Concept

OK Soda

Summary
OK Soda is a discontinued soft drink created by The Coca-Cola Company in 1993 that courted the American Generation X demographic with unusual advertising tactics, including neo-noir design, chain letters and deliberately negative publicity. After the soda did not sell well in select test markets, it was officially declared out of production in 1995 before reaching nationwide distribution. The drink's slogan was "Things are going to be OK." In 1993, Coca-Cola CEO Roberto Goizueta rehired Sergio Zyman to be the chief of marketing for all Coca-Cola beverage brands, a surprising choice given that Zyman had worked closely with the New Coke campaign, possibly the largest marketing failure in Coke's history. However, after revamping the can design and print advertising campaigns for Diet Coke and Coca-Cola Classic with great success, Zyman was given free rein to design new products with aggressive, offbeat marketing campaigns. International market research done by The Coca-Cola Company in the late 1980s revealed that "Coke" was the second most recognizable word across all languages in the world. The first word was "OK". Zyman (who also conceived Fruitopia) decided to take advantage of this existing brand potential and created a soft drink with this name. He conceived of a counter-intuitive advertising campaign that intentionally targeted people who did not like advertising. He predicted that the soft drink would be a huge success, and promised Goizueta that the soft drink would take at least 4% of the US beverage market. Coca-Cola's special projects manager Brian Lanahan explained to Time Magazine that they chose the name "OK" because "It underpromises. It doesn't say, 'This is the next great thing.' It's the flip side of overclaiming.” Coca-Cola marketing consultant Tom Pinko told National Public Radio, "People who are 19 years old are very accustomed to having been manipulated and knowing that they're manipulated," and that OK Soda's audience possessed a "lethargy [that] probably can't be penetrated by any commercial message.
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