Never Let Go (Except for These Promotions)

Between Titanic’s recent re-release in 3D and the big screen adaptions of 21 Jump St. and The Three Stooges, Hollywood seems to be filled with remakes and rehashes these days. The appeal of past success isn’t lost in advertising or marketing either. The nostalgia consumers feel for the bygone days of the Mad Men era is quite visible in the market today – check out our post from last August discussing the rise of vintage ads and old school packaging. But while some classic designs and promotions make a comeback, there are quite a few that are better left buried in the past.

New Coke
April 23, 1985, the day Coca-Cola announced it was changing the formula to its classic soft drink, is described on the company’s own website as “a day that will live in marketing infamy.” Boy will it ever. The introduction of New Coke marked the first formula change to the beverage in 99 years.

Between April and July of that year, the company’s HQ in Atlanta was bombarded with more than 400,000 phone calls and letters and even protests demanding the return of the classic formula. Ultimately the nearly century-old formula was resurrected and marketed as Coca-Cola Classic. Production of New Coke continued, but the drink was rebranded Coke II – floundering around the market until finally being killed off in 2002.

Crystal Pepsi
Having seen the New Coke debacle play out only a few years earlier, PepsiCo decided to play it safe with its tweak of a classic. Created in 1992, Crystal Pepsi made its way to the market as a clear and caffeine free alternative to Pepsi. After initial sales topping $400 million in its first year, it was crystal clear that the luster of the new drink had worn off by Year 2. Before being discontinued in 1993, Crystal Pepsi managed to leave behind one at least one meaninful footprint in pop culture –  this 90stastic Van Halen Super Bowl commercial.

Crystal Light National Aerobics Championship
So if you thought aforementioned Crystal Pepsi spot featuring Sammy Hagar & Co. was filled with cheese, then you’re really in for a treat with this one. If you’ve watched Comedy Central’s Tosh.0 or have a resident office viral video expert like us (thanks Hosea!) then you might be familiar with the exploits of this national…um competition?

In the late 80s Crystal Light (delicious btw) sponsored a series of national aerobics competitions featuring sitcom legend and model patriarch Alan Thicke. There’s really not much to be found on the competitions outside of YouTube videos, but just watch the above video and that will pretty much sum of the whole deal.

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