O.K. Cola

When I was in highschool, I was lucky enough to live in a test market for OK SODA.  This was one of Coca-Cola’s failed mid-90’s attempts at a cool anti-mass-market gen-X soda.  It failed in about a year and never reached national distribution.But for that one wonderful year, I remember the buzz.   Even though the soda apparently didn’t sell very well in most test markets, there was a huge cult following at Powell High School, TN.  Everybody wore the promotional gear, traded cans, and drank the stuff like it was going out of style (which it was).
OK was kind of fruity.  Not fruity like a juice… but fruity in the way a “suicide” that includes Orange Slice is fruity.   (in fact, I argued at the time that OK was just a mixture of a bunch of coke products mixed at the end of the assembly line).

But the flavor wasn’t really all that amazing.  What was great about OK was the marketing.  The cans had a 1950’s meets Orson Wells future look to them.  There were probably hundreds of different cans, rarely 2 alike.  And if you got your fix from the school coke machines (like most of us did)… occasioanally instead of a soda, you would get a hat or a T-Shirt inside a can-shaped container.   Read more about the soda and the marketing at wikipedia.

Why aren’t more big companies exploiting the fact that even bad products can have a HUGE following if it’s presented just right to the internet world?

Coke.  If you are listening, bring back the off-the-wall marketing.  I’ll drink about anything if the can is bizarre and makes me laugh. In fact, bring back OK COLA.  Don’t put up any signs on the side of a bus or buy any TV spots.  Just sneak it into stores.  Maybe hire a guy to get into a giant costume resembling the guy on the can and let people oder him around (well, that one might be already taken).

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11 Responses to “O.K. Cola”

  1. A. Says:

    My butt longs for this….more than ever.

    Could it be that there is a can with a shirt in the middle of the hole?…?…?

    I think that I would like to drink/wear/get inside of it.

  2. seth Says:

    Ok cola.. I haven’t thought about that stuff in years. The truth is that companies like Coca-Cola and Pesico release weird-ass flavored drinks all the time. MOST fail miserably. I recall OK cola. It indeed tasted exactly like a “suicide” combo. I’m very familiar with the taste because as a kid, that’s the only reason I liked going to Mr. Gatti’s Pizza: To mix all the sodas together. That and the fact that Mr gatti’s sold pizza and chocolate pudding, which was delightful, but I’m straying from the story at hand.
    OK Cola was probably an attempt to get young, hip people to start drinking copious amounts of soda. It’s not like they don’t, but wouldn’t it be better if you could make them actually want to buy it in massive quantities, 0r be proud that the can they are holding looks like the inside pages of a david Boring comic? Yes- that’s exactly what they were going after… but they failed miserably. I wonder where else they tested the product. NYC? SF? Chicago?
    After that came clear Pepsi. Rumors swirled around that it caused certain private parts to have issues. It was swfitly taken off the shelves. Failed again!
    The latest flavor, and one that I tried and was utterly disgusted by was the new vanilla cherry pepsi. what’s worse is that they were givin’ them away free at this outdoor movie. It seriously tasted like Children’s tylenol. Nasty stuff.
    By the way Derick, do you remember when we were in boy scouts and me and Jason harris would mix the kool aides together? We thought the red stuff tasted like children’s benadryl and the orange like children’s tylenol? we would mix it together and loudly ask each other to “Please pass the Benatol!” heh heh… doesn’t make any sense to anyone but us.. but oh well, it’s a blog about drinks, and that was a drink for a week in around 1991 at a small summer camp.

  3. Wes Says:

    Wow, every person I know from Powell HS (which is oddly a lot of people) still talk about this stuff. Rumor has it that some anonymous Powell-ite has a case of this stuff in his basement.

  4. Grant Says:

    I miss that flavor…i still have the four orginal cans in my attic somewhere. are they worth anything? i would love to get my hands on some OK cola, i really liked the flavor. cool blog guys, i’m glad to see that people loved it as much as i did.

  5. B.G. Says:

    i really love that can
    i never got to ahve an o.k. cola but you are right i would buy that the second i saw it just becasue it is cool…

  6. Chris Says:

    I drank OK Cola. Tasted like crap. But my friends and I loved the marketing. At least bring back the hotline number!!

  7. P Says:

    12 Cans of OK Soda are up for auction on Ebay!!!!!!!!!!!

  8. Tzuniga Says:

    I am in the early stages of selling items on ebay. I recently came across something that I thought might be of interest to you or somebody that you might know. I have recently listed 4- Coca Cola “OK” Soda Computer Printouts from 1994 on ebay. One of the printouts was used in the test campaign . The other 3 we believe to be later designs but never released. If you would like to check them out, my ebay seller name is Tammyzscollections, the item # is 220236509850. They are actually really cool.

  9. HankB Says:

    I just can’t believe that it did not go over… I was driving from Hot Springs, Arkansas to Little Rock Just for the OK Cola… They never gave it a fighting chance…

  10. gadgets Says:

    You actually make it seem really easy with your presentation however I to find this topic to be really something which I believe I’d by no means understand. It sort of feels too complicated and very wide for me. I’m having a look ahead in your subsequent publish, I will attempt to get the hold of it!

  11. Carl Says:

    I just found a chain letter that was mailed to me in high school as part of the marketing campaign… I was addicted to this stuff (or perhaps the marketing of it) even though the taste wasn’t all that great, I didn’t it was too bad either.

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