The Space Race – To Boldly Go Where No Soda Has Gone Before…

Over 400 years ago, Sir Isaac Newton wrote in his scientific book “Principia Mathematica”: “If a leaden cannon ball is horizontally propelled by a powder charge from a cannon positioned on a hilltop, it will follow a curving flight path until it hits the ground … You can make it turn 10°, 30° and 90° before it touches the ground. You can force it to circle the Earth and even disappear into outer space, going away to infinity.”

On October 4, 1957, Newton’s hypothesis was proven correct. The Sputnik, a 183-pound shiny sphere, lifted off from the steppes of Kazahkstan, part of the former USRR. The “Space Age” had officially begun… The satellite’s prime payload was a radio transmitter sending out a harmless “beep-beep-beep” signal merely to declare its existence.
Nevertheless, the Sputnik struck fear into the hearts of Cold War Americans, who realized that the Soviets could just as well have lofted a nuclear-tipped missile to the US. Four years later, left the Soviets the USA behind in even more prestigious race. Yuri Gagarin became the first man, who orbited planet Earth in a manned spacecraft and returned home safely (the probability of a successful launch was estimated at only 50 percent, and no one even hoped that the cosmonaut would ever return).

One of the ironies of the Soviet space successes was that America’s paranoia about its technological gap led to a “first renaissance” in science education and huge investments (in the sixties, 5% of the federal budget went to space technology).
The Americans played catch-up, but initial efforts failed to make it anywhere near space and were nicknamed ‘Kaputnik” and ‘Stayputnik’ by the American press. But billions of dollars later, in 1969, the Americans emerged as victors when Neil Armstrong and Apollo 11 touched down on the moon.
In the Fifties, Russia seemed invincible in space. But finally the US won the Space Race with seven missions to the moon, while the Soviet moon program faltered.

In the years to come, the American space program would also suffer painful setbacks. On Jan. 28, 1986 , the space shuttle Challenger was destroyed 73 seconds after liftoff when rocket booster seal failed, leading to a subsequent fireball and the deaths of all seven astronauts aboard (including Christa McAuliffe, the first school teacher to launch spaceward).
Seventeen years later, another seven astronauts died when the Columbia orbiter, NASA’s oldest shuttle, broke apart during reentry on Feb. 1, 2003 after a successful 16-day science mission.
Each fatal accident grounded NASA spacecraft as the agency rooted out their causes and dealt out new safety plans before again launching astronauts into space. It took more than two years following both the Challenger and Columbia accident before NASA launched another shuttle.
The disaster occurring with the Challenger and Columbia were vivid reminders of the risks inherent to human spaceflight.

Today, the Americans and Russians have come to complement each other: NASA has been focusing on reusable transports (a fleet of space shuttles), while Russia has concentrated on studies of long-duration flight and a series of space stations.

Space programs have become so expensive, that no nation is able to conduct a space program in isolation. The former rivals are bound in space now. To make future projects happen, they have teamed up with Japan’s National Space Development Agency and the European Space Agency. Together they fill the sky with billions of dollars worth of telecommunications satellites, while a new generation of low-orbit satellite networks promises to extend and improve global communication even more.

Coca-Cola in Space

As the N°1 brand in the world, Coca-Cola always needs to stay a step ahead on the competition. To do so, no investment is spared. At the Coca-Cola Company, the motto seems to be “Dream big & make good ideas happen.” The sky is the limit – sometimes even literally.

In the late 19th century already, Coca-Cola owner Asa G. Candler put all his energy and money to break open a larger market. Candler spent huge advertising budgets on point-of-sales signs, newspapers ads, calendars, coupons & novelties, all of them prominently displaying the Coca-Cola logo. By the end of 1895, Candler could proudly proclaim that “Coca-Cola is now sold and drunk in every state of the United States”.

Robert W. Woodruff, Coke’s president from 1923 until 1954, wanted Coke to be “within arm’s reach of desire, around the world”, so he established an export department in 1926 and developed the first international bottling network.
When World War II broke out, Woodruff convinced his board of directors to make sure that no soldier had to go to war without America’s favorite drink – regardless the cost to the company. The Coke managers and technical crews had to overcome the most incredible difficulties of production and transport, but they managed to meet Woodruff’s target. At the cost of 5 Dollar cents a bottle, American GI’s could have their “Pause that refreshes” everywhere they had to go, even in the most inaccessible places or where the battle was fiercest. By the time the war was over, Coke had sold over 5 billion bottles.
Before WWII, Coca-Cola was bottled in 44 countries; by the sixties this figure had more than doubled. Coca-Cola’s bottling system was expanded to the largest and most widespread production and distribution network in the world. Coca-Cola grew into a global symbol of the American way of life.

Now that Coca-Cola was a global success story, it would take something fairly outlandish to raise eyebrows. In the eighties, CEO Roberto Goizueta had a new challenge for Coke, to boldly go where no soda has gone before… Coke’s packaging experts teamed up with NASA engineers to develop the CBDE (Carbonated Beverage Dispenser Evaluation). In 1985, astronauts tested the “Coca-Cola Space Can” aboard the Space Shuttle Challenger. The experiment was not really a success, due to the lack of refrigeration and the zero gravity conditions, but on the lighter side of space, floating “soda balls” did provide a source of entertainment for the astronauts.
Do you wonder how far New Coke did go? The STS-51F Challenger with New Coke on board traveled for 7 days, 22 hours & 45 minutes; covered a distance of 3,283,543 miles and completed 127 orbits.

Six years later, in 1991, Coca-Cola and Soviet space agency NPO Energia successfully tested an improved version of the Coca-Cola Space Can on board the Soviet space station Mir.
The 3rd trip was in 1995, this time with the Coca-Cola Space Dispenser on board (Aka the FGBA or “Fluids Generic Bioprocessing Apparatus”). The dispenser was designed to contain 1.65 liters each of Coca-Cola and Diet Coke and provide astronauts the opportunity to enjoy a refreshment break. They had to dispense their drink into a “Fluids Transfer Unit” (a sealed drinking cup) through a quick connect on the dispenser. To save power, the dispenser would chill the liquid when it was about to be consumed. As the drink passed from the storage container to the drinking can, it would flow past cooling coils that would chill it, one drink at a time. The design incorporated a unique baffle and thin vanes at its bottom to keep the liquid and carbon dioxide (CO2) from separating.

In 1996, another innovative fountain dispenser (serving Coca-Cola, diet Coke and hydration drink Powerade) was launched aboard the Space Shuttle Endeavour.
Over the years, Coca-Cola made a serious investment into their space research. In addition to a desire to offer a refreshment for astronauts, Coca-Cola was also observing the effects of space flight on changes in taste perception.

Now that JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) announced its goal to build an inhabitable base on the moon by 2030, the lunar base construction workers and astronauts can be sure that their Coke will be cold & tasty, just like at home.
And if we ever find extraterrestrial life, we would not be surprised to see that the magic of Coca-Cola’s universal charisma also works in outer space.

Coke is Out of This World!

Ad campaign: Coke is out of this world!
Illustrations by Tex Grubbs / Art Director: Tanya Frank / Copywriter: Craig Moyer

ABOUT THE ARTIST
Tex Grubbs is a squirrel tamer turned Illustrator (story goes that he lost 6 of his 10 fingers to the exciting and dangerous world of squirrel taming; now he draws and paints with his mouth and feet).
He was born & raised in Dallas, Texas (yes, Tex is his real name). Tex’s passion for drawing began as a child within the pages of “Calvin & Hobbes”, “The Farside” and all things Shel Silverstein (he still reads them when he can). Tex learned stuff at the university of Texas and, most recently, at the Portfolio Center in Atlanta, Georgia. Now he spends his days drawing & painting his own pictures from his Atlanta-based studio.
To see his more of his work, take a little trip to his website or check out the “illustration” section of his blog.

Advertisements

Gil Elvgren, Top Image-Maker & Pin-Up Glamour Master

Born in 1914 in St. Paul, Minnesota, Gil Elvgren was a master painter and one of America’s first and best loved pin-up artists. He is possibly the foremost painter of sensuality through using models who possess a ‘girl-next-door’ quality. His heroines are often caught in humorous situations that cause their skirts to rise and our eyes to follow. His paintings are an excellent proof of the phrase, “A picture is worth one thousand words.”

Elvgren commenced studies at the Minneapolis Art Institute, and later studied (and even taught) at the Chicago Academy of Art. His parents first encouraged him to study architecture, but shortly after starting his studies he decided to pursue art instead. Some of Gil’s fellow students were Al Buell, Andrew Loomis, Coby Whitmore, Robert Skemp and Ben Stahl. Many of his academy friends would later also work for Coca Cola.

Elvgren graduated from the Academy during the depression at the age of twenty-two. Elvgren first job was one for one of the major US advertising agencies, Stevens and Gross. One of their most exciting clients was Coca-Cola. Elvgren contributed to several Coca-Cola ads. No artist working for Coke could sign his work, but Elvgren’s hand & style remain very recognizable.

Elvgren’s work also mirrors the sheer, nostalgic revery that the breathtaking illustrations of Haddon Sundblom’s “Coca-Cola” Santa’s evoke. No wonder, as Elvgren quickly became a protégé of the legendary Sundblom. The old master taught his star pupil the lush brush stroke technique that makes Elvgren’s girls such glowing wonders.

Elvgren conveys the ideal of real life, fun, beauty and sensuality in every of his paintings. Never sexual, always sensual, their style is the epitome of the age of elegance in which he lived.
He spent extreme amounts of time posing the models for the pre-painting photograph. Elvgren always looked for models with vitality and personality, and chose young girls who were new to the modeling business. He felt the ideal pin-up was a 15 year old face on a 20 year old body. In some cases, he combined the body of one girl and the face of another to achieve the desired result.

In 1937, Gil began painting calendar pin-ups for Louis Dow, one of America’s leading publishing companies. These artworks are easily recognizable because they are signed with a printed version of Elvgren’s name, as opposed to his later cursive signature. Dow paintings were often published first in one format, then painted over with different clothes and situations.

Around 1944, Gil was approached by Brown and Bigelow, a firm that still dominates the field in producing calendars and advertising specialties. They offered him $1000 per pin-up, which was substantially more than Dow was paying him. Elvgren signed on with B&B. Gil’s Brown and Bigelow images all contain his cursive signature. Elvgren painted twenty calendar girls each year, ranging from the girl next door letting her dog out, to brave rodeo heroines & water skiing action girls.

Besides a successful career in advertising, Gil Elvgren also did a lot of magazine illustrations. His pretty girls also appeared on many billboards, the same image sometimes modified a bit to sell more than one type of product.

According to Elvgren author & art collector Louis Meisel: “Between the mid-1930s and early 70s, Elvgren produced over 500 paintings of beautiful girls and women. As the decades progressed, the paintings just kept getting better and better. Elvgren continually surpassed himself, always improving in composition, ideas, color and technique.”

The beautiful Elvgren girls are never portrayed as a femme fatale. They are stylized ideals in which the realities and essentials of female form and expression are heightened and exalted artistically. Their charms are revealed in that fleeting instant when she’s been caught unaware in what might be a surprising, sometimes even embarrassing situation. She is intruded upon as she takes a bath. Her skirts get caught in elevator doors, hung up on faucets, and entangled with dog leashes. The elements conspire in divesting her of her clothing. The Elvgren girls, pictured in a variety of fun and clever contexts, are life-affirmative art of the highest order.

Elvgren died in 1980, at the age of 66. Lately, there’s a resurgent interest in his work and prints of his pictures are still bestsellers. Today, Elvgren is recognized as one of the top image makers & glamour artists of the 20th century.

Iconic Pop Culture: The Fab Four, The Queen of Soul & Coca-Cola

Nearly 50 years ago, the Beatles changed society forever. They not only shaped rock & roll music but also an entire generation. Young people from allover the world mimicked all that they did, including clothing, haircuts and outlook. Their style and innovative music set the standard for all musicians to follow. To date, the Beatles remain the best-selling musical group of all time. It’s been estimated that their total record sales total over one billion.

Here you can see an illustration of the Fab Four from Liverpool, tasting a sip of success & Coca-Cola during their first US-tour. The Beatles arrived in NYC, February 8, 1964 for three appearances in the Ed Sullivan Show. These concerts were the most watched television programs ever (70 million viewers) until recently. Boosted by the charisma and personal charm of John, Paul, George & Ringo, the Beatlemania reached unbelievable proportions and the hit records kept coming until the band officially dissolved in 1970.
The Beatles’ impact on youth culture & pop music can’t be overstated.

With the recent chart success of Duffy, Amy Winehouse, Leona Lewis & Joss Stone, thoughts turn to the women of soul. If one singer deserves the title “Queen of Soul”, it must be sister Aretha Franklin. Rooted in a gospel tradition that was to inform her soul-charged sound, Aretha’s impact on pop music was profound. Hits as ‘Respect’, ‘Chain of Fools’, ‘I Say A Little Prayer’ and ‘Think’ made her a worldwide star. Not many artists have consistently made such brilliant music over more than 4 decades. “Soul to me is a feeling,” Aretha Franklin once told an interviewer. “It’s all about the emotion, the way it affects people.”

Soul diva Aretha Franklin was also the voice of a Coke radio commercial in 1967. A year later, she appeared in this Coca-Cola magazine ad: “Aretha comes on for Coca-Cola”.

Coca-Cola Happiness Coins

“Money makes the world go around. A mark, a yen, a buck or a pound, that clinking clanking sound can make the world go round”, sang Liza Minelli & Joel Grey in Cabaret.
Money doesn’t necessarily make you happy, but maybe these Coca-Cola Happiness coins will put a smile on your face…

Coca-Cola Republic of Happiness Since 1886 – 120 Years of Positive Inspiration.

Coin starring the Kiss Puppy.

Tribute to John Pemberton, inventor of Coca-Cola.

Limited Edition of Happiness Coins for Coca-Cola’s Global Meeting 2006, Istanbul. Design by RockAndRoll Agency.

6 Pack of Coca-Cola + 12 Top Hits = 50’s Fun

Great 33rpm record sleeve from the roaring fifties, the era that gave birth to rock and roll.

The fifties saw a great change in popular tunes. From the Easy Listening and Big Band era, the musical taste moved to Doo Wop. With hits like “Hound Dog”, “Don’t be Cruel” and “Love Me Tender”, Elvis lit up the scene. Rock and roll was more than just music, it quickly became a way of life.
Teenagers came forth with new ways of “dirty dancing” – the Jitterbug, Limbo & Twist. The popular fashion for girls was poodle skirts & cardigans and jeans, checked/striped shirts or T-shirts for the boys. Guys greased their hair, girls wore ponytails and bangs. Hula Hoops and Yo-Yo’s were the craze of the day.
Unmissable ingredients to get the party started were a portable turntable with a bunch of the lastest hit records, and some sixpacks of Coca-Cola bottles to share with your friends.

12 Top Hits (1958) featuring Volare (Domenico Modugno), Little Star (The Elegants), Poor Little Fool (Ricky Nelson), Bird Dog (The Everly Brothers), …

Peace in 1970

Magazine ad for Coca-Cola’s “Peace in 1970” T-shirt.

Coca-Cola Festifever Cans (Belgium)

In Belgium, summer = festival time. Internationally famous bands perform open-air concerts, rain or shine. Celebrated music festivals such as Rock Werchter, Dour, Dranouter, Pukkelpop and Marktrock attract not only local music lovers, but fans from all over the world. On different stages, you can see the stars from now & tomorrow: rock, pop, dance – contemporary, progressive or alternative.
This series of limited “Festifever” cans (2004) is the perfect souvenir of all these unforgettable concert weekends.

Graphic Design: RockAndRoll Agency.
Project Team Coca-Cola: Arnaud Tasiaux, Muriel Soupart.