The Coca-Cola Company
This piece celebrates a timeless balance between Coca-Cola and the natural world. Wildlife welfare and conservation requires both action and absence, in perfect balance and harmony. Brands and thought leaders must act to ensure that animals and their habitats are protected, but also ensure our absence to allow for a truly natural way of life. This foundational dichotomy is represented in several ways in the piece, including color choice, focal points, negative space, and brush stroke style & composition.
From the front side (elephant facing left), we see a glass Coca-Cola bottle bursting into effervescent bubbles and swirling through the body and towards the heart. The bottle was painted on the forward-most foot and represents Coca-Cola’s constant effort to step forward and do its part to protect the planet through best-in-class sustainability programs. The teals and blues selected for the bottle were based on an empty glass bottle held up to the light. This side celebrates our relentless energy and “action” in supporting elephants and all wildlife.
As we move around to the back side of the piece (elephant facing right), you notice immediately how much calmer things become. This side is meant to act independently as a beautiful abstract piece. It is very smooth, very balanced and with plenty of breathing room. The Coca-Cola bubbles do not wrap around to this side, and the swirling effect of the brushstrokes do not cut through the body but remain wide and towards the perimeter. This leaves plenty of room for your eye to rest in the center of the body, which is why this side celebrates our respect of the world and “absence” from it.
The head and trunk celebrate special historical elements of both Coca-Cola and elephants. The trunk is a bold, classic Coca-Cola striped straw, as featured in restaurants, vintage Coca-Cola advertisements and mid-century Americana. Not only is this a literal play on the elephant’s trunk acting as a straw, but also the importance of trunks as critical survival tools. In the same way, Coca-Cola can continue to be a critical survival tool used by wildlife and human populations across the world. Our straw has two colored stripes, and our elephants are indigenous only to two continents. Our red stripe represents the red sands of the African savanna, and the white stripe represents the falling rain and waterfalls of the Asian rainforest and grasslands.
Finally, there are two nods to Las Vegas, our host site for this year’s Elephant Parade. The first is on the backside of the Coke bottle label and reads “Reyes Coca-Cola Bottling,” the bottling company that serves the Las Vegas strip. The second can be found hiding in the effervescent bubbles. You’ll notice a few of the bubbles have black dots, which transform these simple, high-impact strokes into Las Vegas casino dice.