Edsel and Quikster and New Coke, Oh My! (Or Olestra...)
June 30, 2016 10:43 PM   Subscribe

17 Great Failures in New Products and Branding (from established companies that SHOULD have known better). via Consumerist, the Consumer Reports-affiliated blog (and one of their better ideas)
posted by oneswellfoop (75 comments total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
 
The thing is that about half of these products failed simply because they were given a confusing name. See your marketing department's well-thumbed copy of Ries & Trout. Specifically, The Law Of Line Extension.
posted by GuyZero at 10:49 PM on June 30, 2016 [2 favorites]


I remember thinking that Orbitz bottles looked really cool on the shelf, almost like art objects. But then I tried drinking the stuff and it was so disgusting I damn near puked. Little jello chunks, floating in lukewarm, vaguely sweet liquid. Like gummy-worm soup. I still kind of wish they were for sale, just because they were so sci-fi and they really prettied up the AM-PM.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 10:55 PM on June 30, 2016 [6 favorites]


I have a super duper clear memory of getting orbitz with my dad exactly once. He laughed SUPER hard at how gross I thought it was, and we got my mom to try it. She was pretty mad and thought we were mean(which to be fair...)

And now everyone drinks chia kombucha, which is basically the exact same damn drink depending on what flavor you get.
posted by emptythought at 11:16 PM on June 30, 2016 [6 favorites]


Oh man, I loved Orbitz, but I was like 11 when it came out. I also loved Crystal Pepsi, but again, all this really shows is that sometimes kids are OK with really gross sodas.
posted by teponaztli at 11:22 PM on June 30, 2016 [6 favorites]


Orbitz almost sounds like a soda/bubble tea hybrid. I could really get behind that tbh.
posted by Itaxpica at 11:23 PM on June 30, 2016 [6 favorites]


SNL's Crystal Gravy ad was perfect, though (especially alongside the original Crystal Pepsi ad, which is a different kind of hilarious).
posted by teponaztli at 11:26 PM on June 30, 2016 [13 favorites]


Also worth noting, Orbitz means something quite different these days... although it would be cool to get travel reservations in a bottle.
posted by oneswellfoop at 11:36 PM on June 30, 2016 [1 favorite]


Orbitz the travel site overlapped Orbitz the drink. My best recollection is that Orbitz the drink had only been widely available for less than a year (best guess, 3 months) at the time Orbitz the website launched. It's possible the drink had been nationally available or available outside the US much earlier and I just managed to miss it, but I don't think so.

I remember being surprised that two different companies decided to start using the name in such temporal proximity.
posted by wierdo at 11:42 PM on June 30, 2016 [1 favorite]


(Wiki says I'm wrong about the timing and that it was 4 years between the two, but I don't buy it)
posted by wierdo at 11:44 PM on June 30, 2016 [2 favorites]


The visual of Nacho Cheese Wow chips made with Olestra and the possible resulting "anal leakage" was too much for me when the news broke about the issue. So, naturally, a few friends and I got a few bags and ate a lot of them one night while drinking Schmidt's beer. Depending on your point of view, it was either very successful or a complete failure, but the next morning all four of us were doubled over in pain fighting for who was next in the bathroom. To be fair (to Olestra) this was not too dissimilar from what would happen any Sunday morning after drinking 7 or 8 Schmidties.
posted by AugustWest at 12:12 AM on July 1, 2016 [11 favorites]


Of course, there are other marketing failures, from McDonald's Arch Deluxe (the beginning of its current long slow decline), to movie theaters trying to draw in audiences with "Smell-O-Vision" (by comparison, the original implementation of 3-D in the 1950s was less disastrous). Some failures are outside the marketers' control: Ayds brand diet candy was a successful product until it started getting associated with that sound-alike disease. And the Edsel wasn't Ford's only failed model - the Pinto was a top-selling small car until Ralph Nader and others noted its tendency to go boom.
posted by oneswellfoop at 12:39 AM on July 1, 2016 [1 favorite]


I quite liked Orbitz. Or did I? Did I just buy it because it was so weird and I overlooked the flavor and weird textured balls in it? I have no idea, I bought a lot of it.

I also really really loved the Arch Deluxe, and I wish McDs would bring it back in rotation like they do the McRib, which is a sandwich I ate once and decided never to have again.

It's interesting they haven't listed things like 7-Up Gold, another thing I truly liked. Or Josta Cola. I remember when New Coke came out, I actually convinced my dad to buy 12 full cases of it to stash in the garage. We had a Fourth Of July BBQ that I invited a bunch of high school friends to, and I was the coolest guy ever for having a cooler full of Old Coke on ice available for the guests.
posted by hippybear at 12:47 AM on July 1, 2016 [1 favorite]


I suppose I was in the target demographic when Crystal Pepsi came out, and I even recall not being completely grossed out by it; it was tolerable. But what put it over the edge into ridiculous was the completely over the top marketing. If they had just quietly rolled it out as another available option, and maybe not tried to play it up as the next huge thing — and maybe not emphasized that it was supposed to taste like cola — then I bet it would have grown a cult following and been a mild success.

(Also, I refuse to acknowledge that Metafilter Modern or whatever the fuck it's called is a thing that exists. And Fanfare was completely unusable until they got rid of that terrible white background. If it ain't got white text on a solid color background and late 90s aesthetic HTML, it ain't Metafilter. This parenthetical aside was brought to you by Getoffmylawn brand slacks. Crankypants: for when you've given up.)
posted by Rhomboid at 12:49 AM on July 1, 2016 [13 favorites]


I loved the Arch Deluxe. And that was also around the time I stopped eating at McDonald's until I moved here. So almost 15 years.

That was a tasty sammich.
posted by sio42 at 1:27 AM on July 1, 2016 [4 favorites]


they got rid of white background? Yay! I also stopped reading that. Burned my eyes!
posted by sio42 at 1:28 AM on July 1, 2016


Hong Kong (where I grew up) is often used as a second test market for new soft drinks and snacks and what have you, after Japan. Consequently, my childhood memories involve a lot of weird failed products. The only one I actually miss is Sprite Ice - Sprite with a good ol' heaping of mint flavour. Actually really nice.
posted by Dysk at 1:54 AM on July 1, 2016 [5 favorites]


Everything I've ever seen about Orbitz flopping focuses too much on texture and not at all on how only one of the flavors was even halfway decent.
posted by ckape at 2:01 AM on July 1, 2016


Colgate’s Kitchen Entrees

Probably people could not decide between the Complete Care Orange Chicken, the Pro-Health Orange Chicken with Peroxide, or the Total Whitening Orange Chicken, so they just bought the Lean Cuisine.
posted by thelonius at 2:01 AM on July 1, 2016 [37 favorites]


Arch Deluxe

Still love that ad campaign "Try our new burger! It tastes like crap!"
posted by lkc at 2:25 AM on July 1, 2016 [1 favorite]


(by comparison, the original implementation of 3-D in the 1950s was less disastrous)

There was an earlier commercial implementation of 3D in the 1920's, though the 1950's was much more successful. Now, this latest implementation of the 3D gimmick is even more financially successful. Even poor products can be sold if marketers learn from the mistakes of their predecessors.
posted by fairmettle at 2:47 AM on July 1, 2016


The new version of 3D brought us Gravity, which I thought was a masterpiece.

I do admit to having seen Friday The 13th Part III In 3D more than a few times in the 80s. Carrying peeled grapes to throw over my shoulder when Jason squeezed the guy's head and his eye popped out. That was fun.
posted by hippybear at 2:52 AM on July 1, 2016 [4 favorites]


How could they leave OK Cola off this list?
posted by spilon at 2:55 AM on July 1, 2016 [4 favorites]


There was also this metafilter redesign which I kinda liked but I think some other people found it difficult to use
posted by Ned G at 2:57 AM on July 1, 2016 [3 favorites]


My then-boyfriend and I were on our way to a small party at a friends' place and ran into someone with the Orbitz launch campaign who was handing out free bottles. She pressed a bottle each onto us, and we took them along to the party to show off and share. Everyone had a taste of one of the weirder flavors (vanilla and apricot, I think?) and we all hated it. Then someone asked, "I wonder if it's possible to make the little jello balls sink?"

We all spent the next hour doling out shot-glass-size samples and conducting various scientific experiments on the Orbitz to determine precisely that. Most of our experiments failed (heating in the microwave, freezing, mixing with various other liquids) but adding an even amount of tequila actually did work.

(I don't think anyone drank the resulting Orbitz/tequila combo.)
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:32 AM on July 1, 2016 [6 favorites]


I also really really loved the Arch Deluxe, and I wish McDs would bring it back in rotation like they do the McRib, which is a sandwich I ate once and decided never to have again.

Didn't that return as McFeast, or is that only in some markets?
posted by effbot at 4:41 AM on July 1, 2016


No tronc? I am disappoint.
posted by trunk muffins at 5:29 AM on July 1, 2016 [5 favorites]


God as my witness, I thought they still made Orbitz.
posted by uncleozzy at 5:36 AM on July 1, 2016 [7 favorites]


In October 2010, Gap executives apparently figured out how to use Photoshop, or at least whatever crude graphics program came preinstalled on their office computers...

There are few statements that can throw a black pall of fear into a designer's soul than a client cheerily announcing "I've been playing around in Photoshop..."

Yeah, that Gap logo redesign was startlingly horrible. I still remember when it was rolled-out. The reaction was swift and vicious. The old logo was such an iconic bit of subtly fun typography, and to be replaced by that bit of freshman-level nonsense was stunning. It was akin to if FedEx execs decided to take the arrow out of their logo.

I never knew Life Savers had tried a soda brand. Did anyone here try it? On the face of it, it feels like a natural brand extension, kind of like an updated Nehi. Weird.
posted by Thorzdad at 5:47 AM on July 1, 2016


Apple ///. IBM PCjr. Osborne 2.

The last one wasn't a flop, since it never got to market. But it introduced the tech world to the "Osborne Effect", which is announcing your new product too early and depressing sales of the current product. If the drop is too severe, as it was in Osborne's case, the cash flow dries up and suddenly you're out of business before the new product launches.

And where's the love for the McDLT?
posted by JoeZydeco at 6:12 AM on July 1, 2016 [3 favorites]


Edsel certainly is the classic example of commercial failure, but being gas-guzzling was probably not a factor- that was pretty normal. (And it was not particularly ugly compared to its competition.)
Seems like just a perfect storm.

I remember New Coke coming out, and at the time I remember co-workers saying it was a gimmick to boost sales of the old Coke. Wiki seems to say no to that- "We're not that dumb, and we're not that smart."
posted by MtDewd at 6:18 AM on July 1, 2016


I've heard the New Coke conspiracies as well. I always attributed it to the Pepsi Challenge ads from that timeframe.

The ads seemed to imply that Coke drinkers wanted a sweeter cola like Pepsi, so that's what Coca-Cola did.

Thing is, the Pepsi Challenge was flawed. People liked sweeter colas when sipping small quantities in a taste test, but drinking a whole 12oz can was a different story. Coke drinkers couldn't stand drinking a whole Pepsi in one sitting.
posted by JoeZydeco at 6:21 AM on July 1, 2016 [6 favorites]


I can't stand to drink a full can of Pepsi in a year. Everything wrong with the drink can be summed up with this sentence, uttered apologetically hundreds of times per day by waitstaff: "Is Pepsi okay?"

No. No it is not.
posted by maxsparber at 6:29 AM on July 1, 2016 [23 favorites]


The funniest thing about Qwikster, touched on only tangentially in this article, is that they hadn't first secured the name on Twitter. So everyone searching for info about the company kept hitting this befuddled teen, whose avatar at the time, if I recall correctly, was a picture of Elmo smoking a joint.
posted by Greg Nog at 6:38 AM on July 1, 2016 [6 favorites]


Some of these flopping make sense like messing with a 99 year old Coke formula instead of just introducing a second drink or baby food for adults which I don't have words for. Some of this article seems to be a bit over the top though like the Tropicana carton redesign:
Clever or no, consumers haaaaaated it.
“We underestimated the deep emotional bond” loyal customers had with the original packaging
Really a deep emotional bond with a box of juice? The new package looks a bit like a store brand to me, but do masses of people really line up outside corporate headquarters with pitchforks over things like this? That's what the article makes it sound like in a few cases. The Gap logo and the recent Instagram logo outrage are similar. I can't understand feeling outrage even if I think they're ugly.

For some reason Pepsi gave my high school many cases of Crystal Pepsi and nobody would touch them. I got to take home about 100 cans and it wasn't amazing but I still drank them because hey, free soda.

Where were all of you in the mid 80s when Hubb Bubba Soda needed you? I loved that stuff and it wasn't even around long enough to make this list. I did also try Life Savers, but it just made me wonder how they got it to a more than 100% concentration of sugar.
posted by Clinging to the Wreckage at 6:49 AM on July 1, 2016 [6 favorites]


uncleozzy: "God as my witness, I thought they still made Orbitz."

While I may not have been under the impression that it was still around, the line in the article "The drink was shelved in 1997 a year after it debuted" gave me pause. I could have sworn it was around for several years at least. I remember it in the cooler of every gas station at that time.

Maybe that's a testament to just how weird it was, that it made such an impression on all of us.
posted by komara at 7:04 AM on July 1, 2016 [2 favorites]


The Gerber's Singles for Adults thing happened in 1974 and they didn't even try to make it SPAAACE FOOOOD? No wonder it died.
posted by Etrigan at 7:12 AM on July 1, 2016 [6 favorites]


Clever or no, consumers haaaaaated it.
“We underestimated the deep emotional bond” loyal customers had with the original packaging
Really a deep emotional bond with a box of juice? The new package looks a bit like a store brand to me, but do masses of people really line up outside corporate headquarters with pitchforks over things like this?


You have to understand that most shopping is done in a fugue state. When you are walking down the grocery aisle looking for your preferred brand of orange juice, you're used to looking for a picture of an orange with a straw in it. Then suddenly it's not there, now you have to read all the damn orange juice boxes to figure out which one is yours. You resent it. You don't want to have to read all the boxes. You just want to get your preferred box and go home and maybe take off your office clothes and see your kids.

Also, the new packaging looked cheaper, making you think; have they started cutting costs? Is this juice not going to taste as good but still cost as much?

None of these are things that a juice-seller wants a shopper to think.
posted by emjaybee at 7:13 AM on July 1, 2016 [22 favorites]


Well said, emjaybee. I'm not a fan of grocery shopping anyways, but what I particularly hate is the intellectual labor I have to go through every time I place my hand on an item (is it close to the expiration date? is it on sale? do I have a coupon? is this one of those buy-six-save-$3 items so I have to find five other things in the same promotion? is the store brand really as good as the name brand? is this the low-sodium one? and so on). The last thing I want is to have to do any additional thinking. And a change in package design causes just enough additional thinking that it really pisses me off.
posted by math at 7:25 AM on July 1, 2016 [6 favorites]


Remember Heinz EZ Squirt ketchup in "fun" colors? I remember buying a bunch of it when it was going off the market and marke way down, but eventually throwing away what was left because seriously, gross.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 7:25 AM on July 1, 2016 [3 favorites]


Well that makes sense emjaybee and math. I look much more closely at the price than the brand or packaging for 95% of my grocery shopping so I guess I hadn't thought of it that way. I have a favorite brand of very few things. This does also explain the "New Look - Same Great Taste!" labeling that I've never understood. I probably wouldn't have noticed your new look but now I am wondering if it really is still the same taste because if it was you wouldn't have to point it out.
posted by Clinging to the Wreckage at 7:36 AM on July 1, 2016 [2 favorites]


Haha oh man that green and purple ketchup was just viscerally disturbing to me. Ketchup doesn't need to be fun to make kids eat it. Kids already love it! Just leave it alone, Heinz.
posted by emjaybee at 7:36 AM on July 1, 2016


Ayds brand diet candy was a successful product until it started getting associated with that sound-alike disease.

I came to this thread specifically to mention that no discussion of this topic is complete without discussing that unfortunately named product.

Why take diet pills when you can enjoy Ayds?

Oh, boy.
posted by The Gooch at 7:41 AM on July 1, 2016 [1 favorite]


Crystal Pepsi just reminds me of the SNL parody ad for Crystal Gravy.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:42 AM on July 1, 2016 [1 favorite]


It's interesting they haven't listed things like 7-Up Gold, another thing I truly liked. Or Josta Cola.

7-Up Gold, notable for invalidating 7-Up's long standing "Caffeine: Never Had It, Never Will.'' ad campaign. Of course, later 7-Up brand products would do the same, most notably dn-L, but at that point the old slogan was a distant memory, and not an integral part of brand identity.

But yeah, I have to agree with Hippybear about Josta, and not just because we're both furries and there was a panther on the bottle. The US market has been sorely hurting for a guarana based soda since it was discontinued, unless you count offerings from the Energy Drink brands, which have so much extra stuff in addition to any guarana they may have.

It always makes me so disheartened that Surge and Vault get these huge internet petition campaigns that basically force Coca Cola to bring back those ill-conceived products (Seriously, Coke? You wanted a high-caffeine citrus beverage to try to dethrone Mountain Dew's dominance of that category? You had Mello Yellow, you could have just tried aggressively marketing that instead of putting out another soda that just cannibalizes your own second place position... and you did it not once, but twice?), and Josta doesn't seem to get any nostalgia love whatsoever to attempt to spur PepsiCo into a re-release.
posted by radwolf76 at 7:47 AM on July 1, 2016 [1 favorite]


You had Mello Yellow, you could have just tried aggressively marketing that instead of putting out another soda that just cannibalizes your own second place position.

sudden flashback of Wink
posted by thelonius at 7:52 AM on July 1, 2016 [1 favorite]


I had a friend who worked for Orbitz-the-travel-site and had a few bottles of Orbitz-the-drink lying around. He explained to me that orbitz.com was originally owned by the drink company, and the travel company bought the domain name from them. They apparently threw in some of their leftover product as a free gift with purchase. I'm not entirely sure how much, though - maybe a box or two, or maybe there are scores of unopened bottles buried beneath Orbitz' headquarters.
posted by Metroid Baby at 8:36 AM on July 1, 2016 [4 favorites]


Really a deep emotional bond with a box of juice?

I'm riding in my (now long gone) father's un-airconditioned car through hot, dry west Texas on our way to LA. I'm about 12. We pull into a gas station and there's an ancient vending machine that sells genuine glass bottles of Coke. It's the type of machine with the little glass door on the front exposing the capped tops of the bottles. My Dad puts in some coins and lets me pull out a bottle for myself and, repeating, a bottle for him. We take turns using the opener to open the bottles and simultaneously take that first delicious drink of that sweet, ice cold beverage. I'm about to turn into a teenager and, although I love my Dad, we'll soon start to grow apart. This is one of our last totally innocent moments of father and son shared experience.

Decades later I can see the rare glass bottle of Coke for sale and, if I want, I can transport myself back to a moment of innocence and bonding with my late father who I deeply miss.
posted by LastOfHisKind at 8:54 AM on July 1, 2016 [25 favorites]


Really a deep emotional bond with a box of juice?

Proust's narrator's epiphany hinged on: the sound of a spoon striking a glass, the stiffness of a napkin, and the unevenness of two paving stones.
posted by praemunire at 8:56 AM on July 1, 2016 [2 favorites]


Another Josta fan here, not for the panther, but because I really liked the taste. I'm really not sure why it wasn't kept around, or maybe rebranded as a carbonated energy drink (as Jolt basically is), unless it's just that space in convenience store fridges is at that much of a premium, and there certainly seems to be quite a variety in the ones that I frequent. No big mystery about OK Soda, though; having Dan Clowes and Charles Burns do the art for your soda cans sounds like more of a comics in-joke than an actual marketing plan. (Although it leads to the amusing concept of their extending the line with Chris Ware, managing to fit an amazing amount of detail onto a single can showing stick figures having existential crises, or Peter Bagge, with almost all the space taken up by word balloons featuring the latest Libertarian Flavor of the Month candidate's stump speech.)
posted by Halloween Jack at 9:25 AM on July 1, 2016 [3 favorites]


And where's the love for the McDLT?
I loved those as a kid, but from what I remember the 2x styrofoam packaging was what killed it. Costlier and a bad public image during the time when aerosol and styrofoam were getting a lot of blame for the hole in the ozone.
posted by lkc at 9:30 AM on July 1, 2016 [1 favorite]


Decades later I can see the rare glass bottle of Coke for sale and, if I want, I can transport myself back to a moment of innocence and bonding with my late father who I deeply miss.
After a period of resistance, Coca-Cola finally embraced the importation to the U.S. of "Mexican Coke" at a crazy premium price, which has a nostalgic appeal, partly for its use of cane sugar instead of HFCS, but just as much (I and many others argue) for its use of glass "coke shaped" bottles.

And currently, Pepsi is dealing with public rejection of a recent change in the sweetener for Diet Pepsi and is in the process of changing it back. "But our research showed the new formula tasted better" they say. Where have we heard that before?

Soda Pop marketing is a whole other reality...
posted by oneswellfoop at 9:31 AM on July 1, 2016 [1 favorite]


What's interesting to me about a lot of the mismatched branding ones (Frito lemonade, Bic underwear, etc.) is that certainly the corporations that own those brands own other brands that would have been less weird as names for the products. It wasn't Frito Lay saying, "Hey, let's try making soft drinks." It was Pepsi saying, "Hey, let's use the Frito Lay name to sell other products." Which is a good impulse, one where they've definitely had success with the Taco Bell and Burger King tie-ins.
posted by roll truck roll at 9:39 AM on July 1, 2016


Personally I think Qwikster failed more because they were trying to fob off "We're going to charge you double for something that used to be bundled for free" as "Hey, look at this cool new service!" than because the name was stupid.

I really miss when you could do the streaming and DVDs (and they had EVERYTHING on DVD) for $8 a month. I feel that the inventory of good stuff on netflix goes down every month.
posted by permiechickie at 9:40 AM on July 1, 2016


Where were all of you in the mid 80s when Hubb Bubba Soda needed you? I loved that stuff and it wasn't even around long enough to make this list.

Oh man! I loved that as a kid, and completely forgot it existed until now. They brought back Ecto Cooler as a Ghostbusters tie-in, maybe this will be next.
posted by Fig at 9:43 AM on July 1, 2016 [1 favorite]


OMG, they brought back Ecto Cooler?! That was my favorite! I'll look for it this weekend. It better be the same taste...whatever that taste was.
posted by fiercecupcake at 12:05 PM on July 1, 2016 [2 favorites]


The flavor was "ecto".
posted by hippybear at 12:20 PM on July 1, 2016 [1 favorite]


My mom never let me have Ecto Cooler. All of my childhood lunchbox memories are of gross off-brand cans of pineapple juice that I wished my mom would stop buying. There may be a message in this about the power of branding and marketing, but it could also be that that pineapple juice was disgusting by objective standards.
posted by teponaztli at 12:39 PM on July 1, 2016 [1 favorite]


Re: the Tropicana thing, emjaybee indeed nailed the reasons why it sparked consumer "outrage". In my own fugue state I picked up "Trop50" instead of Tropicana because the packaging was so similar. The 8 million varieties all blended together in my mushy brain.

For those of you lucky enough to never have tasted the abomination known as "Trop50", it's OJ with something called PureVia and it tasted like rotten Sunny Delight, if such a thing were even possible. After sitting 75% full in our fridge for a week I ended up pouring it down the drain. I'm not one prone to consumer outrage, but I remember feeling irrationally swindled and annoyed, way more than I would expect for what was essentially a $2.50 loss.
posted by jeremias at 1:15 PM on July 1, 2016 [6 favorites]


They did! It is currently the #1 best seller in Fruit Juice products on Amazon.

My brother bought a case and gave some... it tastes pretty much how I remember, but 1 can was enough. Probably slightly more than enough. It is also weird to drink out of a can. I think they have the juice boxes at the theaters that are carrying it.
posted by Fig at 1:17 PM on July 1, 2016 [1 favorite]


Eh, after looking closer at that Amazon link, it only ships through Prime Pantry and looks a little ridiculous to obtain. There might be better places to get it online or in person, but it looks like stock runs out pretty quick.
posted by Fig at 1:22 PM on July 1, 2016


My first car was an Edsel. Really. In the late 70's, I drove a 1959 Edsel. The thing was aircraft carrier sized. It even had air conditioning. There wasn't any technology spared on the car named for old Mr Ford's number one son. God as my witness: that thing could fly.

It had real chrome over heavy metal on as many surfaces as possible; even the horse collar. The color was a forlorn pink beige with marron brown accent color. But I was lucky enough to have a car to drive to school my senior year....it kinda stood out in the parking lot. Can you picture it in your mind? A mammoth eyesore parked next to the trendy Datsun 240-Z. It at least had more panache than the AMC Pacer.

The beauty of driving such a noteworthy car was that if on a rare occasion, I happened to get a bunch of girls to go out to lunch with me, there was never a second question by school authorities if it "happened" to not want to start for our timely return to school.
posted by mightshould at 1:38 PM on July 1, 2016 [9 favorites]


After a period of resistance, Coca-Cola finally embraced the importation to the U.S. of "Mexican Coke" at a crazy premium price, which has a nostalgic appeal, partly for its use of cane sugar instead of HFCS, but just as much (I and many others argue) for its use of glass "coke shaped" bottles.

Wikipedia:
"...Many who tasted the reintroduced formula were not convinced that the first batches really were the same formula that had supposedly been retired that spring. This was true for some regions because Coca-Cola Classic differed from the original formula in that all bottlers who hadn't already done so were using high fructose corn syrup instead of cane sugar to sweeten the drink."


They were just messin' with the secret recipe..
posted by ovvl at 6:42 PM on July 1, 2016


I had totally forgotten about this until this very moment -

Does anyone remember in the 80s when suddenly Coca-Cola decided it wanted to make....clothes?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:38 PM on July 1, 2016 [2 favorites]


Oh, I totally remember Coca Cola Clothes. I BEGGED my parents to let me get one of their rugby shirts, which were very cool to my high school eyes. They said no, you can't wear clothes with corporate logos on them. And then they bought me a couple of IZOD polos and I kept buying concert shirts. #mixedmessages
posted by hippybear at 7:44 PM on July 1, 2016 [2 favorites]




Josta update: the guy behind the Josta Reborn website has been making some progress in both getting SodaStream to consider carrying a Josta syrup, and also in putting together a recipe that people can make on their own.
posted by radwolf76 at 8:29 AM on July 2, 2016


What, no Koogle Peanut Spread?
posted by randomkeystrike at 9:50 AM on July 2, 2016


I had a Coca-Cola rugby shirt, it was nearly the only trendy piece of clothing I ever owned.

It was not enough to overcome my essential nerdiness, though. Nothing could help a girl who doodled unicorns in her notebook and spent all week waiting for the next episode of ST:NG.
posted by emjaybee at 7:08 PM on July 2, 2016 [3 favorites]


The worst snack break I ever had was a bottle of Crystal Pepsi and a bag of Texas Tang Doritos. Pretty sure I didn't come close to finishing either.
posted by The Card Cheat at 8:36 PM on July 2, 2016


There are few statements that can throw a black pall of fear into a designer's soul than a client cheerily announcing "I've been playing around in Photoshop…"

"On a personal level, I love brands, logos, color, design, and, most of all, Adobe Illustrator. I think it’s one of the most incredible software packages ever made. I’m not a pro, but I know enough to be dangerous :) So, one weekend this summer, I rolled up my sleeves and dove into the trenches with our logo design team"
—Marissa Mayer
posted by jamaro at 10:53 PM on July 2, 2016 [4 favorites]


Also, as someone who is firmly in the Ain't No Van Halen Without DLR camp, I recall thinking how very fitting it was that Pepsi picked Van Hagar as the soundtrack to their product abomination.
posted by jamaro at 10:55 PM on July 2, 2016 [2 favorites]


Couple of follow on's to comments made above:

1. McDLTs. I worked in the McKitchen in the prime of McDLT popularity, and it was an early lesson in things that can really mess up an otherwise well defined work flow. Obviously so much of mcdonalds success at least at that time was portion control and using a lot of the same stuff to cover off different kitchen requirements: same buns for different sandwiches, etc.

McDLT required a special grill and a special bun in a special toaster to be put in a special box with special toppings (and the damn sliced tomatoes were CONSTANTLY running out during rush periods) and had special hold times since the fresh veg on them would go to shit under a heat lamp in about 4 seconds...but they took longer to cook than anything else [except those thrice damned apple pies] and were an extra hit to the waste generation numbers because of the large size and extra packaging. I remember getting viscerally angry at age 16 when the ads came on TV because I hated making the damn things so much.

2. Heinz EZ Squirt Fun Colors: I read a neat article years ago that talked about how green ketchup was essentially impossible because you were trying to turn red into its chromatic opposite, and that it took almost toxic levels of Blue Lake pigment to drive red ketchup over to green...and that one of the reasons they started selling purple ketchup was because it was a much easier intermediate on the path to green.
posted by hearthpig at 1:57 PM on July 4, 2016 [3 favorites]


I would like a brief summation of how many hundreds of millions of dollars the manufacturers spent on these fizzled products which were all obviously doomed.

And then to hear again why we can't have Del Toro make At The Mountains of Madness because of the cost.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 8:45 AM on July 5, 2016


You'd think green ketchup would be easy if you started with green tomatoes.
posted by Mitheral at 9:08 AM on July 5, 2016 [1 favorite]


Related...
posted by oneswellfoop at 12:20 AM on July 6, 2016


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