Remembering New Coke

Let us pause (a pause that refreshes, if you will) to remember that this spring marks the 20th anniversary of the introduction of New Coke, one of the most studied marketing blunders of all time.
I lived in Atlanta back then, and it wasn’t pretty. But the whole episode taught us a couple of things: All the market research and blind taste tests in the world can’t predict human behavior, and that marketers don’t control their brands: consumers do.
20 years, later, Coke is still struggling with how to keep its flagship brand relevant and growing despite its maturity. Just last week, the company decided to relace senior marketing exec Randy Ransom, whose major accomplishment seemed to be changing Coke’s tagline “Real” to “Make It Real.

About Dan Goldgeier

Blogging on AdPulp since 2005, Dan Goldgeier is a Seattle-based freelance copywriter with experience at advertising agencies across the U.S. He is a graduate of the Creative Circus ad school, and currently teaches at Seattle's School of Visual Concepts. In addition, he is a regular columnist for TalentZoo.com. Dan published the best of his TalentZoo.com columns in a book entitled View From The Cheap Seats: A Broader Look at Advertising, Marketing, Branding, Global Politics, Office Politics, Sexual Politics, and Getting Drunk During a Job Interview. Look for it on Amazon in paperback and e-book editions.