If you follow us on Facebook and Twitter, then you might have noticed that yesterday we introduced a concept: #FailFriday. Every Friday, we highlight a marketing campaign that went horribly wrong. In this short blog, we will attempt to discover why it failed here with our followers. First up: Pepsi Blue.
Pepsi Blue was launched in 2002 as a berry-flavored cola, but production stopped in the U.S. and Canada by mid-2004. (The drink was colored with Blue 1, which was banned in several European countries at the time for reportedly inducing allergic reactions among people with pre-existing moderate asthma. Not good.) While the flavor of the drink was marketed as “berry”, most consumers thought the drink was too sugary, tasted like cotton candy, and contained more syrup than an average cola.
Pepsi promoted Pepsi Blue with endorsements from entertainers like Britney Spears and Papa Roach (video below). They also promoted the drink at New York Mets baseball games and with a Pepsi Blue-themed VW Beetle that traveled the country. This was before social media, so there was no Facebook or Twitter to help the product reach more people.
What do you think is the main reason Pepsi Blue failed? Was it the product’s unusual taste? Was it a lack of national promotion? How could social media have helped Pepsi Blue? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!