There are all kinds of reasons to keep something a secret. Governments protect information from our enemies, as well as from the people with three heads who have no idea their town had been sprayed with Agent Orange for the past five decades. Friends keep hot gossip hush hush to avoid hurting the wrong people, at least until the right people ask them. And companies keep their formulas and recipes a secret to prevent companies from cutting into their profits.
The secret recipes behind some of our favorite food and drinks are protected by security that would make Fort Knox look like an open house. Jay Bush sure wasn’t going to take any chances of anyone getting the family recipe that makes his line of baked beans so popular among the bean eating, gas passing public. So he made sure the only other individual who knew the secret recipe couldn’t tell a soul…
Alas, YouTube fails me again. The original ad in this series is not over there, nor can I even find it on any other site on the entire damn web. But the commercial I linked to gives you a general idea of what this Bush’s campaign was all about, which I’ve outlined below…
This cute little ad campaign with Jay Bush and his talking dog Duke first hit our TV’s in the last 90’s, and still pops up on occasion to this day. It made a catchphrase out of its signature line “Roll that beautiful bean footage!”, which Duke parrots in the very first ad that set up this series. We aren’t sure what bean footage is supposed to be, but it’s just so cool to say!
Roll that beautiful bean footage!
The funny thing about secret recipes, though, is that while they are closely guarded like the solvency of the corporation depends upon it… the fact is that they really aren’t that well hidden at all. A chemist worth their Bunsen burner could tell you what ingredients are all in Coca Cola. It wouldn’t be that difficult to deconstruct Col. Sanders’ original recipe by just buying a bucket of his chicken. So why is it that apparently nobody has discovered these secret formulas yet and made a mountain of money using someone else’s hard work?
The secret behind why secret recipes are really such a sham is the fact that what is valuable to these companies isn’t the formula itself that is hermetically sealed inside a mayonnaise jar on Funk & Wagnall’s porch. It’s the brand name of the product that is valuable…. and no other entity can copy that, at least without legal consequences. Any moron could make a
pop soda that tastes exactly like Coke…. but only the Coca Cola Corporation can call its product Coke and can publicly denounce your concoction as just a lame imitation of the real thing. Nobody is going to buy your ripoff no matter how much you scream that it is exactly like Coke….
But of course, the hype surrounding the fact that their formulas are so secret has worked very much to Coke’s and KFC’s advantage over the years. The aura of mystique surrounding the mystery of the secret ingredients has itself sold quite a few red cans and striped buckets. And with the classic commercial campaign that was the subject of today’s Retro TV Ad Tuesday, Bush’s Baked Beans has cut themselves in a little of that “I got a secret!” action…
So today The Nest gives a big, greasy high five to Jay Bush and his trusty canine companion Duke for teasing us with the family secret behind making something so disgusting somehow taste a little less disgusting. We only hope that should something dreadful happen to either man or beast, that someone else is able to step forward that can be trusted with the closely guarded family recipe that will keep the success of Bush’s Baked Beans out of the hands of those who would like to make generic clones. Where will we find such a man?