Friday, July 27, 2007

Famous Product Failures #1: New Coke

This year marks the 25th anniversary of the introduction of Diet Coke. Lost in the fanfare, however, is the almost-as-historic 22nd anniversary of the launch of New Coke (as well as the 15th anniversary of its ultimate demise). The following is the true story of that latter soda's famous failure.


New Coke
1985
Reason for failure:
Rapidly losing market share due to the tremendous success of the “Pepsi Challenge” campaign, Coca-Cola dropped its one hundred-year-old flagship soda in favor of a sweeter-tasting recipe. The resulting beverage, “New Coke,” proved an instant smash, quickly outselling the original product across all demographics. Supermarkets couldn’t keep the brand on the shelf. Business schools touted “New Coke” as the very model of marketing savvy and crisis management. Late-night talk show hosts repeatedly made jokes about how no one could even remember what the “Old Coke” (or “UnCoca-Cola” as it became to be known) tasted like. People were so overwhelmed by the cola’s success, in fact, that they failed to notice the sudden and sharp increase in werewolf attacks across the United States. Within two years of New Coke’s introduction America had become 65% lyncanthrope, causing great debate about whether or not the National Anthem should be rewritten to include howls and if two werewolves could legally marry, given that one could never properly ascertain their gender unless you lifted up their tail and looked closely. Eventually the Senate sought to limit all werewolf rights, leading to a full-scale monster attack on the capital and its citizens, re-enacted in the blockbuster film “RowrRoarCrunchSlop.” By 1992 New Coke was pulled in favor of spilt blood.

4 comments:

Woodrowfan said...

oh sure, everybody remembers the New Coke werewolves but nobody ever mentions the increase in vampirism after Pepsi Light came out!

D.B. Echo said...

And how can you overlook the cases of spontaneous invisibility and subsequent insanity that caused Crystal Pepsi to be pulled in 1993? That poor Griffin fellow...

Jolt Cola is well known to result in Spontaneous Human Combustion, but it has somehow managed to stay on the market.

rnbresearch said...

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The Lay-Swinger said...

That's not how I remember it, but then the early 90s were all about Angry Chick music to me. Maybe Alanis was really a werewolf. That would explain the line about running her nails down someone's back. Plus, we all know that werewolves are decidedly challenged at detecting irony.