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Today in Nerd History | April 23

Get ready to sip on some fizzy nostalgia and tune into some super-powered antics, because today we’re diving into a pop culture mix that’s as flavorful as it is animated. On April 23, we’re celebrating two very different, yet equally memorable moments in pop culture: the infamous introduction of New Coke in 1985 and the energetic debut of “Teen Titans Go!” on Cartoon Network in 2013. From a bold attempt to revamp one of the world’s most beloved beverages to the playful reimagination of a classic superhero team, let’s explore some “Nerdy Facts” that make these events stand out in the annals of nerd history.

1985: New Coke Introduced

In an attempt to rejuvenate the brand and combat declining sales, Coca-Cola took a gamble and introduced New Coke, a sweeter version of the classic formula. The change sparked immediate backlash from consumers, making it one of the most notable marketing missteps in history.

 

Nerdy Facts:

  • A Taste of Change: New Coke was the result of extensive taste tests that suggested a sweeter cola was preferred by consumers. Despite positive initial feedback, public reaction was overwhelmingly negative when the change was actually implemented.
  • A Swift Reversal: The backlash against New Coke was so strong that Coca-Cola reintroduced the original formula as “Coca-Cola Classic” just 79 days later, leading to a surge in sales and ultimately reinforcing the brand’s iconic status.
  • Cultural Impact: The New Coke saga has been studied in marketing classes around the world as a cautionary tale of how vital brand loyalty and consumer preference are to product success. It also inspired numerous books, documentaries, and pop culture references.
2013: Teen Titans Go! (Cartoon Network)

“Teen Titans Go!” premiered on Cartoon Network, offering a new take on the Teen Titans franchise. This version focused less on traditional superhero storytelling and more on humorous antics and adventures, appealing to a younger audience and gaining a loyal following.

 

Nerdy Facts:

  • A Different Tone: Unlike its predecessor, “Teen Titans,” which blended action and drama, “Teen Titans Go!” focuses on comedic, slice-of-life situations that often parody superhero conventions and other pop culture elements.
  • Voice Continuity: The show retained all the main voice actors from the original “Teen Titans” series—Scott Menville, Hynden Walch, Khary Payton, Tara Strong, and Greg Cipes—adding a sense of continuity and familiarity for fans of the earlier series.
  • Popularity and Longevity: Despite mixed reviews from long-time fans expecting a more traditional superhero show, “Teen Titans Go!” proved to be incredibly popular, spawning multiple seasons, a wide range of merchandise, and even a feature film, “Teen Titans Go! To the Movies.”

April 23 serves as a reminder of how daring decisions in business and creativity can lead to unexpected outcomes. Whether it’s altering a classic drink recipe or reimagining beloved characters in a new light, today celebrates the bold moves that keep the wheels of pop culture turning. So, whether you’re cracking open a can of Coke or watching the Teen Titans embark on yet another zany adventure, here’s to enjoying the unpredictable and often delightful ride of pop culture history. Happy Nerd History Day!

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Station Manager of LTN Radio and co-host of the "Nerd History Podcast" & the "Two Words Podcast". Matt is a third-generation radio station manager who has done pretty much every job in the radio industry. Matt is the father of two boys and a little girl. It's probably the best thing about him.

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