Zambia’s leading hip-hop artists Chef 187, Slap Dee, Macky II and Willz performed for hundreds of fans at Coca-Cola’s 100 Years of Good Times free concert in Lusaka this weekend to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Coca-Cola contour bottle.

“We’ve grown up drinking Coca-Cola,” said Willz said. “I remember back then when you are having special moments like Christmas, New Year our parents will get Coca-Cola. Looking at the bottle reminds of the good days.”Coke100 12

Speaking at the event at the Mulungushi Conference centre in Lusaka, Zambian Breweries marketing manager for soft drinks Mambo Mwiimbu said: “The Coca-Cola bottle was first designed 100 years ago, and since then it has become so popular with our customers that we no longer own it, they own it. And, it means a lot to them. That is why we have thrown a free concert for them to enjoy celebrate the bottle that has contained our iconic brew and some of the best musicians in the country at the moment.”Coke100 17

The Coca-Cola bottle was designed to solve a big problem Coca-Cola bottling company in the US was facing in 1915: Coke customers were struggling to differentiate Coke from copy-cat brands.

Harold Hirsch, the company’s lawyer, decided to launch a competition asking designers to develop a bottle distinct enough to be recognised when felt in the dark or when lying broken on the ground.Coke100 8-1

Earl R Dean of The Root Glass Company of Terre Haute developed the winning design. Dean’s design was based on the contour shape and ribs of the Coca pod from which coke is made. The design was patented on November 16, 1915 and since gone on to be considered a classic work of art.

Not many changes have been made to Dean’s design since 1915. Industrial designer Raymond Loewy, who would later added the bright white applied lettering to the bottle to the coke bottle, said: “The Coke bottle is a masterpiece of scientific, functional planning. In simpler terms, I would describe the bottle as well-thought-out, logical, sparing of material and pleasant to look at. The most perfect ‘fluid wrapper’ of the day and one of the classics in packaging history.”Coke100 4

This perfect ‘fluid wrapper’ has inspired many pop artists over the decades. In 1962, Andy Warhol, created a masterpiece titled the Green Bottle Coca-Cola Bottles. The painting is composed of 112 empty green glass bottles of Coca Cola, lined up into seven rows of 16 with the Coca-Cola logo perfectly centred at the bottom.

Aside from the concert, there were games to entertain the crowd and a ‘Coca-Cola’ tunnel where music fans learned about the history of the bottle.

“The consistency Coca-Cola has achieved is amazing,” said fan Lawrence Namenda after the left the tunnel.

Fans also had the opportunity to interact with the artists in Coca-Cola’s VIP lounge at the event.Coke100 1

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