Unusually I have found two different events that led me to directly reference the New Coke debacle in this past week.
The first is the New Gap Logo mania. They introduced a shitty new logo, causing untold amount of comment and complaining on the web. They then asked for user suggestions, creating even more comment. Now they have agreed to go back to the old logo...
Yet it feels rather like something Coca Cola were accused of with New Coke, that they did the whole thing deliberately to draw attention to their existing design and product. New Coke caused huge spikes in Coca Cola sales once the original product* was back on shelves. Most people I know say it was all a stunt, and the speed of new logo withdrawl seems to bear out it was pre-planned!
Second is New Twitter. Which is completely hopeless on IE7, utterly hopeless. Even when it works on Firefox, it seems slow, weirdly designed from a user interface point of view, and much weaker than both the old site and Twitter Gadget.
*Except it wasn't the original product. It used cheaper and now suspect health-wise HFCS (High Fructose Corn Syrup) instead of the old Cane Sugar. One widely believed rumour is that the New Coke was just an excuse to hide the change.