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December 9, 2005

Coke is Back in Blāk

CokeBlak.jpg Coca-Cola announced on Wednesday, December 7 the launch of a new, adult oriented beverage to be named .

This new drink will add coffee flavored extracts to the traditional Coke drink, giving it an extra kick adults seem to crave. The stuff may be aimed at adults, but why am I reminded of ("twice the caffeine and all the taste"), a product that kids in high school and college buy by the caseload to stay awake while studying for exams?

The Coke Blāk launch will coincide with that of that has yet to be named, which will compete with Frappuccino and DoubleShot — both sold under a Pepsi/Starbucks co-branding deal.

Coke Blāk seems like a reach for the company. First of all, regular Coca-Cola is already black (OK, it's a dark caramel color but close enough). And why "Coke Blāk"? The word "black" may help the company cash in on the adult associations of other successful adult brands that use "black" — think Johnnie Walker Black and Black Velvet.

But why did Coke do away with the 'c' in Blāk? Only removing the 'c' in and of itself would not change the sound pattern. However, by placing a line over the 'a', which typically marks a long vowel, the name would be pronounced 'blake' - rhymes with 'take' and 'cake'.

I am guessing that the line over the 'a' is a visual branding element to distinguish the look of the name and introduce a cool factor.

Messing about with the Coke brand, the biggest brand on the block, may be a bad idea. They've been burned before with the short-lived failure of . Maybe they should have created a new brand name altogether? This one seems a little risky...the press tells us that Coke Blāk will offer us not only the "true essence of coffee" but will even have a "coffee-like froth when poured". Frankly, as much as I love Coke, I'm not sure I'm ready for a cold, carbonated java...especially since I take mine with cream.

Check out what these blogs have to say about Coke Blāk:

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    Posted by William Lozito at December 9, 2005 8:50 AM
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    Tracked on November 15, 2006 7:24 PM


    Coffee soda isn't actually a new thing. Manhattan Special has been around for more than a century.

    For a French perspective on Coke Blak, go to:

    It's worth the read.

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