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  • Writer's pictureDave Hochman

Why Apple & Coke Are the Same

Updated: May 4, 2021

As I watched the final scene in the Mad Men series, my mind circled back to a few minutes prior when AMC debuted the trailer for the upcoming Steve Jobs biopic, and it struck me how much the famous Coca-Cola "Hilltop" commercial reminded me of an Apple ad campaign. Music. Diversity. Youth. It's-a-small-world-after-all idealism. All the ingredients are present.

When you think about it, it actually makes a lot of sense to analyze the connections between the two brands.

Consider the glass bottles that Cokes used to come in (before 2-liters). The famously shaped bottle, described by noted industrial designer, Raymond Loewy as the “perfect liquid wrapper and "well thought-out, logical, sparing of material and pleasant to look at," was imbued with a sense of design far, far deeper than one would expect from a mass-produced consumer product.

It sounds familiar, doesn't it?

If I were on the writing staff of Mad Men, I would've placed a young Steve Jobs at Esalen in 1971.... and had Don Draper say clever phrases about marketing to him.

Of course, he did famously deride the entire soft drink industry when he was courting former Pepsi CEO John Sculley to join Apple. The story has it that Steve Jobs told Sculley "Do you really want to sell sugar water, or do you want to come with me and change the world?" but surely there must have been some good reasons he so badly wanted someone not from the technology world to take the job. I don't think Steve Jobs ever did anything in business without what he considered good reasons. The fact is, Steve Jobs long emulated the way Cola brands' market themselves to consumers.

What are Apple products really anyways...but very well-designed and packaged "sweetened" versions of whats already out there?

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