Will Pepsi's new hipster cola be a success or the new New Coke?

Corporate multinational releases the 'artisanal' Pepsi 1893

It seems we've reached peak hipster, with the craft beer phenomenon encouraging huge corporations to find a way to make their products more appealing to the bearded, fixie-riding masses.

Introducing Pepsi 1893: a new hipster variant on the popular sugary carbonated beverage.

Its old-timey packaging and marketing appears designed to target those who like their alcohol drinks made by mixologists, their beer brewed next door, and their ankles without socks.

While Pepsi's ad pokes fun at the language of drinks marketing, it also talks, with a straight face, about the drink’s kola nut extract, "real sugar" and "aromatic bitters".

It's certainly not the first attempt to release a new fizzy drink with added marketing to give it a sales boost however, but not all of them have been a roaring success. 

Here are just a few of the drinks that never quite took off in the way that was intended. 

New Coke

This canned catastrophe, aka 'Coca Cola II', was released in 1985. Original Coke was reintroduced three months later, leading many to believe that the New Coke was nothing but a marketing strategy.

Redbull Cola

The energy drink brand moved into the cola business in 2008, but by 2011 the drink had already been discontinued in most countries. Among the problems that hit the drink during its short lifespan was a claim by the German Nordrhein-Westfalen Institute of Health and Work "regarding the inclusion of de-cocainised coca leaf extract in Red Bull Simply Cola". 

Jolt Cola

Introduced in 1985, Jolt was discontinued finally in 2009, bankrupting several companies along the way...and containing more caffeine than several equatorial nations.

Image: WhenSkippyLovedMallorie

Hubba Bubba Bubble Gum Soda

Cream soda? Yes. Bubble gum soda, not so much. This Wrigleys product was discontinued for "unknown reasons". There was also a diet version, for those who wanted a healthy option of bubblegum flavoured soda.

Crystal Pepsi

Released as a caffeine-free cola in 1992, it began well - until Coca Cola released Tab Clear, a similar product, which was also a diet drink.

Image: Frinkiac.com

Coke's Chief Marketing Officer Sergio Zyman later admitted that the release of Tab was a deliberate move on their part to sink the Crystal Pepsi project.

Stephen Denny, author of Killing Giants: 10 Strategies to Topple the Goliath in Your Industry, spoke to Zyman for his book about the move, and he stated that planting the idea that Crystal Pepsi was a diet drink (which were supremely unpopular in the early '90s) was a key part of the strategy. "Within three or five months," added Zyman "Tab Clear was dead. And so was Crystal Pepsi."

Black Cherry Vanilla Coke

It would be fair to describe this particular beverage as a "limited edition": launched in 2006, it was already gone by 2007, because putting all of your flavours in one can is never a good idea.

Champions Cola

Back in the mid-'90s when Premier League football clubs were still pretty new at this whole marketing thing, Manchester United released a cola beverage by the name of Champions Cola, which was sold in many a corner shop across Ireland. "What can makes Lee sharp, or Roy keen? The Man U can can".