Coca-Cola’s Secret Formula for Happiness

A shiny red can that reads “Coca-Cola” and a whole list of ingredients: carbonated water, sugar, caramel, phosphoric acid, caffeine and natural flavorings. Coca-Cola is all about the magic of good taste & flavor – and apparently something highly secret. The natural flavorings are a unique blend of vegetable extracts and spices from around the world. Coca-Cola has never told what the 7 secret ingredients are, and this “Merchandise 7X” has remained the world’s most famous trade secret since Coca-Cola’s invention in 1886.

When John Stith Pemberton sold the first glass of Coca-Cola in his pharmacy in 1886, he was entering a new market for soda fountain tonics that promised health benefits along with refreshment. In 1869, Pemberton already experimented extensively with extracts of the coca leaf and kola nut, initially marketing a moderately successful health drink called “French Wine Coca.” Fifteen years later, one of Pemberton’s partners, Frank M. Robinson, invented the name Coca-Cola, derived from its central ingredients. Robinson also registered the product’s famous script logo. A marketing phenomenon was born.

From that day on, there has always been a mystique about the “secret formula” of Coca-Cola. Folklore even said that the original beverage contained cocaine, at least until the “Pure Food and Drugs Act” was voted in 1906. The official position of the Coca-Cola Company, however, is that the drink contained extracts of the coca leaf, but never the drug. Over the years, the Coke’s attorneys have fought in court to protect Coca-Cola’s secret formula. It’s been said that the ingredient list is kept in a security vault in a bank in Atlanta, Georgia and only a few employees know the full recipe, and those employees are not allowed to fly on the same plane and cannot be left alone with strangers while they are together. Over the years, Coca-Cola’s secret formula has been the subject of books, speculation and marketing lore.

But the real “secret ingredients” reach far above vegetable extracts or spices. Coca-Cola’s true magic is all about love, perspective, universality, friendship, purpose, humor and optimism. It’s a way of living spontaneous & finding happiness. It’s the belief that together we can create a more positive reality, where global love and joy rule supreme.

The current global “The Coke Side of Life” advertising campaign invites people to live in full color and listen to their hearts. The “Coke Side” is the positive side of life and focusses on universal experiences. Coke is probably the most famous cultural icon that links people from all-over the world. At its core, the concept of sharing is the purest essence of Coca-Cola. Drinking a Coca-Cola brings people from different nationalities, cultures and walks of life together. “The Pause that Refreshes” is a universal language and global connector, happiness in a bottle.

Coca-Cola Remix Art: “Universal Love on the Coke Side of Life” by Yker Moreno / DJ Spinbalon.

Coca-Cola = A Soda Pop, a Strong Idea, Part of Global Economies & Cultures, a Trusted Friend, a Personal Brand

Dan Schawbel posted this very interesting interview with Jerry Wilson, senior vice president at The Coca-Cola Company on his Personal Branding blog.
As an executive for the N°1 brand in the world, Wilson shares his vision about brand development and personal branding.

“Coca-Cola personifies authenticity, life’s simple pleasures and optimism. We learned many years ago, during the New Coke launch, that our brand Coca-Cola is actually “owned” by our consumers all around the world, not the corporation”. Jerry Wilson

Wilson joined The Coca-Cola Company in 1988. His background includes general management, brand marketing, strategic planning, customer management and people development.
Recently, Jerry wrote a book called “Managing Brand You: 7 Steps to Creating Your Most Successful Self.”

Steve Penley’s Coke Art – Bold, Impassioned & Vivid

In 2008, Coca-Cola Company celebrates the artistic contributions of famed Georgia artist, Steve Penley, by presenting an exhibition of his work at the New World of Coca-Cola in Atlanta. On loan from public and private collectors, the exhibit features Penley’s most significant Coca-Cola inspired pieces, including several new paintings created for the attraction.

The Penley collection follows the year-long exhibition of Andy Warhol paintings on loan from the Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh and will be the first time a collection of Penley’s Coca-Cola themed work of this scale will be presented to the public.

Best known for his iconic portraits, Steve Penley is one of America’s most popular southern artists. His signature painting style incorporates bold color, strong brush strokes and vivid imagery.

“Like Warhol, Penley finds inspiration in everyday iconic images that are familiar and accessible to everyone,” said Ted Ryan, The Coca-Cola Company, Archives Collection Manager. “His work reflects a sense of optimism and positivity that makes Coca-Cola an ideal muse for his art.”

The collection is accompanied by tags handwritten by Penley featuring the back-story behind each piece.

“I love to paint historical subjects, and Coke is such a part of history that it naturally fits into my genre”.

“The colors of Coke are so well know that it is fun to experiment with new colors and see these familiar images in a new way”.

“I love to dig in to the rich dark color of the Coke in the traditional bell shaped glass. The light sparkles and shines with the reflections of the ice”.

“The Coke bottles lines and curves are fun to explore and throw color on. The bottle is a piece of art itself so it is an easy subject”.

On display through May 2009, the Penley collection at The World of Coca-Cola features more than 15 pieces, including video footage of the artist at work in his studio.

You can find more info on the blog of Phil Mooney, historian/archivist for The Coca-Cola Company for the last 30 years: http://www.coca-colaconversations.com/my_weblog/2008/05/our-new-steve-p.html

    Other useful links:

The World of Coca-Cola http://www.woccatlanta.com

Steve Penley’s website http://www.stevepenley.com

Special thanks to The Coca-Cola Archives Dept.

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