Messenger We tend to think that innovation is driven by new discoveries or advances in technology.
The Pepsi Challenge signaled a major shift in the winds of the cola landscape. InCoke was the lb. Pepsi was the new kid on the block looking to prove something. A savvy exec at Pepsi came up with a bold revolutionary strategy to do just that. Pepsi went inside malls around the Pepsi company ideas and invited people to do a blind taste test between Coke and Pepsi.
Pepsi happily touted the results in a TV campaign showing people, much to their own surprise, picking Pepsi. They felt compelled to respond. They started issuing press releases questioning the results and responded with ads saying Coke was better.
They came across as defensive and paranoid. Their PR campaign denials were a disaster. Coke was backpedaling, fearing a market share freefall.
It turned out to be a classic blunder. In response to being forced to give up the taste that many considered sacred,people wrote letters demanding that they change it back. New Coke was sweeter like Pepsi. Insenesed, at the change Coke fans started arguing against each other Coke vs.
Coke Classic instead of battling with all of their Pepsi drinking fans for bragging rights. Pepsi coming up with the challenge. It was flat-out brilliant.
They set the tone for the conversation. They had a lot to gain and, with fewer customers than Coke, not much to lose. Lots of ugly to go around on both sides. What can we learn? We come away with three things. Coke was too jumpy. They overreacted emotionally out of fear.
The brand attachment to Coke was so strong, people were willing to look past what could have been their new favorite to keep the brand because they had become so comfortable considering themselves a Coke drinker.
The creative vision behind the campaign was fantastic.
It made an also-ran a household name. It was powerfully viral and certainly must have gotten people to think about switching to Pepsi. But, it failed to make consumers switch.
While Pepsi eventually picked up market share, did it some from celebrity endorsements or from the Pepsi Challenge?
By an overwhelming majority—and to their own surprise—they were winning hands down. Imagine yourself a loyal Coke drinker, taking the Pepsi challenge, and quite to your utter shock picking Pepsi.
They should have worked harder on getting people to make Pepsi a habit. For anyone who picked Pepsi, they should have handed them a coupon for a free case—heck, you could even give them a case from a Pepsi truck parked right outside the mall.
Then, give them another, and then another. Mail the new Pepsi drinkers another coupon every two weeks for the next three months.
Then, after a few months, send them a nifty Michael Jackson T-shirt or a copy of his newest single he was their celebrity brand messenger at the time. Following this approach, Pepsi would have found those early adopter influencers who would have gotten all of their friends to switch too.
The link to this post has been successfully copied to your clipboard. Have you seen enough? Let's get together and talk about how we can do something equally amazing for you.Diving into the world of Pepsi is a difficult one — what was once a simple drink is now an entire corporation that owns multiple other brands.
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MORE What to Know About the Coke Ad From Mad Men’s Finale. And yet whatever its intentions, this ad is a glaring misstep. In any climate, an ad that seems to explicitly reference both black anti. Pepsi. 38M likes. Welcome To Pepsi Global! LOVE IT LIVE IT! Painting the world blue with Messi, Marcelo, Kroos, Lloyd & Dele # LoveitLiveit.
UPDATE: July 20, at p.m. Last summer's news that Crystal Pepsi had us lining up at supermarkets and big box stores to get our hands on a case (or five).