This year marks the 50th anniversary of Coca-Cola’s Hilltop television commercial and the company is celebrating the half century with the 1971 Unity Collection, a series of capsule collections with fashion, beauty and accessories brands.
The Hilltop commercial featured young people from all over the world assembled on a hill in Italy to sing the jingle “I’d Like to Buy the World a Coke,” which was later released as the song “I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing” performed by the Hillside Singers.
Coke has partnered with more than 25 brands to celebrate the commercial — including Timex, PacSun, Starter, Morphe, Casetify, Funko, Loft, Mark Feldstein, Round 2, AMC Textil, Blue Ocean, Bumpboxx, Castline, Chaser, Fifth Sun, Freman Shoes, Grade Africa, Koolatron, Only & Sons, Picnic Time, PopSockets, Ripple Junction, Rolla’s Jeans, Rookie Roller, Smeg, Spirit Jersey, Tafi AR Samsung, Tai Apparel and Vintage Vending — to launch globally beginning on May 11.
“The brands selected for the 1971 Unity Collection are from around the world,” said Kate Dwyer, senior director of global licensing at Coca-Cola. “They allow for self-expression across a variety of categories including apparel, beauty and electronics, among others. They reflect the optimism and unique expression of the original Hilltop campaign.”
Dwyer said the collection is intended to tap into themes of peace and harmony from the commercial, but in a modern way. Similarities between the early ’70s and today are evident in the use of colors and graphics.
“We leaned into brands that eschew a retro ’70s playfulness and easy-going fun vibe,” she added. “Seventies design and fashion trends are seeing a huge comeback in the market, as seen on the runway by many leading, trend designers. The vibrant colors and graphics that were so prevalent in Coca-Cola’s iconic Hilltop TV advertisement are on-trend with today’s fashions. The messages they convey around peace, love, unity and optimism are more relevant now than ever.”
The collection builds on Coca-Cola’s recent fashion profile that includes collaborations with Tommy Hilfiger, Marc Jacobs and Kith, as well as Facetasm, Atmos and Fragment.
“Coca-Cola has a long history in fashion dating back to the ’30s and ’40s when it sought ways to integrate the brand into people’s everyday lives,” Dwyer said. “Throughout the decades fashion was featured through promotional campaigns. In the ’80s, Coca-Cola launched a fashion brand. The deep, rich archives continue to be a source of inspiration. It’s fun to watch designers tour the archive here in Atlanta and get excited about putting their unique spin on the brand.”