I was in a test-market for this stuff. As a freshman at the University of Tennessee in 92/93, there was a really large advertising push for this stuff on my campus either that year or the next, but I'm not sure if it extended to the entirety of Knoxville or not. I suppose if there had been TV ads, it would indicate the entire town was targeted, but I was watching the least amount of TV of my entire life at that point. I didn't even know there were any TV ads until now. I remember there were pages of stamps with the OK logo included with the OK ad flyers that were inserted into the student paper. Like postage stamps. because stickers were too normal and upscale, I guess.
Despite the fact that there were tons of cool people that I knew there, we were statistically invisible within the conservative, square population of both the town and university. UTK is the very epitome of a "state-sponsored jock-ocracy" nestled into the most politically conservative corner of our state. That we were chosen as a test-market was baffling.
The answer can only be that we were the control group. The failure of the campaign on us could be anticipated, so any success would be a victory. The anticipated successes in Austin and Portland or wherever could be measured against us.
I remember drinking it a few times. I don't remember paying for it. I wonder if they had it on the fountain in the dining-hall or something? Or like a sample booth they set up? I think they did have it in the soda machines with the OK logo button, I think I even saw a few whole Coke machines re-branded as OK machines. It's hard to remember. I do remember that it was not good. You could tell there was a citrus flavor to it, but like a 1/4 strength orange soda mixed with some sort of neutral filler. "Palatable" and "unremarkable" are the best accolades I could bestow. They really took the branding concept as a fundamental, even the taste of it was merely OK. It wouldn't surprise me if that was intentional, but like the video points out, what the hell was the point of it all?
It was a really weird time and I was still young. As Sonic Youth pointed out, 1991 was "the year punk broke." There's a lot of history and nuance that I am glossing over by saying "Nirvana," but: Nirvana. The youth culture that promulgated this shift had been building for a decade-and-a-half, but even when it broke it was still the minority culture, it was just that the majority now thought it was cool and wanted to imitate it. "Alternative" or "Grunge" were to us what "Eskimo" was to the Inuit: a word applied to us that we didn't use amongst ourselves. This is how we got the TV commercial that was comparing a new Subaru to punk rock. OK was just Coca Cola trying their best to make some money off this thing. They understood us better than Subaru, at least.
I did like the artwork.