Hot Pockets, Old Spice & New Coke: Learning From Reinvention Successes & Failures
There are aging brands and products that have tried and failed to to reinvent themselves (more on epic reinvention/rebranding failures after the video). Then there are those that totally rocked it like The Man Your Man Could Smell Like ads by Old Spice or the recent Ship My Pants ad by KMart. Next on the “Where Are The Now” list is Hot Pockets? They came roaring back on May 14, 2013 with a viral ad by stand-up comedian, actor, songwriter and popular YouTube personality Toby “Tobuscus” Turner. Yes, it’s over the top outrageous but I think it’s perfect for the Hot Pockets demo audience. While only time will tell if it’s enough to make Hot Pockets as popular as they once were, they certainly deserve an A+ for effort.
Top 3 Epic Brand Reinvention/Rebranding Failures
#1: Radio Shack – Do you remember “The Shack”? No, not the book by William P. Young. I’m talking about Radio Shack’s attempt to be fit in with the cool kids (yeah, I’m talking to you Best Buy). Almost everyone agreed that the brand needed a swift kick in the rear. However, the goofs that created this campaign (and I use that word loosely) tossed decades of building the brand out the window.
#2: Pepsi – Pepsi is 106 years old and anyone who buys it does so because they like the way it tastes..NOT because of the logo! Perhaps someone should have told the Pepsi executives who approved to spend more than one million dollars on this horrible rebranding initiative!
#3: New Coke/Coke II – You’re not getting off that easy Coke/New Coke. We will never forget April 23, 1985. That was the date the Coca-Cola company, 99 years old at the time, announced it was scrapping its original formula for a newer, sweeter version. After a public outcry, Coca-Cola brought back their “classic” formula 3 months later. This was such big news at the time that TV anchor Peter Jennings interrupted General Hospital to make the announcement to a relieved nation. Sales of the original Coke surged and New Coke was later rebranded “Coke II” before it faded away.