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View Full Version : new Coke... revisited...



popologist
05-13-2006, 11:38 AM
i just read some interesting articles on "new Coke" and what really happened. it's an interesting story, especially how the biggest mistake in marketing history turned into a miraculous win.

some interesting facts:
--diet coke was formulated to be sweeter & smoother than coke (classic) to appeal to younger people (who preferred pepsi)
--new coke was the diet coke formula sweetened with sugar/HFCS
--diet coke's huge success led to old coke's market share slide, and, thus, the invention of new coke
--pepsi beat (old) coke in blind taste tests, but not un-blind ones
--new coke beat both pepsi and classic in blind taste tests
--in coke's 120 year history, pepsi only outsold it once (in the year of new coke, 1985), and coke classic has increased its lead ever since (though, both, have lost market share over all)

there's so much more to the story though. here are a few links:

(you can also do a search on "new coke" on wikipedia.com)

http://www.snopes.com/cokelore/newcoke.asp

http://members.lycos.co.uk/thomassheils/newcoke.htm

http://www2.coca-cola.com/heritage/cokelore_newcoke.html

popologist
05-13-2006, 11:51 AM
it just occurred to me that coke zero is really "new diet coke"... in the sense that coke is trying to have it both ways... but without the consumer backlash of 1985.

or, to look at it another way, coke zero is really "diet coca-cola classic," and diet coke is really "diet new coke."

it's actually a very savvy move by coca-cola. think about it. right now coke has a diet drink that appeals to pepsi drinkers (diet coke) and one that appeals to classic drinkers (coke zero).

so my next question is... was pepsi one formulated to taste more like coke classic? hmm.

sodadood
05-13-2006, 12:10 PM
hey there Popologist.... I wrote a feature story about the 20th Anniversary of New Coke last year. You can read it over at this url:

http://www.pww.on.ca/36_newcoke.htm

popologist
05-13-2006, 12:41 PM
hey dood! thanks for the article. very good job. i especially liked your last section ("what if new coke never happened?") because you took the story a little further than the others i read.

and it's a good question.

--i mean, what if coke had changed the formula but not told anyone? we'd probably all be drinking the "new coke" formula... but thinking we're drinking the coke of 120 years ago.
--or, what if coke refused to bring back coke classic? pepsi would probably be the #1 cola in the country
--or, what if new coke was introduced as "coke 2000" and old coke just kept the coke name?

i could go on and on.

but the truth is that... the reality... and the mistake are the most interesting story of all. i don't think coke could've orchestrated a better result.
--they got all that free-publicity
--all those people (celebrities and average joes) saying how much they LOVE coca-cola
--coke went from an icon to a legend
--basically, they nuked "the pepsi challenge"... by accident


Originally posted by sodadood:
hey there Popologist.... I wrote a feature story about the 20th Anniversary of New Coke last year. You can read it over at this url:

http://www.pww.on.ca/36_newcoke.htm

[ 05-13-2006, 11:43 AM: Message edited by: popologist ]

Cokeologist
05-15-2006, 02:00 PM
Originally posted by sodadood:
hey there Popologist.... I wrote a feature story about the 20th Anniversary of New Coke last year. You can read it over at this url:

http://www.pww.on.ca/36_newcoke.htm According to Wikipedia:

As of 2006, it [Coke II] was still selling in Yap (one of the four Federated States of Micronesia), along with Coca-Cola C2. It is also still very popular in the U.S. Territory American Samoa where it is still sold in most Coke vending machines.

popologist
05-15-2006, 02:10 PM
i wonder why it survived in those places. perhaps they never heard about the backlash in the US.

yankees26mlb
05-15-2006, 04:04 PM
you mean they are still selling new coke in middle-of-nowhere places?

popologist
05-15-2006, 04:19 PM
apparently.

but it's called "coke II" there.

check the link for picture:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Coke2.jpg

popologist
05-15-2006, 04:20 PM
i sort of like the "coke" font on that can though.

jmyjunk
05-15-2006, 08:07 PM
Originally posted by popologist:
apparently.

but it's called "coke II" there.

check the link for picture:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Coke2.jpg Can this be confirmed? And if this is the case, why can it not be found on ebay, or that soda store in metro Phoenix import it?

And, according to Wikipedia, it found foreign exceptance?!? How on earth?!? New Coke was brought out in the US and Canada. Though Federated States of Micronesia are loosley affilated with the US.
Off my rant. I'm from Missouri, you have to Show Me.

RunWithDaLilGuy
05-15-2006, 08:16 PM
here you go:

http://www.kospn.com/

check under products.

jmyjunk
05-15-2006, 08:23 PM
Thanks, had a look, and the web site seems it has not been updated in a while.
I will see if I can get a response from the coments section.
I am still skeptical about it, in May 2006.

chuncken
05-15-2006, 09:08 PM
I can verify that new coke was sold as coke II up until 2002. Now, I never had new coke (I was -2 years old when it was released!), but I remember seeing it all the time at the spanish grocery store I would frequent when I lived in Chicago. It wasn't bad, and was always about 30 cents cheaper for a 2 liter.

popologist
05-16-2006, 12:09 AM
i get the feeling that coke ii is no longer produced/sold.

sodadood
05-16-2006, 01:35 AM
In doing my research for that New Coke Anniversary article last year (at: http://www.pww.on.ca/36_newcoke.htm) I was told that New Coke was discontinued across the board in 2002... with the last major market to be selling it being Chicago.

Mr Zabe
05-16-2006, 03:00 AM
I have not seen CokeII in over 2 years or so here in Chicago. I do remember that when it was available that even reduced instant coupons was not helping it sell. It did sell in the inner city Ma and Pa grocery stores as it was cheaper than the other brands.

Hollow Man
05-16-2006, 12:08 PM
Speaking of Missouri, I remember specifically that they sold Coke II there, because a friend of mine used to get it when I went to school at Wash U. This was probably around 1990-1992.

-HM

BATBL18
05-16-2006, 12:34 PM
I don't think the http://www.kospn.com/ website has been updated much recently. After all they still have a contest to win a 2004 Titan up on the site.

popologist
05-16-2006, 12:48 PM
i wonder if coke will ever remove the "classic" from the packaging. i've noticed that it's gotten smaller and smaller over the years...

jmyjunk
05-16-2006, 06:35 PM
Originally posted by Hollow Man:
Speaking of Missouri, I remember specifically that they sold Coke II there, because a friend of mine used to get it when I went to school at Wash U. This was probably around 1990-1992.

-HM Yes, Coke II was in metro St Louis in 90/91 disapeared early 92.
I remember going to a ChiSox game in the summer of 92, and got excited to see Coke II at Walgreens.

[ 05-16-2006, 05:42 PM: Message edited by: jmyjunk ]

jmyjunk
05-16-2006, 06:38 PM
Originally posted by popologist:
i wonder if coke will ever remove the "classic" from the packaging. i've noticed that it's gotten smaller and smaller over the years... I have ofter thought about that. I remember the cans had a fancy logo that said orginal formula/ (or orginal taste in Canada and P.R.)
Now it is in small print near the bar code.

It's been more than 20 years...but memories of New Coke will die hard...and not fade away.

I have contacted Coke, and asked, and there is no change anytime soon in regards to "classic"

[ 05-16-2006, 05:41 PM: Message edited by: jmyjunk ]

bigrich
05-16-2006, 08:23 PM
Coke II disappeared in the old Herbco Territories in 2002. (It was canned in Alsip, Niles, Indianapolis, Milwaukee & Portland).

Mana211
05-16-2006, 10:20 PM
Pepsi challenge my rear. I'll never forget how crooked the Pepsi challenge was.


Super hot day in the southern US. Standing in line at a car dealership. Free hotdogs for the taking but you only got a thimble full of coke and a thimble full of pepsi. If you didn't give the right answer in the "blind" taste test you were sent away with a dry throat. Everyone in the line saw the honest people getting sent away with no drink and the people choosing pepsi getting a large cup of pepsi. When I told them which one I liked better between A and B they asked me 3 times if I was sure. When I said I was they told me tough luck you can't have any of our free pepsi because you chose coke over pepsi. I said just because I like Coke better doesn't mean I don't need something to drink on a hot day.

I asked the 4 people ahead of me with cups in hand if they really liked pepsi better than coke and they all said they just picked the pepsi because it was hot and they knew they wouldn't get a free drink if they didn't pick the pepsi.

I had a dry mouth for several hours after that and if I knew where those people are now I'd go throw hot dogs at them and shout insults.

Mr Zabe
05-16-2006, 10:29 PM
Speak about "cut throat" marketing? I recall that I stood in line at a Pepsi Challenge moons ago. I was handed a questionnaire about soda pop. The questionnaires were collected and a good number of us were turned away. I bet we were all Coke lovers? I remember almost wanting to cry(I was a young kid) because I wanted to participate and get a cold drink.

I hope Pepsi has improved their market survey methods.

popologist
05-16-2006, 11:57 PM
i believe that coke planned to bring back coke classic all along, though... not the same way it happened.

i think they really believed that new coke would catch on.

and, then, a year later, at coke's centennial, they would've released coke classic for those few who were still upset about the change. but that they expected new coke to be their flagship.

of course, we all know it didn't turn out that way. ;)