Thursday 1 September 2016

the uncola

I really enjoyed reading this history of 7Up from Collectors’ Weekly and learning how a succession of marketing campaigns that brilliantly, verging perhaps on plagiarism sometimes, helped the UnCola distinguish itself from the cadre of competing tonics by making the soft drink resonate the movement of the times, echoing Peter Max (especially his playfulness), psychedelia and the Yellow Submarine.
It’s really worth browsing the entire gallery of billboards, posters and merchandise amassed by a few dedicated collectors that helped the beverage survive—including covert and overt references to protests of the Vietnam War and illicit hallucinogens. The only thing missing from the account is the effervescent story behind its original, secret recipe—which contained lithium—and is named in homage to the pep (or rather mood-stabilising effects) that that element with the atomic mass of seven can impart.