New Coke was one of the classic marketing mistakes of new product introduction. It was 1985, the height of the cola wars, and Coca-Cola wanted to make a bold product move against archrival Pepsi with a new, sweeter-tasting Coke. Big mistake.
Coke's brand fans were outraged--not at the new version but at the loss of the old version--and the uproar forced the company to reintroduce the old Coke as Classic Coke only a few weeks later. Faster than you can say "Mentos and Coke," Classic began outselling New Coke and actually added new fizz to the company's revenues.
New Coke is long gone, and the company this week decided that the Classic variant will be known, starting now, as just plain Coca-Cola. Here's the NY Times story. Drink up!