Today we thought we’d take you on a little trip down a place called Memory Lane. Think back to your youth: the good old days filled with afternoons in the sun, sipping on Clear Pepsi, riding around in the family Edsel, or if you’re a bit younger, the DeLorean, and watching all those Betamax tapes…
What, you didn’t do those things? You don’t have any idea what a Betamax tape is?! Well that is probably because each one of those items mentioned was a big, fat, product failure.
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10) The DeLorean Car
Yes, just like the one in Back to the Future, except without any of the stuff that made the car cool (like that whole time travelling bit.) The car debuted in 1981, and two years later when the company went out of business, they had only sold about 9,000 vehicles total. Why did it fail? According to CNN, the car was too pricey for the quality, and consumers were just not interested in this car with its odd wing-like doors.
9) Pepsi A.M. and Crystal Pepsi
Have you ever been eating your breakfast and thinking to yourself, “You know what would go great with this? A soda!” Me neither. That’s exactly why Pepsi’s “Pepsi AM,” released in the early 80’s was such a flop and was quickly removed from the market—people simply didn’t equate soda with a breakfast drink. A few years later, the company tried again with Crystal Pepsi, which was just a clear version of Pepsi, and again, had to concede defeat. Why? Apparently with the lighter color, customers were expecting the drink to also taste lighter and crisper (like Sprite, for example) and when it didn’t, sales came to a halt.
8 ) Betamax Tapes
If you are one of the majority of people who doesn’t even remember what this was, well, it was Sony’s version of a VHS tape. In the late 70’s JVC released the VHS and around the same time Sony released the Betamax. The two duked it out for a few years, but by the early 80’s, the battle was lost and Betamax was no more. Why? VHS had taken over the market; there was simply no room for poor Betamax.
7) Bic’s “Disposable Underwear”
Bic is known for all things disposable: razors, lighters, pens… and apparently, in a brief blip of bad decision-making, underwear. Why did it fail? The product flopped, not only because women weren’t keen to buy “disposable” underwear, but also because there was no connection in the products. It just didn’t make sense.
6) Colgate Kitchen Entrees
I don’t know if it’s just me, but I can’t get the idea of toothpaste out of my head here, and a microwaveable meal that tastes like Spearmint doesn’t exactly sound appealing. Why did it fail? Customers didn’t “bite” simply because, honestly, how appetizing does “Colgate Spaghetti” sound?
5) Harley-Davidson Perfume
Harley fans are known to be loyal—they sport the jackets, they buy the helmets, and they are Harley fans true and true. But even these loyal fans didn’t jump on board when Harley released their perfume line. Why not? When you think of perfume by Harley, do you imagine the smell of gasoline and bikers, or something sweet and floral? Exactly.
4) McDonald’s Arch Deluxe
The Arch Deluxe was introduced in the late 90’s as an alternative for adults with more sophisticated tastes. Why did it fail? People go to McDonald’s, not for a gourmet meal, but for something quick, inexpensive, and basic. Needless to say, the Deluxe didn’t make it to the new millennium.
3) Cheetos Lip Balm
In 2005 Frito-Lay introduced this lip balm, which did, in fact, taste like Cheetos. Why did it fail? Even the biggest cheese lovers don’t want to taste it on their lips all day—imagine how thirsty you’d be! Ultimately Frito-Lay’s foray into cosmetics quickly came to a close.
2) The Ford Edsel
This car is actually sometimes referred to as the “Titanic of automobiles” in the car world. It was released with a lot of hype in 1957, but in just a few years, sales fizzled and they pulled it from the market. In the end, Ford lost $355 million on the project—about $2 billion today. Why? The Edsel was not only rumored to be poorly crafted, but was also an expensive car for during a recession when other carmakers were discounting last year’s models.
1) New Coke
In the 70’s Coke began facing some stiff cola competition and so to stay in the game, they thought they’d release “New Coke.” They stopped production on the classic recipe, switched to the new, and fans were outraged. Why? Coke has been a staple of soft drinks for over a century; needless to say fans have gotten used to their beverage tasting a certain way. Coke quickly went back to the old classic, and since have done well to remember the old adage, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Cheers!
Can you think of any other huge product failures or flops? Share them below!
Photos Courtesy of: I – Ful Images