Michael Nusinow is sifting through a crate of glass
“Our period bottles from the 1940s and ‘50s are embossed like this one,” he says, tracing the logo’s raised lettering with his finger.
A few years ago, Nusinow bought several hundred of the vintage vessels from a
In the ‘50s, Coke set up an office in Los Angeles to be closer to the entertainment capital of the world and get its beverages on set and on screen. Premier Entertainment took over these responsibilities in the ‘90s, and has worked closely with Coke's LA-based entertainment marketing team and Atlanta-based archives since then to field requests from studios, networks and showrunners.
“They're our front lines with producers, studios... anyone with a camera looking to integrate
In many cases, Premier receives scripts that call for a
“They’ll say, ‘the scene takes place in a diner in the 1950s… what do you have?” Nusinow explains. “So I'll take pictures of what’s here in the warehouse to send them, and they’ll come by and have a look if they’re interested.”
Nusinow often consults the
“We have so many things at our fingertips that can make scenes look realistic and add colour and context to the time and place they're trying to recreate,” Nusinow said.
The warehouse Nusinow mentions is in the back of a relatively nondescript office building in North Hollywood that, from the curb, offers few hints at the throwback treasures behind its doors. The space is stacked with
The industrial-style building is also home to cases of
Piper and Premier take careful steps to ensure
Premier evaluates opportunities through the lens of Coke’s current brand and business strategies. “We find the right fit between a brand and a project, while helping directors bring authenticity to the stories they’re trying to tell,” Nusinow says. “We’re not here to make a commercial. We want Coke’s brands to be integrated naturally into the fabric of the shot.”
He adds, “I don't think of it as product placement as much as that we help recreate real life.”
And as Coke’s product portfolio has expanded over the years, so too has its screen credits. “When you see an actor in a movie or on TV walking around with a smartwater or an Honest Tea, it's because that's probably what he or she is walking around with each day,” Ryan explains.
Nusinow says he never tires of seeing the fruits of his team’s labour in the theater. “You read these scripts and partner with these productions, then you go to the movies and suddenly see something you worked on pop up on the big screen. And you know what? Even after all these years, I still get excited.”
Piper has a similar reaction. “When I see our products on screen, I'm really proud because we work for a company that stands for more than what's in the bottle,” she said. “It's optimism, it's happiness. When I see our brands, I see more than just set dressing.”