Coke once stopped a promotion after 3 weeks due to negative press
I recently watched the Netflix Documentary "Pepsi, Where's My Jet?" and I fondly remembered collecting Pepsi Points. Points were a massive thing in the '90s. Lots of companies did it to get the public to buy more products.
Promotions are something plenty of companies do. We even do it in Radio. The idea is that you will sell enough products to offset the cost of the promotion itself. It is usually a win-win for everyone. Loyal customers buy more products and that makes the company more money. You might even pick up a few new customers along the way which is just gravy on top.
Well, that didn't go so well for Coke in the '90s. Their "MagiCans" promotion as part of their "Magic Summer '90" ended almost as soon as it started.
I clearly remember this promotion, and I so wanted one of those cans. What would happen is you'd buy a can of coke and if you were a winner a spring-loaded prize would pop out. The can would even be weighted to make it hard for you to just pick one up and know it was a winner.
So what happened? Well, Murphy’s Law happened. If something could go wrong with the promotion it did. Everything from faulty cans leaking over the prizes to people drinking the chlorinated water. So just 24 days after the promotion started, Coke ended the promotion.
It wasn't the worst idea Coke ever had (New Coke anyone?) but it sure put a damper on their "Magic Summer '90."