The New Pepsi Challenge
Pepsi is now #3 in the fizzy sugar water business. Diet Coke has pulled ahead into the #2 slot.
What did Pepsi do wrong? Well, a lot of people are blaming their focus on social media as the culprit. I think that's bullshit.
Pepsi has made some mistakes, but the Refresh Project is not one of them. Sure, they've lost some ground by not investing in mass media, but let's not forget that the most talked about spot in the Super Bowl was the one Pepsi did not do.
The problem is that Pepsi has forgotten why they chose 'refresh' as a message in the first place.
What's happened here is that some very well-meaning account planner at Chiat Day probably was doing his or her due diligence to come up with a strategy for the Pepsi account and stumbled across an opportunity. While Coke was moving mountains of ad dollars to own the word happiness in the consumer's mind, they had abandoned the brand message that made them the category leader in the first place: Coke was refreshing.
Take a look at a few of Coke's slogans through the years:
▪ 1904 - Delicious and refreshing.
▪ 1905 - Coca-Cola revives and sustains.
▪ 1922 - Thirst knows no season.
▪ 1924 - Refresh yourself.
▪ 1929 - The pause that refreshes.
▪ 1938 - The best friend thirst ever had.
▪ 1938 - Thirst asks nothing more.
▪ 1939 - Coca-Cola has the taste thirst goes for.
▪ 1939 - Whoever you are, whatever you do, wherever you may be, when you think of refreshment, think of ice cold Coca-Cola.
▪ 1945 - Passport to refreshment.
▪ 1958 - The Cold, Crisp Taste of Coke
▪ 1959 - Be really refreshed.
And, in an "oops, we almost screwed up here" moment a blast from the past last year.
▪ 2010 - Twist The Cap To Refreshment