Friday, November 20, 2009


by Biz-Boy (NWM Staff Writer)

In the history of Coca-Cola possibly nothing will or ever equal the PR nightmare that the 1985 New Coke formula caused. However, if you were looking for a distant second I’d probably look ahead 5 years later. It was in the form of a 1990 Summer promotion known as Coke Magicans. On paper the idea seemed brilliant-ish. Select cans of Coke would literally contain prizes (cash, concert tickets, etc) inside. When you opened the can the prize would pop out. Of course executing this idea was where the Coke-heads fell way short. The main problem was the prize-popping mechanism didn’t work 100% of the time. That wouldn’t be so bad except for the fact that those cans were filled with chlorinated water instead of bubbly, refreshing Coke. Luckily for Coke, these were the pre-“lawsuits on a dime" days, so pretty much the only thing that happened was a slew of consumer complaints. Though that was enough to sink the promotional ship, even with the support of primetime Coke ads featuring the hottest act on the planet – New Kids On The Block.

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