Coca-Cola apparently believes the second time is a charm.
After waiting nearly 40 years since first introducing New Coke, only to have it bomb, the company is bringing the ill-fated product back to the world that didn’t want it in the first place. As part of a promo it’s doing with the producers of “Stranger Things,” now entering its third season, Coke will introduce a limited number of New Coke cans in both the show and in real-life in early July.
Re-introducing a flop is sure to add even more folk lore to a global corporate heavyweight that has been oozing its own self-made mythology since company founder Asa Candler in 1891 first erected the iron-clad veil of secrecy that surrounds the one of the world’s most famous recipes.
Here’s a sampling of that legendary lore:
Keep it in the vault
Producers of the radio program “This American Life” in 2011 “came across an article on the history of Coca-Cola in an old copy of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Coca-Cola’s hometown newspaper,” according to an article in Time. “Published on page 2B on February 18, 1979, the article received little attention at the time. But, producers say, that’s because no one realized the photo used to illustrate the story is a hand-written copy of John Pemberton’s original recipe, jotted down by a friend in a leather-bound recipe book of ointments and medicines, and passed down by friends and family for generations.”
According to Mental Floss, New Coke hung around for a while, even though most people thought it was history. “After consumers berated the company into bringing back their original flavor just months after New Coke’s debut … the company tried to rebrand it as Coke II and continued offering it to bottlers until 2002. It may have been in the hope that persistence would pay off: The revised formula allegedly contained fewer ingredients and was cheaper to produce than Coke Classic.”