By DeLane McDuffie

Peanut butter and jelly. Salt and pepper. Laurel and Hardy. Wine and cheese. Steak and potatoes. Ben and Jerry. Bonnie and Clyde. Peaches and cream. Yin and yang. Lewis and Clark. Lucy and Desi. Bed and breakfast. Batman and Robin. Bread and butter. Fish and chips. Chip 'n' Dale. Starsky and Hutch. Jack and Jill. Ken and Barbie. Smoke and mirrors. Thelma and Louise. Some pairings and ideas make sense. The following did not. Match the beverage with its slogan or characteristic.
  1. Cocaine® – "The Legal Alternative": Probably one of the boldest marketing campaigns in recent memory, this energy drink boasts 350 percent (280 milligrams) more caffeine than a can of Red Bull® and an aftertaste "kick" that numbs (some say it burns) your throat to simulate the effects of the actual drug. Obviously, the FDA had a conniption fit and told the soda makers that they couldn't sell the product under that particular name. Subsequent monikers included "Censored" and "Insert Name Here." It was eventually pulled from shelves. But you can't keep a good epidemic down. The drink has made a comeback and can be purchased online and in select European and U.S. stores.
  2. Coors® Rocky Mountain Sparkling Water – Logo trouble: The year 1990 was a pivotal year in history. Nelson Mandela was freed after being imprisoned for 27 years. East and West Germany officially reunited. The Persian Gulf War began. And the Coors Brewing Company dove into the bottled-water business, slapping the market with a brand-new fleet of 6.5-oz. six-pack bottles and 28-oz. bottles. It would mark the first time since Prohibition that the beer company would sell something non-alcoholic. Coors had been using Rocky Mountain spring water in its brewing process for years, anyway. So far so good? Not really. Coors left its logo on the bottle, which apparently scared many customers away, being that it reminded them of beer. Beer sitting in the bottled-water section of the supermarket just doesn't look right to some, I guess. Or maybe consumers wanted more beer in their water. Whatever the case may be, sales eventually tanked.
  3. Maxwell House® Ready-to-Drink Coffee – An inconvenient convenience: It seems like 1990 was a year of experimentation. Marketed as "a convenient new way to enjoy the rich taste of Maxwell House Coffee," this 48-oz. carton was anything but convenient. One had to pour the coffee in a mug and then microwave it, since the coffee's original container couldn't be nuked. Because this coffee was not-so ready to drink, Americans decided that they were not-so ready to buy it.
  4. New Coke® – Arguably the biggest product flop ever: Back in April 1985, Coke, who had enjoyed a nice cushy reign atop its competition for years, decided to rock the proverbial boat and ditch its original cola formula in exchange for a sweeter flavor, New Coke. Although New Coke was the victor in an intense blind taste-testing campaign, the public wanted its Coke back. Now! Coca-Cola offices were inundated with angry mail, while seething callers kept the phones ringing off their hooks. The backlash was so massive that it forced Coca-Cola to return to the original, or "classic," flavor, only 3 months later. Even ABC TV news anchor Peter Jennings momentarily interrupted General Hospital to tell America the good news. Coke Classic was now back. Everyone was happy and on various sugar highs. And New Coke, later called Coke II, went to that big soda heaven in the sky.
  5. OK Soda – "carbonated tree sap": Still feeling adventurous and apparently not paying attention to the Pepsi® A.M. and Crystal Pepsi fiascos, Coke rehired the same marketing exec who was responsible for the New Coke misadventure to widen its appeal to the younger demographic. Through much research, the marketing firm discovered that "Coke" was the second most recognized word in the world and that "OK" was the most recognized. Why not combine the two, right? The ad campaign that followed declared that OK tasted like "carbonated tree sap" and even boasted a 10-point "OK Manifesto," of which the first point asked, "What's the point of OK? Well, what's the point of anything?" Well, the reaction of Gen-Xers and Gen-Yers to this "anti-advertising" advertising was . . . less than OK. OK Soda was discontinued in 1995, but still remains a cult classic.