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Strong Atheist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-02-09 02:05 PM
Original message
Worst modern marketing disasters? I nominate for consideration:
coke.


When I was a kid, coke was "it". It was ubiquitously in the background; as American as baseball, mom, and apple pie.

It was an American icon.

Then came the "new coke", and BAM, in my mind (and I believe that of many others) it INSTANTLY went from ICON to PRODUCT.



What genius came up with that brilliant strategy?


Your nominations?


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Cannikin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-02-09 02:14 PM
Response to Original message
1. Crystal Gravy?
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Strong Atheist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-02-09 02:16 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. Can't see vidoes on my computer, but the idea sounds...weird... I guess
one could get used to it...
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TommyO Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-05-09 07:02 AM
Response to Reply #1
52. I've never seen this SNL bit
but i did actually like Crystal Pepsi, and Pepsi Kona!
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madamesilverspurs Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-02-09 02:49 PM
Response to Original message
3. Don't know that it was a disaster, as such,
or just a case of not thinking. A few years back I'd picked up some happy meals for the kids I was fostering (it was once a month, the rest of the time they ate very healthy, so don't pick on me). Good thing that I checked the games before taking them home; one of them was a little handheld 'video' game, and your score was based on how many people you killed. I took it back to the counter and pretty much did the WTF routine and traded it for a different toy.
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Strong Atheist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-02-09 06:41 PM
Response to Reply #3
9. Well, respectfully, I think it was a disaster. Taking an item that
was an icon (something all companies world wide would give their eyeteeth/sell their grandmothers/kill for) and turning it into a product is like turning gold into lead...

Who knows if they will every get that back; if they do I suspect it will take decades, which is what it took to get them to the icon (in my mind) status in the first place...
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cemaphonic Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-02-09 11:30 PM
Response to Reply #9
27. Actually, while it was a fiasco at the time, Coke rebounded stronger than ever from it.
The whole reason they decided to reformulate it in the first place was to make it taste more like Pepsi, because Pepsi was eroding its market share. It was an expensive misstep, but the furor over it gave the old formula an iconic panache, and within a couple of years after switching back, they had gained back a lot of ground.

New Coke also temporarily crashed the economy of Madagascar, as a huge percentage of their economy was selling vanilla to Coca Cola.
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Ikonoklast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-02-09 03:09 PM
Response to Original message
4. The "Drink Schlitz Or I'll Kill You" ad campaign.
http://beerinfood.wordpress.com/2008/04/10/leo-burnetts... /

Unmitigated disaster from which Schlitz Brewing never recovered.



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Strong Atheist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-02-09 06:42 PM
Response to Reply #4
10. Was not aware of that; I am not a beer drinker; I drink other
things... ;)
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GreatCaesarsGhost Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-02-09 06:25 PM
Response to Original message
5. MS Bill Gates/Seinfeld ads
what was the point?
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Flaxbee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-04-09 02:23 PM
Response to Reply #5
46. incredibly irritating. I run from all things Seinfeld, and this was
no exception.

But for fans of Seinfeld, :shrug:. Seemed like a misfire to me.
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wickerwoman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-02-09 06:32 PM
Response to Original message
6. Geico caveman
Jesus those ads are annoying and *they are still frickin' making new ones*!!!!! after five solid years of being universally acknowledged as one of the most irritating ad campaigns of all time.

Way to stick with a losing strategy guys!
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Strong Atheist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-02-09 06:43 PM
Response to Reply #6
11. Yeah, I like their gecko better... nt.
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BlueJazz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-02-09 07:08 PM
Response to Reply #6
16. I despise Geico and everything about them/it
:)
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rurallib Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-03-09 09:21 PM
Response to Reply #6
29. don't forget they spawned a great sitcom also.
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NightWatcher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-02-09 06:38 PM
Response to Original message
7. the coke - to- new coke- to classic coke was all a ploy to replace sugar with high fructose corn syr
coke had sugar
classic coke had high fructose corn syrup
after how terrible new coke was, people were begging for old coke, and classic was formed with high fructose which was cheaper than sugar.

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Strong Atheist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-02-09 06:44 PM
Response to Reply #7
12. Regardless, it turned coke from an icon to a product in my mind,
and, imho, in the minds of many...

BIG mistake...

How many prodcucts are icons, and how many decades does it take to get that status?




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alphafemale Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-02-09 07:26 PM
Response to Reply #7
18. Mexican Coke. Still the "Real Thing"
Mexican coke is still made with real sugar. The taste difference is amazing.
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NightWatcher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-02-09 07:28 PM
Response to Reply #18
19. so is Kosher Coke
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Orrex Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-02-09 09:03 PM
Response to Reply #18
23. I sampled "Natural Pepsi" or "Pepsi Natural" recently, whatever it's called
I have to say that it was one of the most foul things I've ever tasted. This may be due in part to the fact that I'm a Coke drinker, but if someone handed me a can of something that tasted like Pepsi Natural, I would have no doubt that I'd been poisoned.

Can't comment on Mexican Coke because I've never tasted it, but if it's anything like Pepsi Natural, I'll stick with the HFCS.
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Strong Atheist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-02-09 09:09 PM
Response to Reply #23
26. I don't like Pepsi, which is very disloyal of me, as a relative worked for
Pepsi pretty much all his life...
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mitchum Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-04-09 11:13 AM
Response to Reply #7
32. That is the exact reason (n/t)
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AngryAmish Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-04-09 11:47 AM
Response to Reply #7
36. Urban myth
Prior to new coke some bottlers had already switched and some never switched (think delicious mexican coke).
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Mojambo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-02-09 06:38 PM
Response to Original message
8. The original Zima marketing campaign.
That drink went from zero to gay in like 6 seconds.
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Strong Atheist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-02-09 06:48 PM
Response to Reply #8
14. Or goth...
there is a comic that I follow:


http://www.dorktower.com/category/dorktower /


that mentioned that in a goth connection...


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Inspired Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-02-09 06:46 PM
Response to Original message
13. I'd call Sarah Palin a disastrous marketing effort.
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Strong Atheist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-02-09 06:49 PM
Response to Reply #13
15. Yeah, well I was think about items, rather than the devil
incarnate...
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cloudbase Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-02-09 07:21 PM
Response to Original message
17. This weight loss product
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Strong Atheist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-02-09 09:00 PM
Response to Reply #17
21. Ah, unfortunate name/product association... nt
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mitchum Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-04-09 11:15 AM
Response to Reply #17
33. I used to steal those from my mom...
the chocolate fudge ones were great
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eppur_se_muova Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-07-09 07:24 PM
Response to Reply #33
53. Yeah, you could really fill up on those.
:) Never figured out how that helped you lose weight.
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eppur_se_muova Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-07-09 07:24 PM
Response to Reply #33
54. delete
Edited on Fri Aug-07-09 07:25 PM by eppur_se_muova
posting glitch duplicate
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KamaAina Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-07-09 07:28 PM
Response to Reply #33
55. Yes! I damn near O.D.'d on those one afternoon!
Seriesly. :-)

And when some journalist pointed out the Ayds/AIDS connection, their flack replied, "We were here first. Let the disease change its name."
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gmoney Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-04-09 01:55 PM
Response to Reply #17
42. well, they were around long before the disease
surprised they just didn't change the name to something else
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TreasonousBastard Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-02-09 08:36 PM
Response to Original message
20. One no one's heard of, for good reason...
Years ago pet newsgroups were spammed with posts advertising "Comfy Slippers" made from the pelt of your recently deceased dog or cat. This was a way, the spam read, of fondly remembering your beloved companion forever.

When you went to the website, there was a disclaimer that they weren't selling Comfy Slippers at all, but just used it as a way to get you to the site so you could see their good pet products deals.

To say this met with a good response would be a bit of an overstatement. Besides the outrage vented on the froups and at the site's email, the FBI, ASPCA, Humane Society, PETA and a few other organizations were rallied to the cause.

The place went out of business within the month.



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Strong Atheist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-02-09 09:03 PM
Response to Reply #20
24. That IS an epic fail, worse than my example in terms of stupidity,
Edited on Sun Aug-02-09 09:03 PM by Strong Atheist
but on a smaller company scale (I mean, the whole coke campaign went through HOW MANY levels of management, and HOW MANY people oked this idea)?
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bluedigger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-02-09 09:00 PM
Response to Original message
22.  Reebok's "Incubus" women's running shoe.
Back in the mid 90s Reebok named a running shoe after a demon that rapes sleeping women. Not so much of a disaster, as no consumers complained, but they were pretty embarrassed when ABC told them about it. Also in the link - the Toyota Cressida named after a philandering woman in the Trojan War...

http://www.lubbockonline.com/news/022097/reebok.htm

Mythology - don't use it unless you know it...
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Strong Atheist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-02-09 09:08 PM
Response to Reply #22
25. Being a D&Der from WAY back, I know what an incubus (and a sucubus, for that matter)
is, though I had not heard of the shoes...
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applegrove Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-03-09 09:08 PM
Response to Original message
28. At some point in there they changed classic coke and substituted in high
fructose corn syrup for real sugar and it doesn't taste the same.
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Deja Q Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-03-09 09:22 PM
Response to Original message
30. Vista
Edited on Mon Aug-03-09 09:23 PM by Deja Q
At least from microsoft's perspective; vista helped move me to the Macintosh...

:D
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Strong Atheist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-04-09 10:34 AM
Response to Reply #30
31. Yeah, what a debacle that was... good, microsoft is
evil...
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Mist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-04-09 11:22 AM
Response to Reply #31
34. I recently bought a new laptop, and really had to hunt around for one with XP. Vista is
on most PCs and will be, until Microsoft debuts their new operating system this fall. And who knows what that'll be like...
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BlueIris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-04-09 11:23 AM
Response to Original message
35. Those evil Viva Viagra ads.
I even encountered a proud Viagra user the other day who hate-hate-HATES that ad campaign.
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KG Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-04-09 12:30 PM
Response to Reply #35
39. does viagra even need a marketing campaign?
Edited on Tue Aug-04-09 12:30 PM by KG
:P
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stray cat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-04-09 12:16 PM
Response to Original message
37. Chevy nova marketing in spanish speaking countries - means "No go"
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Strong Atheist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-04-09 12:35 PM
Response to Reply #37
40. I have heard that... nt.
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TommyO Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-05-09 07:01 AM
Response to Reply #37
51. As much as I like epic product failure stories, this isn't one of them
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conscious evolution Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-04-09 12:29 PM
Response to Original message
38. The New Coke campaign was an astounding success
The whole thing was about hiding the switch fromn cane sugar to HFCS.
It was never about a new product.
Their marketing people had discovered that people hated the hfcs coke.So to fool peoples taste buds they came out with the new coke which contained an extremely high amount of HFCS.They knew that after a couple of years peoples taste buds would forget what cane sugar coke tasted like.They then reintroduced the clasic coke with a lower amount of hfcs knowing people would be fooled into thinking it was the original recipe.
And it worked.
People did not start to catch on to the difference in taste until the Cokes bottled in Mexico started appearing in stores in areas with high concentrations of Mexican immigrants.

In that regard the new coke campaign was a smashing success.
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KansDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-04-09 01:39 PM
Response to Original message
41. Schlitz beer
Back in the 1970s, I believe, Schlitz ran with an ad that showed four or five "he-men" football types, with bimbos in tow, sitting around drinking Schlitz beer. The lines were intimidating and insulting to the viewers... Lines like "You say you forgot the Schlitz beer? How about you go out for a pass... and come back incomplete!" These were followed by chortling from the rest of the "guests."

I thought, "Fuck you, asshole!" and never...ever...bought Schlitz products since then...
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Liberalynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-04-09 01:59 PM
Response to Original message
43. Fresh Step Cat Litter Commercial
Edited on Tue Aug-04-09 02:04 PM by Liberalynn
I mean I get that they are trying to convey the idea that Fresh Step is supposed to cover up the "smell" but if your cat can't find its litter box, to begin with, I think that would create even bigger problems. :rofl:

Its cute but so stupid.
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MineralMan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-04-09 02:02 PM
Response to Original message
44. New Coke Sucked! Worse, Original Coke No Longer Hurts.
Remember taking the first slug of Coke from the 6 1/2 oz bottle. So much carbonation that it literally burned as it went across your tongue and down your gullet. No more. They tamed Coke...pity.
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WildEyedLiberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-04-09 02:21 PM
Response to Original message
45. Hardee's/Carl's Jr
THE most sexist ad campaign I have seen in the post-feminist era. That nasty, neanderthal monotone and the hot chicks engaging in burger porn - UGH. I avoid Hardee's when at all possible.

I realize I'm not their target demographic (brain-dead wannabe jocks who think that eating 2000 calories of burger makes them a badass), so maybe it's not a "failure" per se, but it IS the ad campaign I hate more than any other, and the one that most alienates me as a potential customer.
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rockymountaindem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-04-09 11:51 PM
Response to Reply #45
49. Wait, eating 2000 calorie burgers won't make me a badass?
Now they tell me.
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WildEyedLiberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-05-09 02:34 AM
Response to Reply #49
50. lol
It also probably won't help you score with Padma Lakshmi. Sorry.

It's hilarious how she advertises food that, were she to actually eat it, would suddenly render her unappealing to the caveman demographic that Hardee's so desperately courts.
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PVnRT Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-04-09 02:27 PM
Response to Original message
47. HEAD ON APPLY DIRECTLY TO THE FOREHEAD
HEAD ON APPLY DIRECTLY TO THE FOREHEAD
HEAD ON APPLY DIRECTLY TO THE FOREHEAD
HEAD ON APPLY DIRECTLY TO THE FOREHEAD
HEAD ON APPLY DIRECTLY TO THE FOREHEAD
HEAD ON APPLY DIRECTLY TO THE FOREHEAD
HEAD ON APPLY DIRECTLY TO THE FOREHEAD
HEAD ON APPLY DIRECTLY TO THE FOREHEAD
HEAD ON APPLY DIRECTLY TO THE FOREHEAD
HEAD ON APPLY DIRECTLY TO THE FOREHEAD
HEAD ON APPLY DIRECTLY TO THE FOREHEAD
HEAD ON APPLY DIRECTLY TO THE FOREHEAD
HEAD ON APPLY DIRECTLY TO THE FOREHEAD
HEAD ON APPLY DIRECTLY TO THE FOREHEAD
HEAD ON APPLY DIRECTLY TO THE FOREHEAD
HEAD ON APPLY DIRECTLY TO THE FOREHEAD
HEAD ON APPLY DIRECTLY TO THE FOREHEAD
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Throd Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-04-09 11:43 PM
Response to Original message
48. "This is not your father's Oldsmobile"
What the hell? If you liked dad's Oldsmobile then this isn't for you, and if you didn't, well then finally here's a car you won't hate. Brilliant!
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slutticus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-07-09 10:24 PM
Response to Original message
56. "dynamic inertia"
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Tabasco_Dave Donating Member (744 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 11:47 AM
Response to Original message
57. 1980's A1 steakburger ads
I love it on steak or in a meatloaf mix but it's nasty on a hamburger. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nFqSwq1UgMU&feature=rela... :
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