Why Collect Coca-Cola?
See what Simon Buckingham is saying about this:
For the past decade I have been collecting all manner of Coca-Cola items. My collection started when I visited Walt Disney World in Florida during its 15th anniversary celebrations in 1987. I collected a set of Coca-Cola cans, each of which shows a different Disney character. In fact I collected everything when I was in America from till receipts to newspapers. When I got back I realized that I had lots of Coca-Cola items. At that same time, the Pepsi taste-test Challenge was in my home town and I took it and selected Coca-Cola. This got me thinking about why one company would tell me that I liked its competitor’s brands- and lead me to study business and marketing in more detail. Thank you Pepsi for taking the time to encourage me to always drink Coca-Cola. These two events started me collecting Coca-Cola, and I haven’t stopped since!
So why collect Coca-Cola?
I collect everything from cans and bottles to any other trademarked items such as surfboards, rubber dingeys, toy cars, clothes, yo-yos and the like. You name it and Coca-Cola has put its name on it- from sandwich toasters to chewing gum. Name any household, leisure or work item and its been badged, every craze has been chronicled and many trends have been started. Coca-Cola creates and reflects trends by putting its name on everything from yo-yos to mouse mats to screen savers to frisbees.
Coca-Cola sells in over 200 different countries around the world so anyone can collect anywhere. Collecting has taken me to places around the world where I would never otherwise have been and given me a reason to meet people who I would not otherwise have met. Because of the necessary large size needed for Coca-Cola factories, they tend to be in rural spaces on the outskirts of large towns and cities, hence adventures to new places in cities all over the world. I’ve corresponded with a great many people in every continent. A few years ago I traded with a South African collector, Jopie Strauss, and a friend asked me if he was black. I said I didn’t know and didn’t care as long as he had cans to trade.
Almost all of my friends have contributed to my Coca-Cola collection as have many people who I don’t even know. Every item gets a little sticker on the bottom saying who got me it, when and where. Collecting is sociable. People like to talk about the collection, mention it in Christmas cards (“Hope you drink a lot of Coke this holiday season and collect lots of goodies next year”) and find new items. The great thing about collecting Coca-Cola is that everyone understands it, likes it and remembers that I collect it. Its something that everyone has something to say about- because everyone knows the Real Thing.
Coca-Cola is affordable, accessible and extensively available to collect. Its contents may stay the same (usually) but its packaging is always changing. If Coca-Cola introduce contour shaped cans in 1998 or 1999, I’ll have to start my can collection all over again! Whilst many of the trademarked Coca-Cola collectibles are expensive, the packages for the drink itself will always be affordable. Anyone can just go into a shop and start collecting using their pocket money. The fact that Coca-Cola is affordable yet collectible means that it can create wealth for the buyers as well as the sellers.
Coca-Cola items get valuable quickly. As soon as items such as special promotional cans or bottles are no longer available to buy in the shops, their value immediately rockets to three or four times shelf price. The value of an item depends on several factors- obviously the more scarce the item and the better the condition, the higher the value. Items issued for internal use within the Coca-Cola system tend to be more valuable than those sold in the shops, and so on.
All in all, collecting Coca-Cola has been great for me because it has given me some possessions when I otherwise covert none, and is always there to refresh me wherever I am and whatever change I am going through. “Life is much more fun when you’re refreshed, and Coke refreshes you best”. Get real.