Given the jaw-dropping opening car ride in tonight's Mad Men, it was a surprise and a relief that the sad news later in the episode wasn't more tragic in its scope. I'm not here to talk plot points, though; after tonight, the show might be done dealing with Patio, the diet soft drink introduced by Pepsi-Cola in 1963, and so my window to relevantly blog about it is closing.
Patio bottlecap TM and © 1963 PepsiCo Inc.,
cropped by me from image at USA Soda website.
I'd never heard of Patio, but like most if not all of the products featured on the series it's real — although also like them it wasn't actually handled by the fictional Sterling Cooper agency. The cola variety of Patio was rebranded Diet Pepsi in 1964, according to its Wikipedia entry, which also sketches out why, but other flavors of sugar-free soda continued under the name through the '70s. You can browse through them in astounding detail on the Patio section of the Other Pepsi Products page on the USA Soda website. (What the hell was Devil Shake, and how did they market that one?)
Pepsi Light promotional button TM and © 1975 or so PepsiCo Inc.,
cadged and cropped by me from someone's Flickr page.
Navigation through anything other than the website's main page is limited, so I'll also link here to the parade of regular ol' Pepsi cans through the years if you'd like to compare; the bottles are itemized, too, as you'll see on the Pepsi index page. What interested me most was the Flavored Pepsi-Cola page and its images of Pepsi Light, a version of diet Pepsi with lemon that I fondly remember my parents and their friends drinking in my formative years. Should Mad Men somehow make it to 1975 perhaps we'll see Sally Draper home from Radcliffe sharing one with her dear old mother over frosty conversations about the past.