Feature

Coca-Cola's white-can fiasco

Coke gives its holiday-themed cans a snowy makeover, and angry customers shoot back: Ain't nothing like the real thing, baby

The story: This Christmas season, Coca-Cola tried something radical — repackaging its flagship soft drink in a (gasp) white can. (See the overly startling image below.) The gamble flopped. Disoriented customers complained that the white can with silver polar bears looked too much like the silver Diet Coke can. Others insisted that the white cans tainted the taste of Coke, or called execs "blasphemers" for ditching the classic red. Though the seasonal redesign had a noble aim — raising funds to save the polar bears' Arctic habitat — Coke has caved. Starting next week, The Wall Street Journal reports, reassuringly red holiday cans will quietly return to stores.

The reaction: The red Coke can "could well be the most recognizable food or drink packaging in the world," so a dramatic makeover is "a recipe for catastrophe," says Chris Greenhough at The Inquisitr. Though I admit, "I really dig that subtle polar bear design" on the white label. "As attractive and sensible as it may be," says Paul Schrodt at Esquire, the new can isn't even very festive. Growing up in Miami, I found that the arrival of the Santa-themed holiday Coke cans and bottles brought "the same inexplicable winter-goodness vibe" as Christmas carols. And like Christmas carols, the cans aren't supposed to change from year to year. Here's the much hated can:

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