Coca-Cola or Coke, is one of the most recognized brands in the world. Coke is a carbonated soft drink manufactured by the Coca-Cola Company founded in 1892. With humble beginnings to now being available around the world, this company has grown fast. Here are some amazing facts about Coca-Cola you might not have heard before.
1 Coca-Cola Was First Marketed as a Brain Tonic
With the alcohol removed, Pemberton marketed Coca-Cola as a temperance drink for Prohibition, but also for its alleged mental benefits. The pharmacist had patented other supposed health remedies such as Globe of Flower Cough Syrup and Triplex Liver Pills. Early ads touted the soda as an “intellectual beverage” and a “brain tonic” that could help calm the nerves.
2 The Distinctive Script was Designed by the Bookkeeper
Frank Mason Robinson, the company bookkeeper and Pemberton’s partner, is credited with the name “Coca-Cola” and also designing the brand’s iconic and trademarked script. The logo, written in what’s known as ‘Spencerian script’ and still used today, with only minor modifications over the years, is one of the most recognized around the world.
3 Coca-Leaf Extract is Still Used to Make Coca-Cola
Coca-Cola still uses its namesake leaf in the recipe for Coke — just not the psychoactive part. A chemical processing company in New Jersey removes the problematic ecgonine alkaloid from the plant first and refers to the coca in code as “Merchandise No. 5.”
4 Coca-Cola Helped Make ‘Max Headroom’ a Star
The bizarre, pseudo-animated Max Headroom character was created as a fictional artificial intelligence (AI) character in the UK by record company Chrysalis in 1985. Sensing his appeal for young consumers, Coca-Cola licensed Headroom that very same year and made him the center of their ad campaign with a series of commercials directed by Ridley Scott. According to Coke, the spots helped Max Headroom to gain a 76% recognition rating among teenagers.
5 Coca-Cola Tried to Replace Coffee
When Coca-Cola realized a good portion of their customers—by one estimate, 12 percent—consumed their sugary, caffeinated drink in the morning instead of coffee, they decided to launch an aggressive marketing campaign promoting themselves as a morning pick-me-up. “Coke in the Morning” was launched in several cities in 1988, with the idea being that it would be easier to guzzle a cold can of soda than a hot cup of water. (The corporate was careful, however, not to imply soda could replace orange juice. They owned Minute Maid.)
6 The Cans Were Invented for Soldiers
The only thing more pervasive than Coca-Cola’s distinctive bottles are its aluminum pull-top cans, which were born out of necessity: The Coke company came up with them so they could be shipped to armed forces overseas. While practical, the materials needed were rationed during WWII and the company couldn’t produce them for troops until the conflict ended. Convenient and easily distributed, Coca-Cola began offering them to civilian customers in the year 1960.
7 Pepsi Did Them a Huge Favor
In the year 2006, two Coca-Cola employees were caught trying to sell rival Pepsi trade secrets, including information on a beverage still in development, in exchange for an escalating series of payoffs from $5000 to $75,000. The workers handed over confidential papers and even a liquid sample to someone they thought was a Pepsi executive: It was an FBI agent. Pepsi had alerted both Coke and the FBI of the offer. A Pepsi spokesman told CNN that competition “must be fair and legal.” The two carbonated corporate spies received prison terms of five and eight years, respectively.