Coca-Cola brings Surge soda back after fans' Facebook campaign
By MORGAN GIORDANO
'90s kids rejoice!
Years of hard campaigning on Facebook by about 130,000 hardcore fans of the discontinued soda Surge has resulted in Coca-Cola bringing back the drink for the first time in 12 years.
The soft drink company first released Surge in 1996 as its answer to the PepsiCo-owned Mountain Dew but pulled it off shelves in 2002. The neon-green cult classic returned Monday but is available only online.
Coca-Cola announced on Monday that they were going to bring Surge back exclusively on Amazon.com, at a cost of $14 for a 12-pack, as a direct result of years of campaigning by hardcore fans.
The SURGE movement started in 2002 by asking their 130,500 fans 'where was the last place you had SURGE?' And by non-stop posting of Surge memorabilia found at flea markets and other places.
Websites like SaveSURGE.org and SURGE movement on Facebook also tracked appearances of Surge in pop culture and in the media.
Surge fanatics' pleas to get their sugary citrus fix did not fall on deaf ears.
An official statement released by Coca-Cola said that the decision was driven "thanks, in part, to a passionate and persistent community of brand loyalists who have been lobbying The Coca-Cola Company to bring back their favorite drink over the last few years."
A branded Twitter account was also created for fans.
Amazon sold out within the first hour of releasing them online. The online retailer re-stocked and warned customers it might be a few days to receive their products, but again sold out several hours later.
Unfortunately, for those abroad, Amazon will only ship Surge in the United States. But Norwegians were quick to point out they never lost Surge. Coca-Cola began producing a drink called Urge in Norway, Denmark, Sweden and France a year preceding the release of Surge in the states.
Urge served as the inspiration for the American brand but it also was removed from nearly every market. Only Norway continued to sell 0.5 L bottles and after a successful Facebook campaign, Urge re-launched 1.5L bottles in 2008.
A Coca-Cola official also admitted the re-launch of Surge will serve as a pilot program for other throwback soft drinks.
"If expectations are met, this may be only the first of a variety of efforts we explore to launch niche products through e-commerce relationships," spokesperson Wendy Clark said in a press release announcing the Surge's resurrection. "This will be a great learning experience for us and a refreshing opportunity for fans."
OK Soda and Cherry Vanilla Coca-Cola fans may eventually get their day in the sun, but PepsiCo has not announced a Crystal Pepsi comeback.
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