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Introduction: Coca-Cola: The Real Story Behind the Real Thing (01:42)


Introduction: Coca-Cola: The Real Story Behind the Real Thing

Marketing is Paramount (02:16)

Coke's dominance is based on brilliant marketing. Its drinks are more than beverages, they're reminders of good times and warm feelings. Industry competition is fierce, so Coke studies shopping psychology in its secret research facility.

I'd Like to Teach the World to Sing (02:21)

Coke strives to build a memory bank of positive associations with the brand in consumers' minds. Coke is a brand that inspires emotions. Its jingles are iconic, etched in popular memory. Playful, humorous ads help make a commodity seem unique.

The Anti-Soda Backlash (01:39)

Soda sales have been dropping as consumers turn to alternatives. Coke was slow to react as sodas were portrayed as contributing to obesity. Their response: it's natural, refreshing, the original energy drink. It should be enjoyed in moderation.

The Contour Bottle (02:26)

Coke now sells 70 different brands in the U.S., but sodas are still the heart of the business. Coke thinks it can find marketing magic in its iconic curvaceous bottle shape. Changing the 2-liter bottle to the contour shape has boosted sales.

Coke Belongs to the American People (02:52)

Launched in 1985, New Coke was a disaster. Consumer outrage stunned company executives. But Coke is a product embedded in the history of American culture. Coke put its name on everything. It even created the modern image of Santa Claus.

Coke's Ingredients (01:59)

Coke was invented by pharmacist John Pemberton in 1886 and marketed as having restorative powers. Originally, it contained a small amount of cocaine. To thwart imitators, Coke decided it needed a unique bottle shape.

The Company's Greatest Leader (01:59)

For nearly 60 years, starting in 1923, Robert Woodruff was head of Coca-Cola. He even brought Coke to GIs on the battlefield in WWII. Then Coke's epic battle with Pepsi began. Pepsi offered twice as much cola for the same price.

The Pepsi Challenge (02:22)

By 1983 Coke's market share plunged to 24%. Blind taste tests showed people preferred Pepsi. Coke's new CEO decided to change Coke's 99-year-old formula. Three months later, the company brought back Coke classic. By 1986 it was outselling Pepsi.

Delivering Coke in South Africa (02:04)

A truck driver delivers Coke from a bottling plant in South Africa to a Coke depot in a shantytown. From there, cases of Coke are taken by wheelbarrow to a store, a front porch. Despite their poverty, people buy Coke as a treat.

Coke Prospers in Africa (01:57)

Everyone throughout the supply chain in Africa makes money off Coke. It bottles its drinks as close to the consumer as possible. Coke hones in on Africa's vast emerging middle class. Coke is increasingly dependent on overseas sales.

Coke is Part of the Journey (02:00)

In South Africa, Coke was always seen as a progressive company, on the side of change, which endeared it to many people. Coke has a 90% share of the soda and water market there. Its logo is everywhere. It sponsored soccer's World Cup.

Untapped Potential (02:16)

Coke invited filmmakers to create a World Cup-inspired commercial. The winner says his message was about hope. Beyond marketing, Coke has to deliver the goods. There are still many places in Africa where Coke isn't yet available.

Ozarks Coca-Cola Bottling Company (02:27)

The company started in 1920 when the father and uncle of the current CEO put their life savings into a soda bottling company and took a chance on Coke. Many of the employees have been there for decades. The CEO jokes about never tasting Pepsi.

The Coca-Cola Company Doesn't Make Coke (02:08)

What Coca-Cola manufactures is the concentrate, the secret blend of ingredients, which it sells to bottlers. Bottlers add purified carbonated water and liquid sweetener in exact mandated proportions. Bottlers also handle Coke's distribution.

Coke and its Bottlers (01:57)

Early on, Coca-Cola was focused on fountain sales. The company sold the rights to bottle Coke in the U.S. for $1. Eventually bottled Coke began outselling fountain Coke. Coca-Cola bought many of the bottling companies starting in the 1970s.

Battling to Control Cost (01:32)

In 2009 Pepsi bought its two largest bottlers, bringing new efficiency and significant cost savings. Coke plans to acquire control over 90% of its own distribution. In the highly competitive beverage industry, controlling cost is critical.

The Freestyle Jet Machine (02:43)

Coca-Cola has created a high tech soda fountain--a machine that lets buyers customize choices from all of Coke's products. It has been popular in test markets, boosting sales. The mountains of data it provides is marketing gold for Coke.

The Next Big Thing (02:00)

New soda flavors build excitement, which is needed to revive a flagging market. New is where the growth is. Coke's emerging brands division looks for the next big thing. Coke invests in niche products it thinks could become a phenomenon.

Choice Is It (01:42)

Coca-Cola watches trends carefully in hopes of creating the next big splash--or buying it before it's a hot commodity. For 100 years, Coke was it. Even now, with all of the drink combinations available from the Freestyle machine, Classic Coke is #1.

Credits: Coca-Cola: The Real Story Behind the Real Thing (00:45)

Credits: Coca-Cola: The Real Story Behind the Real Thing

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Coca-Cola: The Real Story Behind the Real Thing

DVD (Chaptered) Price: $169.95
DVD + 3-Year Streaming Price: $254.93
3-Year Streaming Price: $169.95



With unprecedented access to secluded archives and hidden testing facilities, this CNBC Original documentary goes inside Coca-Cola, the world’s leading beverage company and the most recognizable brand on the planet. Melissa Lee presents a story of never-before-seen labs and high-tech product trials as the camera follows Coke’s urgent campaign to reinvent itself, afteryears of losing ground to archrival Pepsi in the race to develop new, blockbuster beverages. Viewers also meet the bottling contractors who perform a little-known but vital task for Coca-Cola: they actually make the drink. Not only do bottlers physically concoct the soda and deliver all those bottles and cans—they also distribute most of Coke’s entire line of beverages while stocking and maintaining inventory at retail outlets. A revealing look at the reigning champion of a high-stakes, fizz-or-fizzle industry.

Length: 44 minutes

Item#: BVL47280

ISBN: 978-1-62102-280-0

Copyright date: ©2009

Closed Captioned

Performance Rights

Prices include public performance rights.

Not available to Home Video customers.

Only available in USA and Canada.