New Coke turns 25 years old this month

Sodapalooza

New Coke FAIL

Coca-Cola officially released New Coke on April 23, 1985. Which makes it 25 years old this month. Hard to believe that whole reformulating Coke debacle was over two decades ago. I was eleven years old.

Go back and read about the history of that troubled beverage in my 3 part retrospective on New Coke called Misunderstood.

Let’s take a look at some “New Coke” commercials.


This commercial was originally for regular Coke, but was changed after the release of New Coke. It features the slogan Coke Is It! I’ve always liked that jingle.


Bill Cosby was one of the big celebrities who helped launch New Coke. Here he is introducing the reformulated Coke in 1985.


Max Headroom was another “celebrity” used to market New Coke to the younger generation.


This commercial aired during Super Bowl XX (Chicago vs New England) in Jan 1986. It’s a combo commercial advertising both New Coke and Coke Classic. It features Jim McMahon and William Perry from the 1985 Chicago Bears.


Here’s a 1985-1986 Pepsi commercial that takes advantage of the New Coke debacle.

I don’t know about you, but as a lifelong Pepsi drinker, I actually liked New Coke better than Coca-Cola Classic because that’s what it was formulated to taste like.  But that’s just me.

So celebrate New Coke’s birthday by drinking a Pepsi.

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9 Responses to “New Coke turns 25 years old this month”

  1. Dr. Mike Says:

    Nope. I remember it being too sweet. I don’t have a TRUE Coke vs Pepsi preference, but I love both Pepsi One and Coke Zero. If I had the choice, I’d go with Coke.

  2. Weird that they use old folks to promote “the choice of a new generation.” Not to mention why that one guy would prefer Pepsi to New Coke if the latter were formulated to taste like the former.

    Anyway, I remember the New Coke debacle, but I wasn’t drinking Coke at the time; my mom always kept us in Pepsi Free, before it became “Caffeine Free Pepsi.” But these days, Coca-Cola Classic, all the way.

    I’m not even sure I ever had New Coke, though. I would love to try New Coke, but alas. Didn’t you say before that it’s basically Diet Coke, though? That leaves me uncertain, as I don’t care for the aftertaste Diet Coke leaves in my mouth.

    I also like Pepsi as well. Some people say they’re the same, but I can definitely taste a difference, as well as with Coke Zero (which replaced my beloved orange drink at McDonald’s, blast it all).

    Sometimes I feel like one, sometimes like the other. I find eating at certain restaurants seems to create complementary pairings, though. For example, I think Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, and KFC go better with Pepsi, which is fitting enough, given Yum!’s relation to PepsiCo.

    I find container can make a big difference as well; from a can, I think Pepsi is generally superior, though I give the nod to Coke when it comes from a bottle (the Pepsi challenges I’ve taken have all exploited this by using canned Pepsi). In the glass bottle arena, however, I never seem to see Pepsi, only Coke, which is one of the best ways to drink it, but it’s difficult to come by.

    Of course, the best way to have either one is from a properly-maintained fountain, in my opinion. Preferably without too much ice; I like enough to keep the drink chilled without diluting the beverage when it melts.

    …and I’m really diving into what some might call a rant here, aren’t I? I’ll just clam up now.

    • Well said, sir. I feel as strongly about my sodas as you do. Never be ashamed of that. 🙂

      I wouldn’t say Max Headroom was an old folk. The guy playing him was old but the character was popular at the time with younger people. It’s all marketing.

      • Oh, no shame here. XD I just try not to clutter up other peoples’ spaces with my thoughts on the matter.

        And sorry, I wasn’t referring to Max Headroom, but the actual Pepsi commercial at the end, “They Changed My Coke.”

  3. Zimriel Says:

    Wasn’t there a similar Pepsi commercial with a young lady / girl who was upset about “why they did it, why they changed”? I recall at least reading it in Time or Newsweek ’round this time.

  4. I love these! I’ve never been too big of a Coke drinker (I always prefered RC as a kid) but I don’t think I ever tried New Coke. That Pepsi commercial was too cute though.

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