2014 Brandcameo Product Placement Awards

The Secret Secrets of Coca-Cola's Hidden Formula Revealed!

Posted by Shirley Brady on February 15, 2011 02:00 PM

That's the title of Coca-Cola's 2008 commercial, above, spoofing the veil of mystery around one of the most-guarded trade secrets and brand recipes in the world. Devised in 1886 by pharmacist John Pemberton, the original formula is reportedly kept in a bank vault and known to only a handful of Coke executives.

The subject of books, speculation and marketing lore, Coca-Cola — understandably — dismisses any and all claims that published recipes are incorrect. The latest claim comes from This American Life, the NPR radio series hosted by Ira Glass. 

Glass and his team had fun with this on-air, including inviting Jones Soda and Sovereign Flavors to whip up a batch of the alleged recipe. Curiosity by the public since this episode aired has shut down the show's website.

Coke has also had fun over the years spoofing its own secrecy:

And on a more serious note:

Coke also interviewed Frederick Allen, an Atlanta-based journalist who has written about one of branding's greatest industrial secrets:

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