Two for Tuesday: Coke vs. Pepsi

Jennifer vs. Angelina, Britney vs. Christina, Batman vs. Superman– we all love to pick sides in long standing rivalries. These ones in particular have been dividing our country for years, but no feud has lasted quite as long as Coke vs. Pepsi.

Despised by health-conscious people and loved by thirsty people, these cola kings have become an unavoidable part of consumer culture. The Coca-Cola Company and PepsiCo have spent millions of dollars annually on advertising campaigns and lucrative celebrity endorsements battling to be the world’s number one cola.

On this Two for Tuesday, let’s take a look at these two soft drink companies and how they are attempting to set themselves apart in the market.

Coca-Cola

History

Cola-cola was created in 1886 by John Pemberton in Atlanta, Georgia. Along with being a refreshing beverage, drinking Coke was originally intended to provide numerous health benefits.

Coke’s advertising has historically been characterized as “family-friendly” for focusing on wholesomeness and the nostalgia of childhood. Notable promoters of Coca-Cola have included Paula Abdul, Christina Aguilera, Elton John, George Michael and, most recently, Taylor Swift.

What is Coke doing now?

Coke knows that life can sometimes just straight up suck. In Coke’s latest attempt to spread happiness, their newest ad encourages people to put aside their own personal misfortunes and to try to think of others.

 

 

PepsiCo

History

Pepsi was created in 1898 by Caleb Bradham in New Bern, North Carolina. Pepsi was also created to deliver health benefits; the original formula contained emulated Pepsin to serve as a digestive aid.

Pepsi has positioned themselves as “The Choice of a New Generation” and has challenged Coke with a series of highly successful marketing campaigns. The famous “Pepsi Challenge” of the 1980s is credited with starting the cola war. The televised rate tests asked random strangers to sample Pepsi and other colas in a blind taste test. Pepsi’s newer ads have often focused on having celebrities also choose Pepsi over Coke. Endorsers of Pepsi have included KISS, Britney Spears, Michael jackson, Madonna and, most recently, Katy Perry (who took the stage during the Super Bowl halftime show).

What is Pepsi doing now?

Pepsi has signed celebrities, including Usher, Serena Williams and Usain Bolt, for the Pepsi Challenge. Every month, the Pepsi “ambassadors” will use social media to issue a new challenge aimed at blending social responsibility with pop culture to encourage consumers to “do something different.”

 

 

With both brands continuously making efforts to dominate the market, an end to this age-long rivalry seems unlikely. Coming from an extremely divided household, I can see no end in sight.

Have a preference? Tell us in the comments.

Cover Photo Source: American Spirit / Shutterstock.com

Jestelle is a junior executive at SJG. She is currently working toward obtaining a BA in Advertising and Public Relations and a minor in Marketing from Loyola University Chicago. Outside the office, Jestelle is an avid tea drinker and devoted Netflix watcher.