Cola Wars

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The Cola Wars are a campaign of mutually-targeted television advertisements and marketing campaigns since the 1980s between soft drink manufacturers The Coca-Cola Company and PepsiCo.

As of March 2011, Pepsi was in third place behind Coca-Cola and Diet Coke. In 2010, Diet Coke outsold Pepsi; Coca-Cola sold 1.6 billion cases of its regular soda and 927 million cases of its diet soda, while Pepsi sold only 892 million cases.[1]

Coca-Cola[edit]

Coca-Cola advertising has historically focused on wholesomeness and nostalgia for childhood. Coca-Cola advertising is often characterized as "family-friendly", and often relies on "cute" characters (e.g., the Coca-Cola polar bear mascot and Santa Claus around Christmas).[citation needed]

One example of a heated exchange that occurred during the Cola Wars was Coca-Cola's making a strategic retreat on July 11, 1985, by announcing its plans to bring back the original "Classic" Coke after recently introducing New Coke.[citation needed]

Notable promoters of Coca-Cola have included Bill Cosby, Whitney Houston, Paula Abdul, Weird Al Yankovic, George Michael, Christina Aguilera, Max Headroom, Celine Dion, Elton John and most recently, Taylor Swift.[citation needed] [2]

Pepsi[edit]

Celebrity endorsements[edit]

Pepsi adverts often focus on celebrities choosing Pepsi over Coca-Cola,[citation needed] supporting Pepsi's positioning as "The Choice of a New Generation". Celebrities who have promoted Pepsi include Mariah Carey, KISS, Tina Turner, Britney Spears, Beyoncé Knowles, Pink, Enrique Iglesias, David Bowie, Rod Stewart, Jim Varney, Elvis Presley, One Direction, Michael Jackson, Brian May, Roger Taylor, Madonna, Spice Girls, Shakira, Amr Diab, Ray Charles. Also including artists who have also promoted Coca-Cola like Christina Aguilera and Elton John.[citation needed]

Pepsi Challenge[edit]

In 1975, Pepsi began showing people in blind taste tests called the Pepsi Challenge, in which they preferred one product over the other, and then they began hiring increasing numbers of popular spokespersons to promote their products.[citation needed]

Drink Pepsi, Get Stuff[edit]

In the late 1990s, Pepsi launched its most successful long-term strategy of the Cola Wars, Pepsi Stuff. Consumers were invited to "Drink Pepsi, Get Stuff" and collect Pepsi Points on billions of packages and cups; they could redeem the points for free Pepsi lifestyle merchandise. After researching and testing the program for over two years to ensure that it resonated with consumers, Pepsi launched Pepsi Stuff, which was an instant success. Tens of millions of consumers participated. Pepsi outperformed Coke during the summer of the Atlanta Olympics - held in Coke's hometown - where Coke was a lead sponsor of the Games. Due to its success, the program was expanded to include Mountain Dew and Pepsi's international markets worldwide. The company continued to run the program for many years, continually innovating with new features each year.[3]

The Pepsi Stuff promotion became the subject of a lawsuit. In one of the many commercials, Pepsi showed a young man in the cockpit of a Harrier Jump Jet. Below ran the caption "Harrier Jet: 7 million Pepsi Points". There was a mechanism for buying additional Pepsi Points to complete a Pepsi Stuff order. John Leonard, of Seattle, Washington, sent in a Pepsi Stuff request with the maximum amount of points and a check for over $700,000 USD to make up for the extra points he needed. Pepsi did not accept the request and Leonard filed suit. The judgment was that a reasonable person viewing the commercial would realize that Pepsi was not, in fact, offering a Harrier Jet. In response to the suit, Pepsi added the words, "Just Kidding", under the portion of the commercial featuring the jet as well as changed the "price" to 700 million Pepsi points (see Leonard v. Pepsico, Inc.).[citation needed]

Cyberwar[edit]

Coca-Cola and Pepsi engaged in a "cyberwar" with the re-introduction of Pepsi Stuff in 2005, to which Coca-Cola retaliated with Coke Rewards. This cola war has now concluded, with Pepsi Stuff ending its services and Coke Rewards still offering prizes on their website. Both were loyalty programs that give away prizes and product to consumers who, after collecting bottle caps and 12- or 24-pack box tops, then submitted codes online for a certain number of points. However, Pepsi's online partnership with Amazon allowed consumers to buy various products with their "Pepsi Points", such as mp3 downloads. Both Coca-Cola and Pepsi previously had a partnership with the iTunes Store.

In space[edit]

Coke and Pepsi cans flown aboard STS-51-F on display at the National Air and Space Museum
Mock-up of Coke dispenser flown aboard the Space Shuttle Discovery in 1995, on display at the Astronaut Hall of Fame. (Erroneously associated with STS-77; this model flew aboard STS-63)[4]

In 1985, Coca-Cola and Pepsi were launched into space aboard the Space Shuttle Challenger on STS-51-F. The companies had designed special cans (officially the Carbonated Beverage Dispenser Evaluation payload or CBDE) to test packaging and dispensing techniques for use in zero G conditions. The experiment was classified a failure by the shuttle crew, primarily due to the lack of both refrigeration and gravity.[citation needed]

The "Coca-Cola Space Dispenser" (Fluids Generic Bioprocessing Apparatus-1, or FGBA-1) was designed to provide astronauts the opportunity to enjoy Coca-Cola and Diet Coke in the weightless environment of space, and to "provide baseline data on changes in astronauts' taste perception of beverages consumed in microgravity."[5] It held 1.65 liters each of Coca-Cola and Diet Coke. An astronaut would dispense the carbonated drink of choice into a "Fluids Transfer Unit" or sealed drinking cup through a quick connect on the dispenser. To save power, the dispenser would chill the liquid on demand via cooling coils between the storage container and the quick connect fitting. The FGBA-1 and 18 of the "Fluid Transfer Units" flew aboard the Space Shuttle Discovery in 1995. (STS-63)[6]

Further development led to a Coca-Cola fountain dispenser (Fluids Generic Bioprocessing Apparatus-2 or FGBA-2) intended as "a test bed to determine if carbonated beverages can be produced from separately stored carbon dioxide, water, and flavored syrups and determine if the resulting fluids can be made available for consumption without bubble nucleation and resulting foam formation".[7] This unit dispensed Powerade sports drink in addition to Coca-Cola and Diet Coke, and it flew on STS-77 aboard Space Shuttle Endeavour in 1996. However, the FGBA-2 did not work as expected.[citation needed]

Competition[edit]

Many of the brands available from the three largest soda producers, The Coca-Cola Company,[8] PepsiCo[9] and the Dr Pepper Snapple Group, are intended as direct, equivalent competitors. The following chart lists these competitors by type or flavor of drink.

Flavor/type PepsiCo The Coca-Cola Company Dr Pepper Snapple Group
Cola Pepsi Coca-Cola RC Cola
Diet Cola Diet Pepsi / Pepsi Light
Pepsi ONE
Pepsi Max
Pepsi Next
Diet Coke / Coca-Cola Light
Tab
Coca-Cola Zero
Diet Rite
Diet RC
Cherry-flavored cola Pepsi Wild Cherry Coca-Cola Cherry Cherry RC
"Pepper"-style Dr Slice
DOC 360
Mr. Pibb / Pibb Xtra Dr Pepper
Orange Mirinda
Tropicana Twister
Tango
Slice
Fanta
Minute Maid
Simply Orange
Crush
Sunkist
Lemon-lime Teem
Slice
Sierra Mist
7 Up (in countries other than the US)
Sprite
Lemon & Paeroa
7 Up (in the US)
Other citrus flavors Mountain Dew
Kas
Izze
Citrus Blast
Mello Yello
Vault
Fresca
Lift
Lilt
Sun Drop
Squirt
Ginger ale Patio Seagram's Ginger Ale Canada Dry
Schweppes
Vernors
Root beer Mug Root Beer Barq's
Ramblin' Root Beer (until 1995)
A&W Root Beer
Stewart's Rootbeer
Hires Root Beer
Cream soda Mug Cream Soda Barq's Red Creme Soda A&W Cream Soda
Juices Tropicana
Dole
(prepackaged only, under license)
Minute Maid
Fruitopia
Simply Orange
Mott's
Nantucket Nectars
Snapple
Iced tea Lipton
Brisk
(ready-to-drink products only, under license from Unilever)
Nestea
(manufactured by Nestlé in the US and by a joint venture between Nestlé and Coca-Cola elsewhere)
Gold Peak Tea
Fuze
Snapple
Sports drinks Gatorade
Propel
Powerade
Aquarius
Vitamin Water
All Sport
Energy drinks AMP
Rockstar
Full Throttle
NOS
Relentless
Burn
Monster
Venom

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "As soft drink sales fall, Diet Coke passes Pepsi". The Boston Globe. 
  2. ^ Taylor Swift Diet Coke Ad - YouTube
  3. ^ PROMO Magazine
  4. ^ "Coke machines on-board the space shuttle - collectSPACE: Messages". collectSPACE. Retrieved 2013-07-08. 
  5. ^ "STS-63 Press Kit". National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Archived from the original on 2012-04-05. 
  6. ^ "The Editor's Collection - STS-63 Coca-Cola Space Dispenser Fluids Transfer Unit". collectSPACE. Retrieved 2013-07-08. 
  7. ^ "STS-77 Press Kit". National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Archived from the original on 2012-04-05. 
  8. ^ "Brands". The Coca-Cola Company. Retrieved 2013-08-18. 
  9. ^ "PepsiCo Corporate Site". PepsiCo.com. Retrieved 2013-08-18.