Top 10 product hits - and misses

The hype surrounding the iPhone is hardly unique. Splashy product launches are a time-honored tradition in the American marketplace -- and so are the stunning flops that sometimes follow. Here's a look at some of the more noteworthy hits and misses.

New Coke
New Coke
In the `80s, Coke's leadership commissioned "Project Kansas," a secret effort to develop a new formula for the iconic soda after Pepsi gained a huge amount of market share. It wasn't meant to sit alongside original coke on shelves, but rather to replace it entirely.

"Here's a product launch that actually sparked protests," said Hall. "Coke forgot people's connection to the brand." While New Coke actually performed well in major cities, it sparked a big backlash in the South, its own backyard. Soon Coke execs were receiving angry letters, and even Fidel Castro denounced the change (attributing it, inevitably, to "American capitalism"). Less than three months after the formula was introduced, Coke caved and brought back the original formula, which actually led to a sales spike.

Nintendo Wii

Tickle Me Elmo

MINI Cooper

iRobot Roomba

Ford Mustang

Apple Newton

Toyota Crown

New Coke


Microsoft Zune
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