It's not an easy task to introduce a new product to the market, even to a famous brand. Sometimes consumers aren't ready for the product, and sometimes they just can't find a use for it. And if that happens even an enormous marketing budget can't make people buy the failed product.
Here at Bored Panda, we've gathered some product fails that are notorious for being so unsuccessful that some of them even managed to drive companies out of business. From rebranding and product extension fails, such as the funny fail of Colgate lasagna, to startup companies, like Juicero, these products made people scratch their heads with confusion. And when a CEO of a famous brand trying to release the said product declares that it 'tastes like sh*t,' there's really no chance for it to gain popularity.
Scroll below to delve into the world of the biggest product flops, and design fails ever. You'll be downright outraged by some while others will leave you in tears; either way, those are some pretty epic fails.
Kitchen Entrees, Colgate, 1982
In 1982 Colgate came up with the weirdest brand extension idea. They decided to sell frozen dinners. This plan backfired, probably because consumers couldn't help but think that the Colgate food tasted just like their toothpaste. No company launches a product thinking that it will decrease sales of their other products, but Colgate should've seen it coming. Their toothpaste sales plummeted after the launch of the kitchen entrees line.
Office Assistant Clippy, Microsoft, 1990s
Clippy is described by some as one of the worst user interfaces ever developed. Clippy was designed to pop up whenever the software thought that the user needed help and managed to annoy quite a few people. After Microsoft acknowledged it's unpopularity they decided to remove the feature.
Ez Squirt Ketchup, Heinz, 2006
In 2000 Heinz decided to add an unexpected twist to their ketchup to catch children's attention. They came up with Ez Squirt colored ketchup which came in three main colors: teal, green, and purple. The idea wasn't meant to last on the market. After 6 years it was discontinued.
Bic For Her, 2012
In 2012 Bic released a product for women they didn't even know they needed - "lady pens". These pointlessly gendered pens were mocked and failed to gain a consumer base
Frito-Lay Wow! Chips, 1998
In 1998 Frito-Lay introduced new fat-free potato chips. People got caught up in the hype of this "miracle food" and within the first year sales reached $400 million. Sales plummeted soon after, however, when it was revealed that the chips contain Olestra, a fat substitute that causes abdominal cramping and loose stools.
Google +, 2011
In 2011 Google launched its new social network Google+. However, it never lived up to their expectations of becoming a Facebook competitor. It was a huge disappointment
Trump Steaks, Donald Trump, 2007
Donald Trump kicked off his “world’s greatest” line of premium steaks in 2007. However, consumers didn't agree with the description 'great'. The product was discontinued after just two months for sales failures.
Rejuvenique Face Mask, 1999
In 1999 the nightmarish Rejuvenique Facial Toning Mask was launched. This creepy mask was intended to tighten facial muscles with... shock therapy. Consumers revealed that it feels as bad as it sounds.
Crystal Pepsi, 1992
In 1992 Pepsi introduced a new product called "Crystal Pepsi". The product died a year later. David C. Novak, who is credited with introducing the concept, admitted: "It would have been nice if I'd made sure the product tasted good."
Cheetos Lip Balm, Cheetos, 2005
In 2005 someone at Frito-Lay decided it would be a great idea to launch a Cheetos' flavored lip balm. Even those of us who have never tried Cheetos can understand why this idea flopped.
Twitter Peek, 2009
Launched in 2009, TwitterPeek was the first and the last Twitter-only mobile device. The product was created to do only one thing - send and receive tweets, but managed to fail at this simple function. The device gave only a 20-character preview of the tweets. It was no surprise that consumers made a hard pass on this device.
Thirsty Cat! And Thirsty Dog!, 1994
In 1994 a bottled water made for cats and dogs was launched. The beverage was carbonated, vitamin enriched and flavored. The product flopped after consumers realized it was completely unnecessary to give their pets, what was essentially soda.
Samsung Galaxy Note 7, 2016
In 2017 everyone was talking about this explosive failure - the Samsung Galaxy Note 7. It lasted less than a year in the market after Samsung had to recall around 2.5million phones, due to complaints of overheating and exploding batteries.
In 2015 hoverboards turned out to be one of the biggest tech flops. Why? Because they could potentially catch fire and burn your house down.
In 2013 Juicero introduced a juicer called the Juicero Press. This device was sold with packets of pre-juiced fruits and vegetables sold exclusively by the company. They were humiliated when consumers realized that the packets could be squeezed by hand just as efficiently as with the juicer. Later, Juicero announced that it was suspending their juicer sales and repurchasing the products from customers.
New Coke, Coca-Cola Co, 1985
In 1985 Coca-Cola Co. decided to reformulate Coke. The company invested $4 million into a nationwide taste test. And despite the New Coke doing well in taste tests, after the launch, people's reactions were extremely negative. Within three months of the New Coke's release, the company had to reintroduce the original formula and rebrand it as Coca-Cola Classic.
Google Glass, 2013-2014
Google Glass, launched in 2013, was a very flawed attempt to create smart glasses. The device retailed for $1,500 and failed to carry out any of its intended functions well. These high-tech glasses also reportedly raised some very serious safety and privacy concerns.
Cocaine, Redux Beverages 2007
This energy drink was pulled from shelves in the US because of its suggestive name. The FDA decided that Cocaine was "was illegally marketing the drink as both a street drug alternative and a dietary supplement". The drink is still sold in Europe under its original name.
E.t. The Extra-Terrestrial, Atari, 1982
Atari spent $20 million to secure the box office hit E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial thinking they had found a profitable source for video game development. The company produced 4 million cartridges however 2.5 million were left unsold and were dumped in a landfill
Amazon's Fire Phone, 2014
Amazon decided to enter the smartphone market with the Fire Phone in 2014. However, it was very unsuccessful and was discontinued a year later. The company's CEO Tom Szkutak indicated that the pricing strategy was to blame for this product fail.
Delorean Dmc-12, Delorean Motor Company, 1981
You probably know this car for its appearance in the movie Back to the Future movie. Notable for its gull-wing doors, the car was plagued by performance and safety issues. It was on the market only for three years before production was stopped.
Jimmy Dean Chocolate Chip Pancake-Wrapped Sausage, 2006
In 2016 Jimmy Dean introduced a strange combination - sausage links wrapped in chocolate chip pancakes on a stick. The saying "it might be crazy enough to work" did not apply to this product.
Premier Smokeless Cigarettes, Rj Reynolds Tobacco Company, 1989
In 1988 RJ Reynolds Tobacco decided to develop a smokeless cigarette. The company invested $325 million into manufacturing their new Premier line which, according to the CEO of the company "tasted like sh*t". It's no surprise people didn't buy them.
Windows Vista, Microsoft, 2007
Operating system Windows Vista, released in 2007, turned out to be a huge failure. It flopped due to issues with new security features, performance, driver support and product activation.
Orbitz Soda, Clearly Canadian Beverage Corporation, 1997
Orbitz drink which resembles a lava lamp caught consumers attention in 1988. However, according to reviews, its taste wasn't worth the hype. People began comparing the beverage to cough syrup and the gel balls were only making the taste worse.
Pepsi Blue, 2002
In 2002 Pepsi launched their Pepsi Blue drink, to compete with Vanilla Coke. Despite being heavily promoted this new beverage flopped. It was supposed to taste like berries, however, consumers said it tasted more like cotton candy with a berry-like aftertaste.
Blak, Coca-Cola, 2006
In 2006 Coca-Cola combined Cola with coffee to create Coca-Cola Blak. The drink was shelved a couple years later when people began to complain about the poor taste and excess caffeine.
Pepsi A.m, 1989
In 1989 Pepsi introduced Pepsi A.M. This new formula contained more caffeine than regular Pepsi and was marketed as a morning drink. However, consumers were not fond of the idea of drinking Pepsi for breakfast. As a result, Persi A.M. was discontinued a year later
Parfum Bic, 1989 - 1990
In 1989 Bic decided to launch a completely unrelated product to its brand - perfume. People were not impressed. Bic removed the fragrance off shelves the following year, swallowing an estimated $11 million loss.
Cosmopolitan Yogurt, 1999
In 1999 Cosmopolitan magazine decided to get into the food game. They came up with the idea of Cosmopolitan yogurt. While yogurt itself seemed to appeal to their target demographic, Cosmopolitan was unable to sell their brand. It was discontinued after only 18 months.
Gerber Singles, 1974
In 1974 the baby-food giant, Gerber, came up with the idea to create a 'baby food' for adults. Gerber believed that there's a market for ready to eat food in a jar, but oh how wrong they were. Consumers didn't find jars of meat mush very appetizing and Gerber Singles failed badly.
Segway was launched in 2001 with very high expectations. However, this two-wheeled expensive vehicle failed to live up to the hype. It came with a price tag of $5,000 and despite being quite innovative it just wasn't that appealing or necessary to consumers.
Nokia N-Gage, Nokia, 2003
Back in 2003 before everyone was playing games on their smartphones, Nokia decided to combine phones and gaming. The company expected a better reception to their Nokia N-gage, but it ended up being a total fail. This 'taco phone', as some people began referring to it, only managed to reach one-third of its 6 million units in sales.
Sony Betamax, 1975
Sony Betamax was released in 1975 and it was a huge mistake because its rivals started selling VHS machines. The Betamax format was crushed in the "videotape format war" by the VHS. Consumers preferred it mainly because VHS recording time was 2 hours, and it allowed most feature films to be recorded without a tape change.
Trump: The Game, 1989
In 2011 Time magazine listed this game among "Top 10 Donald Trump Failures". This game was released in 1989 with only 800,000 copies sold out of an expected two million.
Mcdonald's Arch Deluxe, 1996
In 1996 McDonald decided to broaden its target demographic by introducing a burger Arch Deluxe. Mustard-mayonnaise sauce was supposed to appeal to adult tastes, however, even a $100 million advertising campaign couldn't convince grown-ups to eat the burger. The Arch Deluxe was soon discontinued and its marketing campaign now is considered to be one of the most expensive flops of all time.
Hot Wheels And Barbie Computers, 1999
Hot Wheels and Barbie computers came with so many manufacturing issues that it drove the company out of business, with thousands of unfilled orders.
Microsoft Zune, 2006
In 2006 Microsoft came up with the Zune, a product that was supposed to rival the iPod. However, Zune failed to convince consumers that it was on par with the iPod. In 2011 Zune players were discontinued.
Satisfries, Burger King 2013
Burger King's attempt to make french fries a little more healthy backfired.They introduced Satisfries in 2013 as an alternative to regular fried, except with less fat and fewer calories. Consumers weren't fond of these revamped fries, and Burger Kind had to go back to their original recipe.
Laserdisc, Philips 1978
Despite being able to offer higher quality video and audio than its rivals, Laserdisc failed to gain traction
Vio, Coca-Cola Company, 2009
Introduced in 2009, Vio a beverage by The Coca-cola company, failed to win consumer's hearts. Why? Probably because flavored milk mixed with carbonated water is a very odd and unappealing combination.
Mazagran, Starbucks And Pepsi, 1995
Starbucks and Pepsi partnered to make this carbonated coffee-soda. People couldn't decide whether they liked or hated the drink. Nevertheless, it was discontinued after failing to appeal to a broad audience.
Mars Needs Moms, Walt Disney Motion, 2011
Mars Needs Moms was an utter disappointment for Disney. The animated film cost $150 million to produce and probably $50 million more went to marketing. The saddest part is that the movie only made only $6.9 million in its debut at the domestic box office. It is considered the worst flop of 2011.
Starbucks Unicorn Frappuccino Starbucks, 2017
When Starbucks launched Unicorn Frappuccino it made people freak out of how good it looked on their Instagram feeds. However, the taste didn't live up to the hype and left many people disappointed.
Four Loko, Drink Four Brewing Compan, 2005
Four Loko used to be an alcoholic beverage combined with caffeine. The drink was the subject of ethical, legal and health concerns. In 2011 FDA declared alcoholic energy drinks a public health concern
Microsoft Bob, 1995
Microsoft introduced a software called Bob in 1995. The Bob was supposed to make windows more user-friendly by transforming the desktop screen into an image of a room to help users find and understand programs better. However, it was a huge unworkable mess and Bob was discontinued a year later.
Edsel, Ford Motor Company, 1957
Back in 1957, Ford Motor Company manufactured a car called the Edsel. The company invested $400 million in the development, manufacturing, and marketing with the belief that Edsel was the "car of the future". However, once it was unveiled to the public, it failed so badly to appeal to the consumers, that Ford ended up losing $250 million. Edsel was taken off the market in 1960 and became an example of how not to market a product.
Brewed Coffee In A Box, Maxwell House 1990
Maxwell House came up with an idea to sell pre-brewed coffee in a cardboard carton. The company missed the opportunity to start a cold-brew coffee trend and instead suggested that consumers should heat up their cold coffee. It's no surprise that they were not into this idea
Ev1, General Motors, 1996 — 1999
In 1996 General Motors introduced EV1 as the first mass-produced electric car. It was a big hit with consumers and environmentalist. However, six years after the release, General Motors recalled the model claiming liability and spare parts problems, making quite a few people angry.
Cuecat Barcode Scanner, Digital Convergence Corporation, 1999
The CueCat was supposed to serve as a bridge between the print media world and the internet. After plugging the device into a PC, consumers could use it to scan barcodes on magazines, the browser would then open a specialized website associated with the barcode. The product left everyone scratching their heads and it was discontinued after it was deemed useless.
Apple Pippin, 1995
It is estimated that Apple produced 100,000 units of Pippin console and only 42,000 were sold. As it turns out the console which supposed to be a gaming, web browsing and educational device wasn't that appealing to the consumers
Nintendo's Virtual Boy, 1995
In 1995 Nintendo introduced a huge mess called the Virtual Boy which was marketed as the first virtual reality console. In reality, it was far from it. The console actually used a parallax effect to create an illusion of depth. The reviews were mainly negative, and as the sales plummeted Virtual Boy was considered a huge failure.The reviews were mainly negative, and as the sales plummeted Virtual Boy was considered a huge failure.
Hannah Montana Cherries, Disney, 2009
After Hannah Montana became a success, Disney merchandised dozens of products. Some were appropriate, others, like these cherries, not so much...
Google Lively, 2008
Back in 2008 when the virtual world "Second Life" was thriving, Google decided to create its own version and called it "Lively". It turned out to be a really bad idea and "Lively" was closed after less than a year.
Astro Pants, Lululemon 2013
In 2013 Lululemon had to recall its Astro pants because consumers complained that their form-fitting pants were see-through. The incident led to a decrease in profits and a lawsuit
Breakfast Mates, Kellogg’s, 1998
Milk and cereal are the perfect match and Kellogg's knows it well. But too much of a good thing can still be too much. In 1998 the company came up with the idea to sell milk and cereal in the same box. This could've been a good and convenient idea. But after spending $30 million on TV and print ads they realized that they had made a mistake. Breakfast mates were neither convenient for consumers nor tasty.
Pinto, Ford, 1970
The Ford Pinto flop brought huge financial loss to the company and damaged its reputation. The reason behind it - the car is known for deadly fires related to rear-end collisions. These accidents resulted in around 117 lawsuits against Ford.
Vegemite Isnack 2.0, 2009
In 2009 Vegemite received 48,000 suggestions on what to name their new cheese-based spread. Out of all the ideas they received, they decided to go with the worst one - iSnack 2.0. It was widely ridiculed and protested and it made the company rethink their choice.
Dreamcast, Sega, 1999
Dreamcast was supposed to put Sega back in the game. As it turns out, Dreamcast was just not as good as PS2. It has lead to a decision for the company to abandon the console business and become a third party developer.
Cologne, Harley Davidson, 1990
Back in 1990, Harley Davidson went too far with brand extension. The brand released many strange products but it seems that bikers decided that enough is enough after the Harley Davidson introduced cologne. The cologne failed to interest consumers and made Harley Davidson realize that they should stop stretching the brand into other product categories.
Corfam, Dupont, 1963
In 1964 DuPont launched Corfam shoes with synthetic leather. They were advertised as a much better alternative to leather shoes and managed to rustle up some excitement about their new product. However, these shoes flopped after people started complaining that the shoes were stiff and too hot for feet. It resulted in the company losing over $100 million.
Coors Rocky Mountain Spring Water, 1990
In 1990 the Coors Brewing Company decided to launch its first nonalcoholic beverage since Prohibition. As it turns out, many people were confused by Coors Rocky Mountain Sparkling Water, since it had a similar name and label to that of Coors beer. The product was discontinued in 1997 and the low sales forced Coors to stick with selling beer.
Rokr E1, Motorola And Apple 2005
Before Apple created iPhone they partnered up with Motorola to create a new iTunes phone. Sadly, what they came up with was an underpowered phone with limited storage and that had difficulty uploading songs.
Apple Newton, 1993
The Newton was a personal digital assistant developed by Apple. It was the first device to feature handwriting recognition. At first glance, the device was innovative but was later discontinued because of problems with the handwriting recognition feature and a high price tag.
Nw-Hd1 Audio Player, Sony, 2004
When this audio player came out it was probably the smallest player at the time. However, it was a complete flop because it only supported Sony's ATRAC3 format. So no MP3, WAV, or WMA support. Also, the price was way too big.
Frito-Lay Lemonade, Pepsico, 1998
In 1998 leading snack company decided to launch a new drink. They believed that Frito-Lay lemonade would go well with their chips, but consumers disagreed. The lemonade was soon shelved after failing to interest consumers
Hp Touchpad, 2011
HP attempted to compete with iPad in 2011 by creating TouchPad. However, the new tablet was just like every other tablet on the market failing to deliver something new. It lasted only 49 days on the market selling just 20,000 units.
In 2011 Netflix offered streaming and DVD rental services, however, they thought it would be a good idea to divide them by creating Qwikster. The idea was to make two different websites for these services, Netflix for streaming and Qwikster for DVD rental. This would mean that costumers would have to create two different accounts for these services and also have two different subscription plans, which would lead to a high total price. After receiving harsh criticism, the re-branding was immediately shelved.
Oakley Thump, 2005
In 2004 Oakley THUMP was launched as the first audio player built into sunglasses. Weak sound, a high price (from $249 to $349) and the odd fashion design failed to gain consumers interest.
Mighty Wings, Mcdonalds, 2013
To lure in more customers McDonald once added Mighty Wings to their menu. But this new addition failed to succeed. It is believed that the reason for this flop was price, insufficient taste and the appearance wasn't appetizing enough. Mighty wings lasted only a year in the market.
Eyetop Wearable Dvd Player, 2004
Eyetop Wearable DVD player was designed to allow you to watch DVD's on the go. A 320 x 240 pixel LCD screen mounted in the right eyepiece of the glasses was supposed to simulate a 14-inch screen. The product flopped as users began to complain of motion sickness.
Eons.com 2007 — 2012
In 2006 a new social media platform for baby boomers and users over 40+ was introduced. But it failed to attract people to sign up. In 2011 it was acquired by an advertising agency that targets matured consumers.
In the late 90's the startup Napster was launched. Napster offered free music sharing services and was used by more than 80 million people. Soon enough, however, lawsuits against the company for copyright infringement began to pile up and Napster had to end their services.