Archive for Coca Cola

The Nerd Lunch and Cult Film Club crews invade Atlanta

Posted in fast food, Kentucky Fried Chicken, roadtrip with tags , , , , , , , on March 12, 2014 by Paxton

Roadtrip

This past weekend the members of the Nerd Lunch Podcast and the Cult Film Club podcast descended on Atlanta for a meetup.  This was the first time several of us had seen each other in real life.  Here are some photos commemorating this historic nerdy and cultish event.

The first place we all went together was, of course, The World of Coke.

World of Coke entrance photobomb
Here I am at the entrance to the World of Coke getting photobombed by CT.

Nerd Lunch together
The entire Nerd Lunch podcast crew. Together again for the first time.  And on a Coke sofa.

Cult Film Club together
The entire Cult Film Club crew together in the gift shop at The World of Coke.

New Coke display
Surprisingly, the museum actually had a small display dedicated to New Coke, of which you know I’m obsessed.

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Nerd Lunch Episode 19: Drill Down on Soda

Posted in Coca Cola, Mountain Dew, Pepsi, pop culture, soda with tags , , , , , , , , on January 12, 2012 by Paxton

Nerd Lunch Podcast

Episode 19 is out for those following along. This week we are again joined by Shawn Robare from Branded in the 80s. this week the guys and I discuss a topic that is near and dear to my heart. Soda.

New CokeCherry Vanilla Dr Pepper

Pepsi Ice Cucumber

As you know, I talk about soda A LOT on this blog. I’m a big soda enthusiast so this is a fun episode for me. We don’t touch on the big topics like New Coke or Crystal Pepsi in any type of depth, but we do mention them. Honestly, discussing those two soda disasters could take an entire episode on its own.  But we discuss many other sodas.  We talk about our personal favorites, some favorites that have been cancelled as well as a nice discussion on the availability of Coke and Pepsi (or non-availability) in restaurants.

Download this episode from iTunes or listen to it on Feedburner. And yes, we are still on the Zune Marketplace.

Fizzy Failures: 12 Discontinued sodas

Posted in Coca Cola, Mountain Dew, New Coke, OK Soda, Pepsi, pop culture, soda with tags , , , , , , on November 10, 2011 by Paxton

Awesometoberfest banner

A few years ago I wrote two articles for the Archie McPhee website Monkey Goggles. They also republished two other articles I wrote here (Glorious Glass and Origins of Our Favorite Toys).  It was a fun little site with quirky humor/pop culture articles and I was glad to contribute.  My buddy Shawn over at Branded in the 80s also wrote a few articles for the site.

Anyway, it seems that the Monkey Goggles website has stopped updating.  There haven’t been any new articles for the last year or so (since editor Geoff Carter left).  So, like Shawn, I decided to archive my articles here before they are swallowed by the Internet.  Today, you are looking at the first all-new article I wrote for the site.  It’s about failed soda.

The Cola Wars of the ’80s and ’90s really brought about a lot of competitive creativity between Pepsi and Coke (and to a lesser degree, 7-Up). They threw whatever soda flavor they could conceive of against the wall to see what would stick. Some worked (Cherry Coke, Mountain Dew Code Red), and some blew up in their faces like a novelty cigar (New Coke, Crystal Pepsi).

Instead of marveling at the thrills of victory, let’s wallow in the agony of their failures. Here’s a list of some of the most spectacular soda failures from the long history of the Cola Wars.

New Coke

New Coke – No list like this one is complete without mentioning the Godfather of all soda failures. Released in 1985, New Coke caused the collective soda-drinking world to lose its damn mind. Coke drinkers actually tried to levy a class action lawsuit against Coke for releasing the new formula. (Seriously.)

It was a fiasco. Coke was forced to bring back Coke Classic not three months after releasing New Coke. After the return of Classic Coke, New Coke was re-branded Coke II and then died a slow death in 1992. The “Classic” moniker still exists on the can to this day. (Read a more complete history of New Coke here).

Crystal Pepsi

Crystal Pepsi – Apparently Pepsi wanted in on all the hate mail and lawsuits Coke got for New Coke. So they decided that they too would try something new. In 1992, Crystal Pepsi was released with great fanfare, including a high-profile commercial during that year’s Super Bowl.

Unfortunately, Crystal Pepsi failed to live up to expectations. A clear cola that didn’t have a lemon-lime taste frightened and confused the soda-drinking public. It became more a novelty than a soda to be taken seriously. Many people don’t remember, though, that for its first year Crystal Pepsi sold well enough to grab an 11% market share (and caused Coke to release the next item on this list). After that banner year, however, the bottom dropped out and Crystal Pepsi’s sales plummeted.

As a last ditch effort, Pepsi reformulated Crystal Pepsi with a lemon-lime flavor and re-branded it as Crystal by Pepsi. Too little, too late.

TaB Clear
TaB Clear – Coke released this clear soda in 1992 after the strong first year sales of Crystal Pepsi. After the clear soda crash that same year, it was quickly discontinued.

OK Soda
OK Soda – In 1992, Coke decided to try something new and released this less carbonated, more fruity soda with anunconventional marketing campaign. Fliers, soda “manifestos” and “underground” phone numbers with voicemail were used to target the youth market. This tactic was definitely different, but it backfired as the targeted audience realized it was being marketed what executives at Coke believed to be an “edgy” soft drink. After poor sales, OK Soda was discontinued in 1993.

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New Coke turns 25 years old this month

Posted in 80s, Coca Cola, New Coke, pop culture, soda with tags , , , , on April 28, 2010 by Paxton

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.

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Cola Wars: Awesome Vintage Coke commercials

Posted in 80s, Coca Cola, New Coke, pop culture, soda with tags , , , , , , on February 26, 2010 by Paxton

Sodapalooza

Yesterday I was reminiscing about the Coke/Pepsi “Cola Wars” back in the ’80s and ’90s. I took a look back at a bunch of Pepsi’s most famous commercials from that era. If you missed it, I urge you to check it out.

Now, let’s take a look at the other side of the coin, Coca-Cola. They have come up with some pretty famous commercials of their own. Let’s take a look back in time at some of Coke’s most famous TV ads.


Coke’s 1971 Teach the World to Sing commercial (video above) is undoubtedly their most famous advertisement.  It is so famous that it received two official sequels.  First, during the 1971 holiday season, Coke released a Christmas version of the commercial that ended in darkness with all the candles the people were holding in the shape of a Christmas tree. Then, in 2005, Coke inexplicably allowed singer/songwriter G Love to create a horrible douchebag hipster alternative rock version called Teach the World to Chill.  Might have been a worse idea than New Coke.


If the “hilltop” commercial above isn’t Coke’s most famous, then this 1979 Mean Joe Greene commercial is.  It’s still today a fantastic commercial.  Of course, in 2009, Coke filmed a sequel to the Mean Joe Greene commercial with Troy Polamalu.


The 11:30 Diet Coke break from 1996 is another popular Coke commercial.  I remember it airing what felt like every 5 minutes.  And, wait, I’m shocked to say this, but, in 2007 Coke filmed a sequel to the 11:30 commercial.  Talk about milking a concept dry.  I wonder if any of Coke’s commercials haven’t had a sequel.

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The new Coke Freestyle soda fountain + other bad ass Coke machines

Posted in Coca Cola, hackers, internet, soda, technology with tags , , , , , , on July 23, 2009 by Paxton

Sodapalooza

Coca-Cola has started test marketing a new soda fountain called the Coca-Cola Freestyle.

Coke Freestyle machinesCoke Freestyle logo

It is run by computer and controlled through an LCD touchscreen.  The soda dispenser has the ability to mix up over 100 different types of sodas, waters, teas and energy drinks.  The menu even includes items not currently sold in the US like Grape Vault (yes, please!) and Raspberry Coke.  As of right now the Freestyle is only being test marketed in Atlanta and Southern California (list of locations here) but further test markets will be opened up in the Spring of 2010.  Don’t worry, that sound you hear behind you is a chorus of angels in the background singing “Ha-lle-lu-yah!”  Now, whenever I approach the soda fountain at Subway, I’ll immediately have brain shutdown due to the ridiculous amount of soda choices at my finger tips.

There have been rumors about this very thing for years. Coke and Pepsi have so many flavor variations around the world and the US really only sees a SMALL portion. Grape Vault? Are you kidding me? I really want to try that.  I’ve heard of Raspberry Coke in New Zealand, but it doesn’t sound THAT appetizing.  How about the discontinued Coke with Lemon?  It’s all up for grabs with this new machine.  However, don’t expect things like New Coke and Surge to be available, because this isn’t a time machine, it’s a soda machine.

Check out a video demonstration of this glorious machine here.

Now that the technology is here to let the dispensing machines do all the work for us, how long is it before we get into a SkyNet situation? I mean, are we just a lightning strike away from one of these machines going Johnny Number 5 on us? Will this be fun Johnny Number 5, or laser weapon fry your ass like a Roman Candle Number 5? How long before we see this:

Robot Coke Machine

Run tiny, Japanese children!! Run like the wind from the giant Coke branded inhuman monstrosity!!!! Save yourself!!!  It feeds on CHILDREN!!!  CHILDREN!!!!

Speaking of bad ass Coke dispensing Terminator machines, people have been hacking vending machines for years to make them better. One of the more popular things to do to a Coke machine is to connect it to the internet. Connecting your Coke machine to the internet allows you to check inventory levels and dispense sodas remotely from your computer. While this is quite awesome, it also calls onto the carpet not only your laziness, but the fact that you can’t even wait 30 seconds to put money in the machine and make a soda selection.  No surprisingly, this trend was started by Computer Science students.

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I’m OK, you’re OK: The story of OK Soda

Posted in Coca Cola, nostalgia, OK Soda, pop culture, soda with tags , , , , , on April 21, 2009 by Paxton

Sodapalooza

OK Soda logoI’ve been surprised at how popular my history of New Coke articles have been since I wrote them almost three years ago (Oct 2006).  I constantly have people linking and reading the three part saga.  It was fun to write and it was one of my favorite articles on this blog.  So, I thought to myself, why not do a “sequel” to the New Coke articles?  I mean, my energy drink reviews started off as a one-shot article and they became popular enough that I did four of them (and I’m considering doing another). I mean, soda has been one of the tenets this blog was built on.  I talk about new soda flavors, graphics and packaging, as well as wax nostalgic on sodas that are no longer available.  So what soda am I going to pull from the mists of the past?  I’m going to mine the Coke back catalog one more time to discuss OK Soda.

In the early ’90s, Coke was still smarting from the marketing stink bomb that was New Coke. Coke regained its older demographic with the switch to Coca-Cola Classic, but the younger teen generation was still scoffing at the stodgy, elder soda company. Greatly needing to boost their share of the highly coveted Gen-X demographic, Coca-Cola decided to try something new.

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