The Story Behind the Iconic Coca-Cola Bottle

With its fluted glass and shapely design, the classic Coca-Cola bottle is a worldwide icon. Even without the label, you can immediately identify it with the brand—which is exactly what Coca-Cola wanted.

When the drink first hit the market in the early 20th century, Coke was sold in standard, straight bottles that were either brown or clear. While each one was embossed with the logo, that didn’t stop imitators like Koka-Nola, Ma Coca-Co, Toka-Cola or Koke from simply mimicking the design to such effect that they often duped consumers. By 1912, Coca-Cola had had enough. They needed a foolproof method for identifying and authenticating their product. Harold Hirsch, the company’s lead attorney, urged bottlers to develop a better container:

“We are not building Coca-Cola alone for today. We are building Coca-Cola forever, and it is our hope that Coca-Cola will remain the National drink to the end of time. The heads of your companies are doing everything in their power at considerable expense to bring about a bottle that we can adopt and call our own child, and when that bottle is adopted I ask each and every member of this convention to not consider the immediate expense that would be involved with changing your bottle, but to remember this, that in bringing about that bottle, the parent companies are bringing about an establishment of your own rights. You are coming into your own and it is a question of cooperation.”

Yeah, they took this mission very seriously. With a $500 initiative, a handful of glass companies across the U.S. were asked to develop a distinctive bottle, and the Root Glass Company in Terre Haute, Ind., ultimately crafted the winner. Under the direction of Alexander Samuelson, a Swedish glass blower, the team created a bottle inspired by an illustration of a cocoa bean with its elongated shape and grooves. A patent for the design was granted (notably without the Coca-Cola lettering as a means of protect the client) and selected by the company soon after.

The initial contract called for the bottles to be colored with “German Green,” which was later changed to “Georgia Green” as a nod to the company’s state of origin. It also specified that the glass weigh no less than 14.5 ounces. When filled, a bottle of crisp, refreshing Coca-Cola weighed over a pound.

As with any custom design, the new containers weren’t cheap and many bottlers hesitated at first, but as national ad campaigns started to roll out, the design eventually took over. The patent was renewed on Christmas Day in 1923, and the date on the side of the bottle was changed to December 25, 1923, which earned it the nickname, the “Christmas Bottle.” In 1951, the bottle was given Trademark status.

The design has undergone minor alterations throughout the years and at different times has been called the “hobbleskirt” bottle (a nod to a popular, early 20th century fashion) and the “Mae West” bottle because of its curves. And while we rarely drink out of glass bottles anymore, the unique 100-year-old design is still as recognizable as ever, just as intended. 

[h/t Boing Boing]

How Google Chrome’s New Built-In Ad Blocker Will Change Your Browsing Experience

If you can’t stand web ads that auto-play sound and pop up in front of what you’re trying to read, you have two options: Install an ad blocker on your browser or avoid the internet all together. Starting Thursday, February 15, Google Chrome is offering another tool to help you avoid the most annoying ads on the web, Tech Crunch reports. Here’s what Google Chrome users should expect from the new feature.

Chrome’s ad filtering has been in development for about a year, but the details of how it will work were only recently made public. “While most advertising on the web is respectful of user experience, over the years we've increasingly heard from our users that some advertising can be particularly intrusive,” Google wrote in a blog post. “As we announced last June, Chrome will tackle this issue by removing ads from sites that do not follow the Better Ads Standards.

That means the new feature won’t block all ads from publishers or even block most of them. Instead, it will specifically target ads that violate the Better Ad Standards that the Coalition for Better Ads recommends based on consumer data. On desktop, this includes auto-play videos with sound, sticky banners that follow you as you scroll, pop-ups, and prestitial ads that make you wait for a countdown to access the site. Mobile Chrome users will be spared these same types of ads as well as flashing animations, ads that take up more than 30 percent of the screen, and ads the fill the whole screen as you scroll past them.

These criteria still leave room for plenty of ads to show up online—the total amount of media blocked by the feature won’t even amount to 1 percent of all ads. So if web browsers are looking for an even more ad-free experience, they should use Chrome’s ad filter as a supplement to one of the many third-party ad blockers out there.

And if accessing content without navigating a digital obstacle course first doesn’t sound appealing to you, don’t worry: On sites where ads are blocked, Google Chrome will show a notification that lets you disable the feature.

[h/t Tech Crunch]

Why Subliminal Messaging Doesn't Work (Unless You Want It To)

Subliminal messages—hidden phrases in TV programs, movies, and ads—probably won't make you run out and join the Navy, appreciate a band's music, or start smoking. That's because these sneaky suggestions don't really change consumer behavior, even though many people believe otherwise, according to Sci Show Psych.

We say "don't really" because subliminal messages can sway the already motivated, research shows. For example, a 2002 study of 81 college students found that parched subjects drank more water after being subliminally primed with words like "dry" and "thirsty." (Participants who weren't already thirsty drank less.) A follow-up experiment involving 35 undergrads yielded similar results, with dehydrated students selecting sports drinks described as "thirst-quenching" over "electrolyte-restoring" after being primed for thirst. Experiments like these won't work on, say, chocolate-loving movie audiences who are subliminally instructed by advertisers to purchase popcorn instead.

Learn more about how subliminal messaging affects (or doesn't affect) our decision-making, and why you likely won't encounter ads with under-the-radar suggestions on the regular.


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