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Charlie & Debbie

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I just cannot properly express my distress at this news.  First though, I think a bit of a history lesson is needed for those of us who didn’t live through this nightmare the first time.  A lot of people regard this now as one of the most ingenious marketing ploys of all-time, but in the moment it was thought to be one of the biggest mistakes in American product history.  In 1985, Coca-Cola decided they needed to change the flavor of Coke and “New Coke” was born.

1985: Coca-Cola launches new Coke

On April 23, 1985 Coca-Cola launched a new soft drink to replace its original formula. The new Coke was supposed to help the company stave off a surge by Pep...

Well, it turned out to be a complete disaster.  I remember being totally distraught as the new flavor was, to me, basically “Pepsi”…and I HATE Pepsi.  And as it turns out, I was not alone as within three months, the original formula returned as Coca-Cola Classic, and sales EXPLODED.  At the time, it was said (and I still believe) that it was the bravest, craziest marketing gimmick in history.  We even studied it in a marketing class in college.  Officially, Coke denies this.  Anyway, “New Coke” held on until 2002 (I didn’t know it lasted that long).  Whenever I hear the saying, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” I always think of Coke.   Well apparently, Coca-Cola has either forgotten this huge mistake, or is about to dazzle us with its marketing schemes as they are switching things up again.  This time with my beloved Coke Zero.  This is MY DRINK.  Like, when I go to the store, there’s NEVER a time I don’t pick up a fridge pack.  So, I’m more than a bit concerned.  Although they are changing the drink, the Coca-Cola reps have announced that it will “deliver an even more iconic Coke taste.” They will also be changing the cans for Coke Zero as well.  I agree with one Twitter user who wrote, “You’d better have a backup plan if this as screwed up as New Coke was.”