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14 products that have largely flopped

14 products that have largely flopped

Cookie Studio / Shutterstock.com We all had brainstorms that did not work out. But some awful ideas are made into products that cost big money to pro

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We all had brainstorms that did not work out.

But some awful ideas are made into products that cost big money to promote and then become an embarrassment of abdominal sleep.

Those products live on in our collective memory, a reminder that even CEOs and high-paying marketing noises are capable of blowing them up.

Here’s a look at some fantastic flops that their inventors have sent back to the drawing board.

1. New Coke

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Let’s just crown New Coke as the king of all product whoopsies.

When Coca-Cola introduced the reformulated soft drink in 1985, the company hoped to revitalize its brand.

Instead, cola consumers bubbled over with complaints. As the Coca-Cola Co. says, the change “caused consumer anxiety that no business has ever seen.” Just 79 days later, the company brought back its original formula.

Since then, New Coke has become an excellent example of the risks of wasting something that is not broken. The drink’s short, tumultuous life has even been revamped for lessons on marketing failures in business schools.

In 2019, New Coke made the final laugh and made a very short promotional return linked to an appearance in Netflix’s 1980s-themed science fiction series “Stranger Things.”

2. The Edsel


Sorry poor Edsel. The brand of the car, manufactured by the car manufacturer Ford started in 1957, is named after Edsel Ford, son of the famous Ford Motor Co founder Henry Ford.

Now, however, it has been included in certain dictionaries as a term for a product that, despite high expectations, does not gain public acceptance.

Some blame the car’s unusual appearance, especially the vertical chrome oval on the front grille. Others blame mechanical problems – a joke spread that Edsel was an acronym for “Every Day Something Else Leaks,” according to the Washington Post.

Ford stopped manufacturing the car in 1959. But that’s not the end of the story. Today, a good-condition Edsel can be sold for up to six figures, the Post says.

Google Glass

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Google Glass, created in 2011, sounded like something out of a science fiction movie or novel.

The product looked like strange glasses. The manufacturers have promoted it as a portable computer that can take photos, shoot video and serve as a GPS, among other things.

Amid product flaws, bad reviews and concerns that glass carriers could secretly pick up people in public places, Google closed the original program in 2015, writes the New York Times.

And yet, Google Glass has never completely gone away. In 2019, MIT Technology Review announced the release of a new version, the Glass Enterprise Edition 2, which was for sale only to businesses. Glass “has quietly gained a foothold in various industries, including logistics and manufacturing, providing hands-free access to information while people work,” the report said.

Crystal Pepsi

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In the 1970s, earth tones dominated design trends. The 1980s brought neon bright.

And then came the 1990s, when the trend was for no color – clear products were all the rage.

Crystal Pepsi, the translucent soft drink, spearheaded the battle with a decaffeinated product that launched it in 1993 with a huge Super Bowl advertising splash.

Pepsi took the soft drink off the shelves by the end of 1994. Even his inventor says that Crystal Pepsi does not taste enough like the original Pepsi.

Crystal Pepsi was brought back for a limited time in 2016 before fading into 1990s nostalgia, along with “Seinfeld” and grunge music.

5. Look! potato chips

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Fat-free potato chips? That’s enough to make a consumer say “Wow!”

That was the hope. But then Frito-Lay Wow! chips in 1998, there were problems.

The chips apparently tasted like regular potato chips and reached their fat-free status by using olestra, a fat substitute that Procter & Gamble marketed as Olean, the New York Times reported in 1999.

However, there were intestinal level side effects that occurred with excessive consumption of olestra over short periods that were, uh, difficult to digest. Consequently, the Food and Drug Administration required olestra products to be worn, which the Times called “probably the most unattractive food product label in history: ‘Olestra can cause cramps and loose stools.’

The FDA lifted the label requirement in 2003. But it was too late for Wow! chips.

6. ‘ET the Extra-Terrestrial’ video game

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“ET the Extra-Terrestrial” was a box office hit at movie theaters and won four Oscars in 1983.

But the video game of the same name, designed for the Atari 2600 computer, was called the worst video game ever. Game designer Howard Scott Warshaw only had five short weeks to develop the game. It apparently showed. Players rejected it.

Truckloads of cartridges were buried in a landfill in a New Mexico desert – as documented by a film company that some dug up in 2014.

7. The Apple Newton

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Apple Inc. has created many dazzling, world-changing products, including the iPhone.

The Apple Newton MessagePad was the company’s first attempt to create a handheld digital personal assistant or tablet. The Newton, equipped with a touch screen, could be used to take notes, translate handwriting into text, and even send a fax.

Or could it? The handwriting translation worked about as well as trying to read your doctor’s messy scribbles – even “Doonesbury” mocked it in 1993.

Apple co-founder Steve Jobs hated the Newton. It sealed his sentence, according to Wired magazine.

8. The DeLorean

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John DeLorean’s car company only made one model car, the DeLorean of the same name, but thanks to “Back to the Future” many Americans recognize it.

The DeLorean’s famous gull wing doors were hinged to open at the car’s roof, which made the vehicle stand out from the crowd.

The cars were only made for model years 1981 to 1983. There were quality control issues, and the car did not have power, CNN recalls.

It did not help that John DeLorean was arrested in a drug smuggling case (he was later acquitted) and his company filed for bankruptcy.

The striking car might have been forgotten if it had not been for its use as a time machine in the popular 1985 movie “Back to the Future” and its sequels.

9. The XFL

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Do you remember the Memphis Maniax? The Los Angeles Xtreme? The Chicago Enforcers?

No? Understandably, these were all teams from the XFL, a dead American football league that took to the field in 2001 for one season.

Half owned by NBC and half owned by the World Wrestling Federation (now the WWE), the league can best be remembered because teams allow players to put nicknames on their jerseys. Rod Smart made a name for himself by wearing “He Hate Me” on his Las Vegas Outlaws jersey.

The league declined after one championship game and about a year of TV shows.

A new XFL was launched in 2020, with teams like the Seattle Dragons, St. Louis Battlehawks and Tampa Bay Vipers. But then it had to cancel the remaining games of the season as the COVID-19 pandemic began to spread. In April 2020, it applied for bankruptcy protection.

But wait. There is a sequel. In August 2020, actor Duane “the Rock” Johnson and a group of investors bought the league. They now hope to play again in 2023.

10. Microsoft Clippy

A man is frustrated with his laptop while trying to work
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Hello, it looks like you’re writing an article about failed products. Do you want help? Microsoft thought you could.

Launched with Office for Windows in 1997, Microsoft has created an interactive virtual assistant that can appear on a user’s document screen for assistance. The default setting for the assistant was a paper clip named Clippit, named “Clippy.”

Clippy’s tendency to appear and insert himself into a user’s work was often more annoying than helpful.

The company turned off Clippy’s default setting in 2001, and by 2002, Clippy was actively spotting in its ads. He then quietly cut into the sunset.

11. Betamax

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PC or Apple computer? Marvel or DC Comics? VHS or Betamax? The VHS vs. Betamax competition has found its place among some of the great debates of our time.

Both were formats used by consumers to watch and record video. Betamax lost the format war.

According to PC Magazine, Betamax was launched in 1975, and early cassettes held only one hour of video. VHS came out a year later with longer recording time. The battle was on.

As the magazine notes elsewhere, many users thought Betamax was the better format, but in the end it did not matter. VHS caught on, and Betamax was gone by the 1990s.

VHS fans could not rejoice for long. VHS was eventually replaced by DVDs.

12. McDonald’s Arch Deluxe

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In 1996, the fast food chain tried to classify its menu with the Arch Deluxe range of sandwiches that include burgers, chicken and fish. The Arch Deluxe burger, aimed at attracting adult tastes with a “secret” mustard and mayo sauce, was the marquee tent item.

Analysts have estimated that the development of the Arch Deluxe cheeseburger cost the company between $ 100 million and $ 200 million, the LA Times reported.

McDonald’s ads boasted that the burger was not for children. Really, was that the best selling technique for a family restaurant? McDonald’s pulled the product by the late 1990s, Business Insider reported.

13. Bic for Her penne

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Certainly, some products appeal more to one gender than another. But you would think the simple ballpoint pen is a unisex accessory.

When the pen company Bic came out with Bic for Her pens in 2012, he picked up the jokes about the Bic pen and wrote them himself. Hilarious Amazon reviews screwed up the concept.

The pens themselves were designed in pastel colors but were otherwise imperceptible. Bic for Her Pens (later called the BIC Cristal for Her Ball Pen) are no longer made, but you can check out their o-so-feminine packaging at Amazon.

14. Smell-O-Vision

Movie Projector
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Hollywood movies have come a long way. Still films made way for talkies, and black-and-white films for Technicolor. IMAX, 3-D, Dolby surround sound – they all found their way to the theaters.

However, some movie wonders were goofy gimmicks. Case in point: the 1960s invention Smell-O-Vision and the similar Aroma-Rama, introduced in 1959.

As American Movie Classics’ “The History of Film” recalls, movie theaters pumped relevant flavors, such as pipe tobacco or crushed grapes, into the theater to accompany a “fragrant” film. Only a few movies have ever used the trick.

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