Even though it’s extremely popular in the US, Dasani, Coca-Cola’s bottled water was a huge fail when it was launched in the UK. And it was quite a hilarious story as well (be sure to read the bonus fact at the end of the article).
Taking the same formula that made Dasani a huge success in the other end of the Atlantic and trying to replicate it for the UK market didn’t quite turn out well for Coca-Cola. You see, the majority of bottled water sold in British supermarkets comes from alpine glaciers or trickled out of a precious natural spring. Dasani on the other hand was coming directly from the local tap!
This dirty little secret was known to some people at the industry but it went off as a nuclear explosion when it was revealed to the public. Headlines like “The Real Sting” a play on Coke’s “The Real Thing” slogan and the more obvious “Coke sells tap water for 95p” could hardly have been worse for Coke and their new baby. (the article continues after the ad)
Despite the pages of negative press coverage, Coke persisted with Dasani. Executives protested that they had been misunderstood and that the drink was not just tap water but… tap water that went through a highly sophisticated process to create the purest drinking water you can get.
But then, there were even worse news.
Something had gone wrong at the Dasani factory in the UK and a bad batch of minerals had contaminated the water production with a potentially carcinogenic bromate. That was it. Coke has finally admitted defeat and withdrew all 500,000 bottles of Dasani in circulation. In just five weeks, Dasani had come and gone, arguably providing more in terms of entertainment than refreshment.
Bonus fact: The slogan of Dasani in US was “Can’t live without spunk“. When taken to the UK though, the slogan created nothing but mockery from the public and the media. You see, spunk is a British slang word for semen. Combine that with the fact that many of the advertising images featured models, who were spilling… Dasani all over their faces and you can tell why this is perhaps Coke’s worst product launch ever.
If you like what you read, then you will definitely love this one: The Time When Coca-Cola Invented A Vending Machine That Automatically Raised Prices On A Hot Day
Photo: Huffington Post, Zanda, Dasani
Photoshop: I’m A Useless Info Junkie
Widget not in any sidebars