74 Failed Products That Made These Companies Regret Creating Them
It's not easy 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.
This post may include affiliate links.
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.
I wouldn't eat something that my mind relate to a toothpaste taste...
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
Because we, women, definitivly neeeeed pink pens and the pink taxe that goes with... and we can"t even say this sexist stuff happened in 1960's
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.
Well if you got one then it could be used as cybermen cosplay
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."
They brought it back i think....I saw it at the gas station in hawaii... unless it's from 1992...
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.
They were ahead of their time. I know a guy in the White House who would LOVE this product!
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.
Well thats a feature. Can you use your Iphoner as a firestarter? ;)
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.
Aren't you supposed to put fresh veggies and fruits in a juicer?
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.
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.
Malcolm Gladwell's book "Blink" offered a very interesting theory on why it failed. Essentially it came down to sweet was preferable in small doses (i.e., blind taste tests), but most people don't drink just a little bit.
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.
Guess the market didn’t CATCH fire. I guess they didn’t find the phone to be LIT.
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.
Wow, we loved this in high school in Hungary! It was rumored it was created by accident in one of the factories, and they decided to sell the strange colored coke as a limited edition. In my opinion, it tasted a bit like almond. If you mixed it with regular coke, it became green. (Instant Nuka-Cola.)
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
maybe they had the wrong market, cause.. over here in Mexico, you can enjoy your tacos de birria with a niiiiice, cold soda in the morning!
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.
Bic... a brand that have been producing disposable pens, lighters or shavers since 1945 though it was a good idea to use the same name for parfum, which is supposed to be a luxury product?
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.
Considering how sleazy Cosmo is as a magazine, I wouldn't want to eat any food they put their name on.
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.
"You see me roll on my Segway I know in my heart they think i'm white and nerdy"
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.
I believe the real reason that Betamax failed was that the porn industry went with the VHS format.
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.
Maybe because "secret sauce for grown-ups" sounds kinda wrong..
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.
My ex had a Zune in 2007, and I had an iPod, the Zune was definitely better at the time.
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.
I remember in the 1990s when McDonald's fries were delicious. Then they succumbed to public pressure which treated them as a scapegoat for all obesity, and changed the formula for good. Now the fries are just meh. Checkers/Rally's will forever carry the best fries trophy, and all they have to do is not care about health in any way.
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.
Never heard of it. Guess the $50 million spend on marketing were not enough ;p
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.
ugh.. just by seeing it I can feel a mouthful of artificial sweeteners! Ugh! I don't get it why it became the craze, it look awful! Gross.
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.
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.
I smell a conspiracy. Big Oil couldn't have been too happy.
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
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.
We had this! Actually it was really useful to scan all our movies into an online database so we could access them from other devices. It was actually really useful! We had about 1000 movies scanned in and sorted (as well as copied onto the hard drive) before our real cat jumped up and knocked the computer over when we were out one day. Killed the computer and all our hard work :( Darn cats!
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.
i spent hours on this as a kid ...had many many headaches
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.