Feb 222012
Authors: Lydia Jorden

Remember the smooth, refreshing taste that only Coors Rocky Mountain Spring water can provide after a long hike? Or how going all day without eating and coming home to that savory chicken that only a Colgate Dinner Entrée can satisfy you with? If these experiences don’t ring a bell, you’re probably part of the majority of people who passed on these products offered by huge brand names.

Products come and go all the time, and it’s quite a rarity that mediocre products will stay on the market with all the competing items ready to take the top spot. Coors water and Colgate dinners are among many other products that failed to create a connection with the consumer.

Along with millions of dollars wasted and many confused shoppers, we can only try to make sense of the crazy idea behind each product. Edible failures such as Cosmopolitan Magazine’s yogurt, New Coke, Crystal Pepsi, Gerber baby food for adults and Harley Davidson perfume prove that even the most known brands can perform badly.

Imagine walking home from school after a long day. All you really want to do is eat some of your roommate’s food because you know how much it pisses her off. And let’s be real, you love pissing off your roommate. But she has rebelled against you. All you see when you open the freezer for a hot pocket is a box that looks similar to Lean Cuisines, but bears the name, “Colgate Dinner Entrée.” Brand extensions can be pretty successful — just think of Dove soap and Dove chocolate. But clearly the thought of brushing your teeth with Colgate toothpaste after eating your Colgate meal didn’t quite make the perfect pair, causing this product failure.

The Colgate dinner entrée didn’t work out, so you decide to save your appetite for when you babysit because you know you can blame the empty pantry on the kids. Right as you’re about to dig into the 42-packet box of fruit snacks, the little girl wants you to play dolls with her. You grab the closest one near but soon discover this isn’t just a regular baby doll. This is Baby Wee Wee.

Little do you know, when you rub your hand along this doll’s anatomically correct body, the dolls giggles, appears to instantly get an erection, and, as the commercial on TV used to show, pees in your face. I’m not sure if the product itself is the most disturbing, or the advertisement for the doll. And although there are peeing dolls on the market, it must have been the disproportionate penis size along with the incredibly creepy commercial that reduced this dolls availability in the market.
I guess you’ll have to wait for morning to get your appetite back.

Cosmopolitan Magazine tried to provide the perfect morning treat. Cosmo cultivates many memories and associations. It means learning how I can correctly stand and skillfully cock my head to make my boyfriend forgive me. It means looking through “The Cosmo Kama Sutra” with my roommates during fall break. And for millions of women, it means shelling out $4.99 to read raunchy details on how to enhance their love life to its fullest potential.

However, even if this yogurt produced by Cosmo is one you decide to use in the bedroom, I still can’t wrap my head around this publication’s choice to manufacture yogurt when clearly being a guilty pleasure is what they do best. This product was given the boot only 18 months after release. I guess we’ll just have to find something else to indulge in.

Clairol, a hair product company, was quick to jump on the yogurt frenzy like Cosmo so anxiously did. However Clairol had a much different product in mind. Clairol formulated a shampoo called “Touch of Yogurt.” It takes extreme speculation and analysis to realize that people don’t want to wash their hair with yogurt — kidding, it’s pretty obvious. It’s just gross.

To make matters worse, three years before the yogurt shampoo flopped, they released a “Look of Buttermilk” shampoo. This shampoo failed in the market as well because consumers didn’t understand why buttermilk-looking hair was appealing. You would think Clairol would have learned their lesson with equating hair products to food based on the buttermilk shampoo going sour.

Regardless of the reasons for failure, we can see that even the strongest brand names have occasional flops. I’ll be honest –– Coors water sounds like it could have been successful. In fact, I’m getting thirsty just thinking about it. Perhaps if they had marketed it to be a hangover drink associated with their beer, they would have succeeded.

An idea for an original new product is rare, but I’m sure we can all agree that whether these products were disturbing, gross, unappetizing or just plain weird, we’re glad they’re gone.

Lydia Jorden is a junior business major and can thank her Consumer Behavior course for this column idea. Her column runs Thursdays in the Collegian. She can be reached at letters@collegian.com.

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