Commercial flops

Substitute drew my attention to this entry from Nihilistic_kid. (Go and read the story about the envelope guy.)

I could tell from the story that Sierra Mist was some kind of pop, but I’d never heard of it, so I went over to Wikipedia to look it up. It turns out I’d never heard of it because it’s not available in Canada; Pepsi introduced it in the US to compete with Coke’s Sprite and Schweppes’ 7UP, but 7UP is a Pepsi product in Canada.

For some reason that got me thinking about New Coke, so I went to read that article, and the story was pretty much as I remembered it. I knew that Diet Coke was a different formulation from Coke, but I didn’t realize that New Coke was not-diet Diet Coke, or that the new Coke Zero was diet regular-Coke. (I prefer Diet Coke, but I can drink Coke Zero. Coke itself is a bit too syrupy sweet for me, and we still have cane-sugar Coke, IIRC.)

But that’s not the good part. The New Coke article links to my timekiller of the night: Wikipedia’s List of Commercial Failures. Pintos, flatulent soybeans, Microsoft Bob, velvet-lined pickup beds, the Coleco Adam, CueCat,, Crystal Pepsi, Betamax, disc cameras, the Millennium Dome — for some reason, flops seem to generate some decent articles on Wikipedia. As if that weren’t enough, there are links to related articles about flops in entertainment, politics, science, computers, and sports.

Go get your daily requirement of schadenfreude!

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