The failure of OK Soda's reverse-psychology ad campaign

I like soda. Well, I probably wouldn’t like that, but I do like soda.

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But New Coke was sweeter than the previous formula, so I’ll fix that for you:

Dan Clowes definitely did work for them, not sure if there were any others of note. The abstract cans don’t really look like either of their styles tho.


Hey now, Crystal Pepsi was good. It was the only drinkable Pepsi product, quite frankly. In general I guess I taste things differently from other commenters as I find Pepsi to be unpalatably sweet, and Coke to be a more balanced taste and restrained sweetness level.

I used to be OK (as it were) with Diet Pepsi, but when PepsiCo switched over to sweetening their diet lines with sucralose (Splenda), it ruined it for me. Whatever corruption of sucralose they’re using leaves an horrible aftertaste that just won’t quit. Makes me sad, given the market-share Pepsi has in fast-food & fountains. Trying to find anything non-sugar at those places that isn’t corrupted with sucralose is pointless. On the other hand, it’s helped me cut way back on visits to KFC and Taco Bell, and I can’t imagine that’s a bad thing. C’est la vie.


Yes, actually, you are. Good marketers will have you defined to the nth degree.


You’ve got something backwards here. New Coke was made to be sweeter and more like Pepsi, not less sweet and more like Diet Coke. Pepsi was and is notably sweeter than Coke Classic.


It was interesting.

Easier than shooting fish in a barrel. I hate to say it but lately thats a chunk of the Boing Boing Trumpophobia business model. Exhibit A

I used to have that. No idea what happened to it.

By that time I was in NYC but honestly I can’t remember OK Soda at all. Then again there was a big variety of soda available there so its possible I just didnt notice it at the corner bodega or deli.

What I developed a near addiction to was Manhattan Special. Got to where I started every day with the big bottle of the stuff which was finished by start of work and then a couple more small bottles during the day.


When I was a small child (late 50s/early 60s) Coke and milk was definitely a thing. I don’t even dare try it now. Just scared…


Which is why Pepsi usually won the Pepsi Challenge (which is what was spooking Coke): you got a small dose only.

It was after the New Coke fiasco that Coke realised that while people preferred Pepsi when they only had a shot’s worth, most prefer something a little less sickeningly sweet by the glassful.


They didn’t on that Amazon page, unless Jamming the Tardis was an alternate name for Doctorin the Tardis.

It’s also possible to rig the challenge in a number of other ways like temperature, how long the cups have been sitting, etc.

My dad, who was a master brewer, made them pour fresh cups, tried both anonymous samples, held one up and said “I prefer the Coke”. I bet they hated him.


No! I promise to

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I would love some more 7up Gold.

Tasty stuff right ther

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It was an OK (sorry!) article but over-analyzed the facts.

I don’t think it’s thread drift here to point out that Trump is the first candidate in USA history to come from a sales and marketing background. His campaign strategy will eventually be seen as a textbook example of a successful marketing effort:

  • identify the persuadable voters in swing states
  • figure out what they want
  • promise to give it to them

This was a winning strategy by comparison with the Democrats’ approach with the same voters, which amounted to “What you want we can’t deliver. We’ll give you what we think is good for you, instead.”


There’s a brand here in Switzerland called ok.- ( which seems to be employing some of the same ideas. They basically make cheap versions of everything, Energy drinks, water, umbrellas, credit cards, and perhaps somewhat disconcertingly, condoms (

They seem to be reasonably successful, they’ve been around quite a few years and seem to be on sale at every kiosk.

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I was sad the day OK soda switched their formula to New OK soda. I’m glad they switched back to Classic OK soda.


OK Soda came out just as I hit college, and was given away liberally on campus by dudes who totally looked like that gif of Steve Buscemi saying “how do you do, fellow kids!”. Everything about the can, the marketing, and the people selling it felt like it 40-somethings trying way too hard to be cool and talk like teenagers. We didn’t “reject” it, per se – as design students I think we all admired the Chas. Burns artwork and appreciated that he was getting work – but art school students don’t have a lot of spare cash for cans of ‘cool’ soda.


I used to always prefer Coke over Pepsi. Until I swore off sugared sodas about twenty years ago.

Diet Coke I find to be undrinkable, Diet Pepsi and Dr. Pepper are the only sodas I drink anymore, except on the rare occasions I can find a case of Fresca.

Finally someone gets it!


Also, my 12 year-old-self thought that there was an awful lot of J. R. “Bob” Dobbs in their ad campaign. I dug the art aesthetic at the time.