April 23, 1985: The “New Coke” Debacle Begins

On April 23, 1985, the Coca-Cola Company made a huge announcement: They were changing the formula for one of the world’s most popular soft drinks. It was the first formula change in 99 years. That same week, the company ended production of their original formula. Here are a couple of commercials for New Coke:











However, not long after the release of New Coke there was some backlash. People did not like the change. Pepsi capitalized with this commercial:







In the summer, when soda sales normally begin to rise, Coke’s sales did not take off like they were expecting. On July 11, 1985, Coke brought back the original formula, and called it Coca-Cola Classic®. Towards the end of the year, Coke recovered, and was even outselling Pepsi.
They continued to sell the New Coke, along with Coke Classic. Later, New Coke’s name changed to Coke II.

References:
http://www.thecoca-colacompany.com/heritage/cokelore_newcoke.html
http://www.nytimes.com/1985/10/23/opinion/topics-cars-and-colas-coke-jokes.html

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