D&D General Edition Changes and Brand Identity: Remembering New Coke


Scion of Murgen (He/Him)
I was a fan* of the '90s vibe of OK Cola.

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*Of course, by "fan," I mean that I was like, whatever. Because it was the '90s. Probably why it never succeeded. If your brand is apathy, you're probably not going to build a loyal following.
A marketing idea and product come up with by the same guy as New Coke!

Love the Dan Clowes art, forgot about these...
This was one of those 90s moments that's probably impossible to adequately describe to the youngsters.

As a teenager in Seattle, one of the test markets, I got one of their pre-viral marketing chain letters at the time. I may still have it in a box somewhere; I'm going to be going through my stuff for a move soon. I should look for it! :)

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Rotten DM
I was stationed in West Berlin at the time. You could buy a case of new coke for $2.25 which was 10 cents a can. And some paydays it was cheaper. It made throwing a rum and coke party cheap.
They have also reduced the carbonation in Coke. Because you could have slam a can of coke just as you were waking up, about mid way through the pipe the foaming would kick in with a great burn which woke you up. Finish the can. Put on your boots and down to the mess hall. By the time the burn went away, the caffeine and sugar kicked in.



Captains Blend Vim man myself.

Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
Seeing as we aren't doing a deep dive into design, Ima gonna follow the golden advice of Mama Snarf (If you can't be part of the solution, become a part of the problem).


We had the "New Coke" analogy back in 4e days, including the bit where they moved back to a much more classic formulation and enjoyed a huge bump in sales. They even had a major competitor starting with 'P'.

I don't see the current situation as comparable, partly because they aren't changing anything like enough, and partly because I simply think they've learned the lessons from it. (Which doesn't mean they're not making a whole bunch of new and exciting mistakes, of course. :) )
I think 4e was the “new coke” in this analogy. I don’t think @Snarf Zagyg was suggesting 5.5 was. In fact, just the opposite. WotC learned from new coke (4e) and specifically is not doing that now

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