Print Story The Future, Forever (Until You Die)
Diary
By Christopher Robin was Murdered (Thu Feb 23, 2006 at 09:49:51 AM EST) (all tags)
Vault. A future free of advertisements and marketing, brought to you by the Coca-Cola Company™. Arctic mummy rampage; you in?

Warning: This diary has no Robin content. In fact, I doubt if even the most astute readers will find any real content at all.



Vault

    Coca-Cola, stung too many times by marquee roll-outs that become bombs is, I think, trying a new tactic. Instead of the all out media shock-and-awe blitz that so spectacularly failed New Coke and OK Cola, they've been releasing tiny, barely advertised brands into the field. Then they sit back and let the invisible hand weed out the winners and the losers. Since 2000 we’ve seen C2, CZero, Vanilla Coke, Diet Vanilla Coke, Diet Coke with Lemon, and Diet Coke with Lime. By my count, this year alone (and its only February) we've got the Tab re-launch, Black Cherry Vanilla Coke, and Vault. Part of this strategy seems to be to avoid making potentially disastrous decisions in the lab or C-markets. Instead they release every slight variation and let the consumer make the call. Why research which is the better bet – lemon or lime – when you can cut ad and market costs, release both, and know for certain which has a future? Clever. It is all the more curious if you consider Coke is a company whose marketing is so pervasive that we think of Santa as dressing in Coke's corporate colors. That these guys should be spearheading some sort of post-ad/marketing approach to brand and product management is odd.

    Enough with the Coke overview. I've gathered you all here to talk about the ambiguously named Vault. Potentially named after a leap or a place where you lock things up, Vault, as the label informs us, is Coke's new "artificially flavored hybrid energy soda." The green, silver, and black label promises Vault "drinks like a soda, and kicks like an energy drink."
    Sadly, the understated approach of the Tab energy drink reincarnation was not carried through on this label. The font for Vault looks like the fonts used to pitch "hi-tech" men's razors with thousands of blades. The letters are thick and chunky, but tipped to the left, giving one the impression of cartoon metal warped by extreme speed. The predominant color is a sort of mutant green, the sort of a-natural green we equate with the skin of monsters that march out of mad science labs.
    The plastic bottle is the same alien green color. Above the label, the bottle dents in for hand grip (a conceit I've never understood: who's trying to drink this crap under conditions that would necessitate a special hand grip area?). The hand grip area has what appears to be a tire tread design on the surface. That ought to do it, Coke, thanks. No slip here. Just under the top, there are three embossed V's.

    Flavor-wise, Vault is a distinct improvement from straight up energy drinks, which I find taste the way bad lettuce smells. It is thicker than power drinks, but not as thick as most sodas – light as ginger ale, really. It has a crisp orange taste (one of the major ingredients is concentrated orange juice) that is not as strong as Sprite or 7-Up. There is none of the roots-and-dirt aftertaste of ginseng.

    This lack of aftertaste, pleasant as that is, brings up the biggest question I have about Vault: just what is the "energy drink" ingredient? In most energy drinks, it is a combo of caffeine and ginseng. A quick look at the ingredients list doesn't provide much of an answer. The ingredients list contains the usual suspects, but other than caffeine, common to most non-hybrid sodas, I don't see anything to suggest that Vault is any more a "hybrid" drink than, say, regular Coke. The soda itself is fine; that nasty after taste is marketing bullshit.

Fun Soda Facts

    Sodium benzoate, found in Vault, is a common ingredient in both sodas and anti-freeze. Carob bean gum, another common soda ingredient found in Vault, is also known as locust bean gum and was used by ancient Egyptians to help preserve their dead. Though Coke won't tell you this for legal reasons, drinking Vault may very well turn you in to an un-killable mummy that never freezes solid in winter conditions. That's the straight dope, cats and kitties. See you on the other side, BYOV.

< I can't help it... | BBC White season: 'Rivers of Blood' >
The Future, Forever (Until You Die) | 40 comments (40 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback
Awww by Gedvondur (2.00 / 0) #1 Thu Feb 23, 2006 at 10:08:04 AM EST
No Robin content?  Damn.  It's like watching a live train wreck, you can't look away.

:-)

Gedvondur
"...it isn't like I dug up her great-grandmother and fucked her in the eye socket." -clock

Just To Let You In on a Secret by Christopher Robin was Murdered (4.00 / 1) #2 Thu Feb 23, 2006 at 10:12:38 AM EST
Tomorrow will by Robin-free as well. She's called in a sickie toady, so no stories for tomorrow. Adjust your watch list accordingly.

[ Parent ]
Well by Gedvondur (4.00 / 1) #4 Thu Feb 23, 2006 at 10:14:28 AM EST
That is disappointing, but that might lead to a Monday "She's had a drain bag attached to her leg" type story.  Anticipation!

Heh, it's okay I enjoy your diaries either way.

Gedvondur
"...it isn't like I dug up her great-grandmother and fucked her in the eye socket." -clock

[ Parent ]
despite by Kellnerin (4.00 / 1) #14 Thu Feb 23, 2006 at 11:33:14 AM EST
the lack of Robin content, my eyes did the Robin-logue trick on your intro and failed to register the "m" in "rampage" -- isn't that an image you wanted to have? Oh wait, I forget, you're not the one who's pining for a higher Robin quotient in your life. Sorry bout that. Would it help if I go stab myself?

--
I ate a hegel for breakfast. --mrgoat
Things without which, death. --ana
[ Parent ]
Arctic Mummy Rapage? by Christopher Robin was Murdered (4.00 / 1) #17 Thu Feb 23, 2006 at 12:03:33 PM EST
Okay, that's something wrong with you and not the diary. Though I'm pretty certain that you could sell that as a video game idea to Rockstar Games. We'll all have to quit pretending Grand Theft has life in it still at some point and those cats will be desperate for ideas.

[ Parent ]
I know, I admit it by Kellnerin (4.00 / 2) #24 Thu Feb 23, 2006 at 02:57:41 PM EST
And there's really nothing I can say to excuse it without digging myself deeper, I'm sure. Though if the idea does take off, I'll split royalties with ya. I feel it's only fair.

--
I ate a hegel for breakfast. --mrgoat
Things without which, death. --ana
[ Parent ]
Maybe you could call by ad hoc (4.00 / 2) #30 Thu Feb 23, 2006 at 05:43:25 PM EST
you know, just to see how she is.
--
Would you rather battle Klingons or trolls?
[ Parent ]
Maybe if we're all really good by calla (4.00 / 1) #36 Thu Feb 23, 2006 at 08:33:47 PM EST
CRWM will give us her number so we could all call to wish her a speedy recovery.


[ Parent ]
I dunno by MillMan (2.00 / 0) #34 Thu Feb 23, 2006 at 06:51:55 PM EST
I think his writing talents are wasted on her, although I assume writing about her serves a required cathartic function for him.

I never really considered face-to-face contact a possible thing. -CRwM

[ Parent ]
Which vendor by sasquatchan (2.00 / 0) #3 Thu Feb 23, 2006 at 10:14:14 AM EST
did you pick this one up from ?

And can we expect a regular (weekly or semi-weekly) review of energy drinks ?

And still taking on the test yourself, like last time ? Pete seems to be such a likely candidate for testing..

At least the bottle is plastic, right ? Not aluminium..

Exchange Cafe on B'way by Christopher Robin was Murdered (2.00 / 0) #5 Thu Feb 23, 2006 at 10:18:47 AM EST
Still doing the experiments on myself. I'm hoping I'll strike on the just the right combination of sodas to grant me eternal life.

I tend to avoid energy drinks - but this "hybrid" sounded like something new under the sun. Normally I stick with stuff more firmly in the "soda" realm.

I'll write up new stuff when I find it - I'm dorky enough that such things are interesting to me. Though I understand sodas don't exactly rock everybody's world. I guess I should start using tags so you folks know when to dodge the diary and when Robin is around.

[ Parent ]
Now now, by sasquatchan (2.00 / 0) #11 Thu Feb 23, 2006 at 11:13:40 AM EST
I read regardless. (Infact was wondering when you'd post today as it was getting late.. )

I don't believe certain bit character content can upstage the author. Unlike other infidels..

[ Parent ]
Have you ever tried BAWLS? by Awakened Dreamer (2.00 / 0) #6 Thu Feb 23, 2006 at 10:22:10 AM EST

I meant to ask you this the last time you posted a soda/energy drink diary and ended up forgetting by the time I got back to it. But I'm thinking that you may enjoy BAWLS. It's good stuff. Very fruity, and with a nice bit of pep to it, and no nasty after-taste. It's almost like what you would expect an energy drink to be before there were hundreds of energy drinks all trying to emulate each other.

I really need to order out another case of the stuff. I haven't had any in quite a while, though I still get a craving for it from time to time.

Or Jolt, the original energy drink by lm (4.00 / 1) #8 Thu Feb 23, 2006 at 10:27:59 AM EST
All the sugar and twice the caffeine!

Mmm. Pure cane sugar sweetness.


There is no more degenerate kind of state than that in which the richest are supposed to be the best.
Cicero, The Republic
[ Parent ]
Are You Hitting on Me? by Christopher Robin was Murdered (4.00 / 2) #9 Thu Feb 23, 2006 at 10:28:19 AM EST
No, I haven't tried BAWLS (is it an acronym or do they just all-cap it to show they're extreme to the max?). Energy drinks normally aren't my thing and I tend to avoid them. Though, if it doesn't taste like liquid mud and rotting salads mixed, then I'm willing to try it if I see it around. I'll let you know.

[ Parent ]
It comes in a deep Blue bottle by Kellnerin (2.00 / 0) #13 Thu Feb 23, 2006 at 11:29:17 AM EST
and is endorsed by a friend of mine for whom the label "caffeine fiend" is inadequate. He consumes caffeine in any form in which it is available -- solid or liquid -- almost constantly. Despite the fact that the combination of name and packaging suggest that it is not meant for someone of my chromosomal makeup (or is it? I don't know) and I'm not a soft/energy drink pioneer such as yourself, I've actually tried the stuff. Didn't have enough to attest to its energy properties or lack thereof, but it tastes sort of like liquid Smarties.

--
I ate a hegel for breakfast. --mrgoat
Things without which, death. --ana
[ Parent ]
I've Often Said the Problem with Smartees by Christopher Robin was Murdered (4.00 / 1) #16 Thu Feb 23, 2006 at 12:01:11 PM EST
Was their straw-incompatibility. I'll give it a try if I find it.

[ Parent ]
Sadly. . . by Awakened Dreamer (2.00 / 0) #38 Fri Feb 24, 2006 at 04:03:44 AM EST

What with living in the third world and stuff, the only way I can get it is to order it by the casefull either from the bottler or from a place like ThinkGeek.

Oh lord, that's not right. They make it in sugar free now. I can assure you that particular abomination will never make its way across my threshold. But the original probably will again soon.

[ Parent ]
BAWLS? by NoMoreNicksLeft (4.00 / 1) #20 Thu Feb 23, 2006 at 01:46:17 PM EST
Yes, he could suck down some of my fruity BAWLS, or even some of your fruity BAWLS. Or he could suck up his own fruity BAWLS. I mean, come on, go find some fruity BAWLS of your own to taste!
--
Do not look directly into laser with remaining good eye.
[ Parent ]
It is Coke's new strategy by lm (4.00 / 1) #7 Thu Feb 23, 2006 at 10:26:20 AM EST
About a year, year and a half ago, Coke promoted the woman in charge of Coke in Japan to a senior position stateside. Coke Japan introduces an average of two hundred some new products per year and has a product turnover of something like eighty percent. They plan to slowly ramp up the same strategy in the North American market and only keep those new products that reach a certain threshold of sales.

Traditionally, the difference between energy drinks and sodas is use of simple sugars (glucose and fructose) and electrolytes in the former and bubbles in the latter. I don't know who was first to introduce hybrids between the two like Surge, but nothing good has yet to come out of that unholy union.


There is no more degenerate kind of state than that in which the richest are supposed to be the best.
Cicero, The Republic
It is a Brilliant Strategy by Christopher Robin was Murdered (2.00 / 0) #10 Thu Feb 23, 2006 at 10:37:43 AM EST
Just let the market work for you instead of trying to second guess it all the time.

Plus, I wouldn't mind finding new stuff in the coolers now and again.

Perhaps they can even pull a McD's and bring back popular products now and again, just for a limited time.

[ Parent ]
It sucks ass. by NoMoreNicksLeft (2.00 / 0) #21 Thu Feb 23, 2006 at 01:48:15 PM EST
I don't even want to try anything new, if I'm going to get hooked on it, and it only has an 20% chance of still being for sale 12 months from now.
--
Do not look directly into laser with remaining good eye.
[ Parent ]
How Quickly Do You Get Hooked On Something? by Christopher Robin was Murdered (2.00 / 0) #22 Thu Feb 23, 2006 at 02:16:29 PM EST
That, my friend, is the sign of an addictive personality.

[ Parent ]
Not the first sip. by NoMoreNicksLeft (2.00 / 0) #25 Thu Feb 23, 2006 at 03:21:16 PM EST
But if I like it, I'd like to know that it won't disappear from store shelves next week. Hell, if I do like it, I probably am hooked right away.
--
Do not look directly into laser with remaining good eye.
[ Parent ]
mcd by LilFlightTest (2.00 / 0) #31 Thu Feb 23, 2006 at 06:25:43 PM EST
when they bring back certain things, they dont even get it right. for instance, they had a "limited time" chicken bacon ranch that was delicious. then they brought it back in its current form, which licks balls.
Send me to Austria!
[ Parent ]
Sugar by Bob Abooey (2.00 / 0) #12 Thu Feb 23, 2006 at 11:21:00 AM EST
Carbs. That's the energy-drink secret. Oh they may call it something else but that's the one basic ingredient.

Coke Zero was a mystery to me, how was it any different than Diet Coke??? They both have zero calories, no?

Warmest regards,
--Your best pal Bob

I've Tossed the Bottle by Christopher Robin was Murdered (2.00 / 0) #15 Thu Feb 23, 2006 at 11:59:34 AM EST
But the sugar source was your standard high fructose corn syrup - as it is in nearly every non-hybrid soda. I'm fairly certain at this point any energy boost beyond standard soda levels one gets from Vault is strictly placebo effect.

The difference between Diet Coke and Coke Zero is taste - the latter is basically flagship Coke with artificial sweeteners, whereas Diet Coke is actually its own formula and not just Coke with the sweetening agents replaced.

There's still some debate about the health risks of Coke Zero's sweeteners, so Coke is risking another Tab disaster. But hey, no calories! What's a little cancer of the colon when you're looking so good? Am I right?

[ Parent ]
And when your bowel don't work by hulver (4.00 / 2) #18 Thu Feb 23, 2006 at 12:35:09 PM EST
The weight just falls off!

(Or should that be sloughs? Interesting word slough)

The lack of Robin content is good. Yes, she's a funny old kook, but she's sort of been taking over your diaries lately.
--
Cheese is not a hat. - clock

[ Parent ]
Careful there. by Awakened Dreamer (4.00 / 1) #39 Fri Feb 24, 2006 at 04:07:42 AM EST

You'll be next on MNS's list.

[ Parent ]
I checked the ingredients on the bottle: by Canthros (2.00 / 0) #28 Thu Feb 23, 2006 at 03:29:32 PM EST
Other than proportions, Coke Zero == Diet Coke. I think they swapped the proportions of sweetener and acid or something. IMHO, Coke Zero tastes like real Coca-Cola.

--
I'm not here, man.


[ Parent ]
Two different formulas explained for Coke Heads by lm (2.00 / 0) #33 Thu Feb 23, 2006 at 06:27:58 PM EST
The present Diet Coke formula is a derivative of the New Coke formula. Coke Zero is a derivative of the Classic Coke formulas.

Ingredient wise, they're mostly the same. Taste wise, they're as different as Coke and Pepsi.


There is no more degenerate kind of state than that in which the richest are supposed to be the best.
Cicero, The Republic
[ Parent ]
I want my Vanilla Coke back, God damn it. by ammoniacal (4.00 / 1) #19 Thu Feb 23, 2006 at 01:40:46 PM EST
Still wearing the black armband from January.

"To this day that was the most bullshit caesar salad I have every experienced..." - triggerfinger

Trade in the Black Armband . . . by Christopher Robin was Murdered (2.00 / 0) #23 Thu Feb 23, 2006 at 02:17:19 PM EST
For some Black Cherry Vanilla Coke. You'll feel better.

[ Parent ]
so, mister beverage by LilFlightTest (2.00 / 0) #32 Thu Feb 23, 2006 at 06:26:14 PM EST
what's the difference between regular dr pepper and cherry vanilla dr pepper?
Send me to Austria!
[ Parent ]
I KNOW THIS ONE! by Awakened Dreamer (2.00 / 0) #40 Fri Feb 24, 2006 at 04:08:57 AM EST

About two milligrams of cherry syrup and two milligrams of vanilla extract.

[ Parent ]
Black Cherry Vanilla Coke is the False Prophet. by ammoniacal (4.00 / 2) #35 Thu Feb 23, 2006 at 07:56:56 PM EST
Feel my Lance of Justice, heretic!

"To this day that was the most bullshit caesar salad I have every experienced..." - triggerfinger

[ Parent ]
Re: Vault by Canthros (2.00 / 0) #26 Thu Feb 23, 2006 at 03:24:52 PM EST
Tastes a lot like the lamented (well, lamented by me) Surge soda. The major energy drink ingredient is, in fact, caffeine: 70.5 milligrams per 12-oz serving. More than your standard sodas (which max out around 55mg), less than, say, Red Bull (80mg/8.2oz can* ~= 117mg/12oz). Puts Vault in about the same league as Jolt Cola (71.2mg), apparently.

I picked up the caffeine content from the new-defunct Soda Blog back in December.

* Assuming I read the table correctly, anyway.

--
I'm not here, man.


Also: by Canthros (2.00 / 0) #27 Thu Feb 23, 2006 at 03:29:23 PM EST
Vault got its nationwide release this month, though it's apparently being staged in different regions over the whole month, instead of just pushed out all at once. It's been available in some areas for months. I got a couple bottles last weekend at Wal-Mart.

--
I'm not here, man.


[ Parent ]
Dude! by Christopher Robin was Murdered (4.00 / 1) #29 Thu Feb 23, 2006 at 04:20:00 PM EST
There was a freaking Soda Blog?

Why didn't anybody say this? Everybody's like, are you this other blogger? How old is Robin? Would you have sex with camel girl?

How come nobody said, hey, CRwM, there's a freakin' Soda Blog?

[ Parent ]
I can only assume it wasn't that popular. by Canthros (4.00 / 1) #37 Fri Feb 24, 2006 at 03:20:20 AM EST
I barely read this place. Here's something similar (but different), though.

--
I'm not here, man.


[ Parent ]
The Future, Forever (Until You Die) | 40 comments (40 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback