The Cola Wars are back….
Just this past weekend, I saw a commercial air that brought back memories of years past….the Pepsi truck driver fighting the Coke truck driver! It felt like déjà vu….the individual product changed – back then it was Pepsi versus Coke (take the Pepsi Challenge was back in the 90’s if I recall)…now it is Pepsi Max versus Coke Zero.
Pepsi has had a hard time branding their Pepsi Max product since it first came out in 2007; now with a name change (dropping the “Diet”, packaging updates, multiple launches and re-launches), the company is hoping to garner success in the US by reverting to an old campaign idea – comparing itself to Coke Zero. There will be updated twists to the campaign – in one spot the Pepsi driver will film the Coke driver drinking the Pepsi Max product for YouTube; but the message will be the same – we are better than Coke Zero. Coca Cola spokeswoman Susan Stribling said that Coke Zero is taking the stand that they are flattered to be compared to; Coke Zero has proven to be one of the most successful product launches in the company’s history. A comparison ad campaign can only benefit both products….a good deal for Coke Zero!
In my circle friends, the lines are drawn – you are either a diehard Diet Coke drinker or a diehard Diet Pepsi drinker. As a diehard Diet Coke drinker myself, I have begun to waiver and do drink Coke Zero if it is a choice given to me – I do not go out of my way to ask for it. At my local convenience store, Coke Zero is a choice and I will make that choice over Diet Coke. But if you ask me what I would like to drink, at a restaurant for example, Diet Coke pops right out of my mouth. This is where I see a huge problem for both Pepsi Max and Coke Zero.
If you are a Diet Pepsi drinker, do you ever see yourself choosing or asking for Pepsi Max instead?