This is the year 1985. Summer is coming and there is just one name on everyone’s lips around the world: Coca-Cola.
This sweet, gas-filled drink has become popular not only in the United States but all over the world. It was the result of a very successful marketing campaign by the Coca-Cola Company.
But at the beginning of 1985, the company’s conditions were not much better. You may be surprised to hear this because the world we live in seems impossible without Coca-Cola. Today the company is present in almost every sphere of life, from the biggest music and sports festivals to public works.
But in the mid-1980s, the Coca-Cola Company was at a loss for only one reason: Pepsi.
According to Mark Pendygrast, Pepsi, considered the “second cola” available in the market, has been reducing Coca-Cola’s market share for 20 years and the Coca-Cola owners are worried about this situation.
Mark is a resident of Atlanta, Georgia, USA. This is the city where Coca-Cola’s global headquarters are located.
He also has a personal relationship with the giant temple company. Mark’s father was one of the first Coca-Cola office workers.
So this company has been a part of his life since childhood. Maybe that’s why his book is called For God, Country and Coca Cola.
According to Mark, the situation was disappointing for the company. “They were doing their best. He had a great marketing campaign, a worldwide demand and delivery system for beverages, but he still lost his market to Pepsi every year.
The CEO of Coca-Cola at the time was Roberto Gazzetta, a Cuban-American, and nothing was sacred to him.
He was willing to go to any lengths to keep Coca-Cola at No. 1 and was in favor of tampering with any formula if he could beat Pepsi.
Little did they know, however, that they already had a magic formula. To them, Coca-Cola’s formula was not of a high standard because Pepsi used to get their drink out in repeated taste tests.
For a company that has a history and is proud of its traditions, the blow was too much for Coca-Cola. So Roberto secretly allowed the Coca-Cola formula to be tampered with.
Coke scientists soon came up with a formula that became more popular than Pepsi. It tasted close to Pepsi and much sweeter than Coca-Cola. It was also low in gas and hence it was introduced as ‘New Coke’.
The drink was also unveiled in a dramatic way. New York’s famous Statue of Liberty was being repaired in those days, and the nationalist drink was first seen in the hands of workers who were sweating on the American national symbol.
Coca-Cola hoped to promote national pride and patriotism in the US market.
At a press conference to unveil the new drink, Coca-Cola officials claimed that the new Coke was not only better in taste than the old Coke, but also more popular than its biggest competitor.
Pepsi immediately declared victory. According to a BBC report in 185, a special advertisement was published by the company in which it was written: ‘We had been standing eye to eye for 87 years when suddenly another person blinked.
Pepsi claims that Coca-Cola has changed its formula and surrendered to them.
But Coca-Cola fans were disappointed. His favorite drink had disappeared and was replaced by a solution from this dessert. The response from the public was particularly strong, and at one point the Coca-Cola offices received more than 8,000 calls from customers in a single day of protest.
Overnight, organizations formed in defense of the old Coke, and comedians and comedians began to lash out at Coke’s defeat.
Even Cuban President Fidel Castro called the Coca-Cola Company’s changing fortunes a weakness of American capitalism.
The stadium was packed with fans chanting slogans and hooting during Coke commercials. According to Mark Pandey Grass, in mid-1985, American society was collectively driven crazy by a drink that contained 99% sugar.
‘How much was it? Absolutely not.’ According to Mark, the Coca-Cola Company was reaping the benefits of its own marketing campaign.
“In fact, Coke was in the minds of the American people and she was able to make herself an integral part of the American way of life. Memories of the most important events in the lives of many people, such as the first meeting with a girlfriend or the first date, were associated with drinking Coca-Cola.
In fact, Americans were getting emotional about the taste of Coca-Cola because the world around them was changing. The United States was now losing ground on the world stage and the American way of life was changing.
“For many people (Coca-Cola) was a permanent thing they could trust that it wouldn’t change.
But the Coca-Cola owners were unaware of this fact. He knew that his move would not be easily accepted by the people and there would be some condemnation. He was also convinced that his drink was better than his rival’s and this had been proven in taste competitions.
He thought that the noise in the media would gradually subside, but it did not. In the crowd, people poured new coke into the gutters and demonstrations continued.
Then the company finally realized its mistake and announced in July that the old Coke would be relaunched as ‘Classic Coke’.
It was the biggest news of the time and the state-run TV ABC ran its own program on breaking news instead, which was very strange for the time.
While the announcement was welcomed by many, many took the company by storm on this U-turn. However, the significance of this announcement can be gauged from the fact that a member of Congress, standing in the Senate, called the return of the Coca-Cola Classic a “significant” opportunity in the history of the American nation.
But if you thought the ending of this story would not be good for Coca-Cola, then get ready for a twist!
According to Mark, public and market forces made the Coke Classic a success overnight.
“Before 1985, Coca-Cola was a drink that was on every child’s lips, but it didn’t have to be in everyone’s fridge. However, this changed after the U-turn and Coca-Cola’s market share began to grow, until it surpassed Pepsi.
Due to this success, there are still many people who consider the New Coke experience as a trap laid by the Coca-Cola Company. There are conspiratorial ideologues all the time, and Mark laughs and says that Americans are a little too interested in conspiracies.
“I can assure you that the New Coke project was indeed a concrete step by the company, but it backfired.”