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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