After 30 years, New Coke is still a black mark in marketing history

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

Thirty years ago today, Coca-Cola unveiled New Coke, a Pepsi-like formula that replaced the original Coca-Cola in stores. In retrospect, this is regarded as one of the worst marketing decisions in history. Fans considered the change a betrayal and stockpiled the classic Coke in an act of consumer protest. The Coca-Cola Company relented and re-introduced the original formula within three months, saving Coke from long-term brand damage.

If you were born after the 80s, you probably never encountered New Coke (or Coke II, as it was later named). Luckily, the frantic media coverage of the Coke switch-up ensures that we have some documentation of the fallout. We found a good segment from Films on Demand about the release of New Coke and its competition with Pepsi; it’s short, but it gets to the point and shows the extreme value of the Coca-Cola brand.

It might also be useful to catch up a bit on the importance of branding and image – and why Coca-Cola frantically moved to maintain them. To this end, we offer three streaming documentaries that specifically discuss Coca-Cola iconography: Power of Brands, Understanding Brands, and In Brands We Trust. Each runs under an hour and can be viewed from your choice of device as long as you long in with your AU library account.

The New Coke debacle will likely be discussed for decades in business courses as a prime example of well-intentioned marketing gone awry. We’re glad there’s video evidence of this calamity, and today is a great time to revisit it through our streaming collections

Posted in Streaming Video and tagged , , , .