ROBERT Burns has become the first real person to feature on a Coca-Cola bottle.
The special edition reproduces the image of Scotland’s national poet between the antlers of a stag to mark Homecoming Scotland 2009, in a colourful red, white and gold tribute.
Although an image of Santa Claus has previously appeared on a bottle of Coke, it is the first time the company has used the image of a historical figure on a bottle.
In another marketing milestone it is the first time Coca-Cola has dedicated a special edition to a nation.
First Minister Alex Salmond was at Gleneagles Hotel in Perthshire yesterday for the delivery of the first of the one million bottles of Homecoming Coke to go on sale.
“Andy Warhol described the Coca-Cola’s contour bottle as ‘the design icon of the decade’, but now that it is decorated with my ‘Man of the Millennium’ I think its visual identity is even more significant,” he said.
“This year, as we celebrate the 250th anniversary of the birth of Robert Burns, we have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to remind our friends and family of everything that makes Scotland unique. This unique design for 2009 captures the spirit of that celebration, and is a fantastic way of translating our heritage and identity into the language of popular culture.
“Coca-Cola’s support is a huge vote of confidence in the pulling-power of Scotland’s Year of Homecoming – as a party with huge commercial potential. This new design is a fantastic way of tapping into the Scottish market and its global connections.”
PR guru Mark Borkowski praised the Homecoming Coke as a “cool” piece of branding.
“The average human can only drink so much liquid and we are all urged to drink healthy drinks like water,” he said.
“Coca-Cola have been pretty imaginative and confident with their brand and image and I think this is a cool idea.
“I think these bottles will be a hit with the Scottish public and become sought after by collectors from the Scottish diaspora around the globe.
“The only real problem is what would Burns have thought of it?”