SBox Soapbox: Let’s Talk Pepsi Perfect

Welcome to the future, everybody!

Yes, I realize I couldn’t be more late saying that, but better late than never, right. That’s beside the point, however. Today I want to touch on one aspect of Back to the Future Day.

In honor of the occasion Marty and Doc went to the future in Back to the Future Part II, many companies got in on all of the fun. Lexus created the hoverboard (almost). Nike created self-lacing Air Mags (for Michael J. Fox). And then there’s Pepsi… Pepsi, Pepsi, Pepsi.

This is an old story, but seeing as there will be another release of this, I might as well discuss it briefly. As you may recall, Back To The Future Part II had many futuristic inventions and products, one of which is an oddly-shaped bottle of soda in a plastic tube, called Pepsi Perfect. Keeping in the spirit of the event, PepsiCo has announced that they will release a limited amount of Pepsi Perfect bottles. The bottle would contain Pepsi with real sugar and come within a special box containing the Delorean’s clock system.

This special edition bottle would have one run of a mere 6500 bottles and go for $20.15. (Get it?). This was set to release on October 21. Unfortunately, things didn’t go as planned.

Allow me to recap the events of the last two days. Basically, the campaign was plagued by several marketing errors that resulted in the bottles being near-impossible to obtain when it came time for them to go online.

First, there’s New York Comic Con, which occurred before the supposed release date. Pepsi held an event during NYCC where anyone who cosplayed as Marty McFly would get a free Pepsi Perfect. That was cool, until you relaized that those bottles took away from the original 6500 bottle count. Now there are about 5000 bottles left for regular sale.

After that, several retailers who were selling Pepsi Perfect accidentally released it early. By the time you figured that out, the retailers’ supply was almost gone. Come midnight on Wednesday, many were waiting for the festivities to begin, only to find out the bottles will be put on sale in the morning. You know, during work hours, in even more limited supply since thousands were sold during the previous day’s slip up. As you would expect, barely anyone got their hands on it.

Fans who felt betrayed, mislead, and upset took to the Internet to express their outrage. Many told Pepsi how much they screwed up to their faces, some going as far as saying they’ll switch to Coca-Cola. A little extreme, but it presents a point.

Pepsi noticed this in more ways than one, leaving them with only one option. Pepsi announced on Twitter that night that, due to popular demand, Pepsi will have one more run of Pepsi Perfect on November 3. This time, these 6500 bottles will be sold solely on Pepsi’s website to avoid anymore third-party glitches. Bottles are due out to consumers six to nine weeks after purchase. Bottom line, we all have one more chance to get our hands on this special bottle.

So, that’s the whole story. As both a Back to the Future fan and an avid Pepsi drinker (you could say I have a slight addiction), I thought I’d give you my quick take on this whole situation.

I heard about Pepsi Perfect early this month like everyone else, and was really excited. I didn’t keep up with the news and buzz of it all, but I knew I wouldn’t mind having one for collector’s sake. I figured out what happened Wednesday morning, thinking that it would be easy to find. (I didn’t know about the 6500 limit). That’s when I quickly found out what was going on and was disappointed. I wasn’t pissed like a lot of people were, but I wasn’t one of the people staying up till midnight waiting for it.

I was relieved to learn about the restock. There are still a lot of pissed off people, but at least there’s hope for everybody. At least, there’s hope depending on the circumstances.

A lot of sites are telling me there will once again be 6500. If that’s so, I think Pepsi is missing the point. This situation had several problems with it, but the primary issue was that no one could get their hands on it. Granted, most of the factors that made that difficult to find are being remedied here, but issue #1 was that limit.

I get it. This is supposed to be limited edition and these may be more difficult to produce then I’m giving credit for. To make it too widely available diminishes the value of the occasion. However, there are other ways to make it limited and to avoid backlash. Why not make the occasion a one-day, or even one-hour, purchase window where everyone who wants one can submit the order? After that day, seize availability and fulfill that quota. It’s a win-win situation.

The important thing is that fans of BTTF and Pepsi can be satisfied, and Pepsi gets an insane amount of profit. This prints money, so I don’t see why not. I hope that number gets remedied so that this product gets to as many people as possible; not just 13000.

Now, do I think that the outcry was necessary. In a way I’ll say yes, but I do think some people went overboard. Minus the fact that “Coke Perfect” tweets are hilarious, the fact that people were vowing to never drink Pepsi again is an overreaction in my eyes. One report told me Pepsi’s stock went down a bit due to the backlash. If that’s true… I guess it worked, so kudos for that. Still, that’s pretty extreme.

As someone who follows the amiibo craze, I understand that these things are common for highly-anticipated products with limited runs. Let this be a lesson to those new to the world of collectibles that this is how things sometimes go. You should be mad about the lack of information, but try not holding a grudge for it. Pepsi is pretty new to this field after all.

Last and most certainly not least, why the hell is the release-date November 3? That makes no sense! November 12 would’ve been the perfect opportunity to homage both BTTF 1 and 2. Just a nitpick on my part.

What are your thoughts on the Pepsi Perfect predicament? Still mad about it? Are you going to try again in two weeks like me? Feel free to let me know in the comments.

I’m SBox180. Thanks for reading!

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